The position of women was always inferior compared to men. We always suffered from discrimination and oppression from the part of men, who treated us as second class citizens. Probably, they believe they are the rulers of the universe, but I am convinced that we, women, have absolutely the same rights as men do and the Declaration of Independence clearly states that the US is the country of people who are equal, i.e. who have equal rights and liberties. I, Margaret Fuller, have been working as a journalist for years and since the first days of my work I have constantly encountered injustice and discrimination. Frankly speaking, I hate the superficial attitude of men who contempt me as a professional journalists. What is more important is the fact that the discrimination of women and their treatment as second class citizens in the US, who have no rights or liberties, is a commonly accepted practice, it is the system which rules our society and affects practically all spheres of our life. The only place where we, women, can feel ourselves truly free and independent is our households, where we are obliged or, at least, supposed to, to do choir chore, take care of children, while men are “above this”¯ and they view it as a purely female work. This is why I am convinced that now it is a perfect time to change our life and to change the position of women in our society.
If democracy is worth anything than we, women, should exercise our rights and liberties as men do and above all the right to education, because the education will definitely open the eyes of many women and they will see what they have really deserved to be and what men have actually made them to be.
On recalling my professional experience, I should say that I often encountered men who were literally shocked when they saw a female journalist. The more such men I encountered the more I grew convinced that men, as well as women themselves, get used to the idea that women are ignorant, illiterate beings who worth nothing but doing household work and bringing up children. However, I would have never agreed with such a position of women. At any rate, I attempted to show other women above all, as well as men, that we can be educated and as clever, if not more, as men are.
As I reflected on the problem of the inferior position of women in our society and the superior attitude of men toward women, I arrived to the understanding of fundamental causes of our inequality. In fact, the major or primary cause is our system of education and identity formation. To put it more precisely, as far as I remember myself I was always taught to be a good wife, a good mother, but no one has ever mentioned that I could have become a good journalist, or a good politician. In my childhood such ideas would be absurd. If someone heard me talking about my intention to become a journalist they would treat me as an insane.
Fortunately, I grew up and proved to be able to take decisions myself, independently from anyone else but myself. At the same time, my education played an extremely important role in my life and, to a significant extent, it is due to my education I have managed to shape my views on human rights at large and women rights in particular. I perfectly understand those masses of illiterate women who cannot even read or write. Naturally, they do not have even a vague idea about their rights. They are so ignorant that they still view men as superior, though, in actuality, we are equal. Paradoxically, they are religious women, but they ignore the fact that, according to the Wholly Bible, the God created all people equal. Moreover, our founding fathers agreed that all people are equal and gender does not matter in regard to human rights and liberties. Weren’t it our rights and liberties we fought for to gain our independence.
But now women are still enslaved. It is not England that has enslaved, but it is our own ignorance and our system of education. It seems as if our education is created to men only, while women are left aside. As I studied I always faced a biased attitude to women who made their studies. Many women are convinced they do not need education. But I am convinced that education is the way to the liberation and emancipation of women in the USA as well as worldwide. Through education we can change ourselves and change the world around us.
This is why in my books, such as “Women in the Nineteenth Century”¯, I want to tell the truth about our position and show women the way to the improvement of their life.
In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that equality is our right and we should struggle for it, strive for it, and get it, even if we have to fight against men.