Margaret Fuller was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on May 23, 1810. Fuller was born into an upper-middle-class household, so he had a decent life and a good education. Fuller was influential in empowering women who thought they had fewer opportunities in life due to a lack of formal education. Fuller was a prolific reader, which earned her the award of the best-read person in New England. She was admitted into the Harvard University library as a result of her accreditation. Fuller was set on becoming a writer and addressing topics about women’s equality. In reality, Fuller was the first woman to publish a book on women’s freedom, Woman in the Nineteenth Century. This research paper discusses the arguments that Margaret Fuller made addressing the equal treatment of women in her society. Fuller believed that women had comparable capabilities with the men and when well equipped with the right education and employment opportunities, they would also contribute significantly to the world.
Fuller based gender equality on the marital home. Fuller notes in her book that for some time, the society had positioned man as the head of the house and its overseer without considering the contributions that the women were making. Fuller notes that the American culture considers women as children with zero rights in the home. Women have indeed bought into this notion, and they overly depend on the men since they are considered inferior to them. According to Fuller, the man should not be allowed to rule over the home without considering the wife. Fuller noted that the best marriages are those that practice equality and mutual feelings. Fuller highlighted that happy marriages happen where the partners feel the same about each other and consider having equal stakes in the relationship. While the man’s authority should never be underestimated, Margaret noted that women should be heard because they are instrumental in making the home. Fuller believes that a holy matrimony should only occur between two grown and mature people who know themselves well. Marriage according to Fuller is excellent when the partners appreciate each other, are best of friends and are not overly dependent on each other.
Margaret Fuller also used the concept of divinity to emphasize on the robust nature of women and why they should be regarded equal to men. In her book, Woman in the Nineteenth Century, she mentions that the society looks down on the unmarried women and they are considered inferior to their married counterparts. Fuller is however quick to highlight that in the Christian’s sphere, the saints were deemed to be equal regardless of their sexes. Fuller emphasizes that the only way women can be like the men is when they are granted religious freedom and hence acquire the divine love. The unmarried women can have a sacred connection because they can better communicate with the Holy Spirit, unlike the married women.
According to Margaret Fuller, individuality does not depend on the sex of the person. Every human being is hence born with high intellect and the ability to be a complete person. Although the two sexes may have different sexual energies, they are two separate individuals. Fuller notes that men and women were born with same souls and when given equal chances in life they can shine on their own. According to Fuller, women do not have to lean on the men to fulfill their purpose in life, but they should always tap into their potential. The women must, however, be willing to assert their position and ability. Fuller, however, urge men to be mindful of the women and avoid being dominating to allow them to shine in their world. It is hence imperative that the society educated either sex on their position and their ability so that they have a self-discovery. Margaret fuller always preached on the concept of transcendentalism. Fuller believed that human beings are at their level best when they are left to operate at their potential with minimal influence.
In “The great lawsuit: man versus men. Woman versus women” Fuller likens abolitionism to the rights of women in the eighteenth century. Fuller indicates that the fight for women’s freedom is similar to that of slavery in that they have been oppressed and seen as the lesser and the weaker sex in the society. Fuller urges women to fearlessly fight for their position in the community with the same grit they fought against slavery. The same way Fuller beckons on the men to protect their women and fiercely fight for their rights just like they fought for the abolition of slave trade in America. Fuller further noted that America had failed in setting up a law that considered women equal to the men. The black women were made to work on the farms, even when they have lactating children. Further, no women would participate in public forms. In essence, America was loudly communicating that men are better than the women which makes them vulnerable to social injustices.
It is evident that Margaret Fuller was instrumental in championing for the girl’s rights. Fuller believed that although the society condemns the woman and considers her inferior, she is capable of being self-reliant. Fuller also noted that women need spiritual freedom and learning opportunities to be what God created them to be. According to Fuller, marriages work between a couple that respects each other, recognize their differences and share great friendships. Besides, Fuller suggested that religious saints were not chosen by their sexes and human beings should also not do it. Lastly, Fuller notes that the American society has also contributed to the mistreatment of women since no set laws are protecting the rights of women.
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Snodgrass, Mary E. Encyclopedia of Feminist Literature. New York: Facts On File, 2006.