John Stuart Mill's 'Subjection of Women' Analytical Essay

John Stuart Mill's 'Subjection of Women'
A deep analysis of John Stuart Mill's 'Subjection of Women'. Slavery, obedience, subordination of women, marriage, patriarchy and sexual politics are all analyzed.
# 117455 | 1,364 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2009 | TR

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In this article, the writer studies Mill's 'The Subjection of Women' and discusses that John Stuart Mill argues the equality and freedom of opportunity for women. He sets forth what has often been viewed as a progressive theory supporting equality for women in society. Secondly, the writer maintains that Mill compares the position of women in society and particularly their position in the marital relationship in the nineteenth century to that of slaves subject to the will of their masters. The writer notes that Mill states that marriage is the legal equivalent of slavery and that the legal subordination of women is not something new. Since comparison and experience of other social arrangements proved it best for mankind, the mere physical fact of men's superior strength was authorized by society. The writer maintains that Mill's belief is that woman equality has always been difficult, because a universal usage tolerates the subjection of women. Mill also argues that customs are seen as natural and that everything that is usual is seen as natural.

From the Paper:

"About the capabilities of each sex, states Mill, nobody can know. Mill argues that one must study the influence of circumstances on her character before analysing what a woman's character is and that the peculiarities of women cannot be explained from education and external circumstances and cannot draw the nature of women. Interestingly enough, Mill adds that women cannot know about the capabilities - and even thoughts and feelings - of their own sex; this is because they are not allowed to learn them. Moreover, men are unable to learn about a woman since they think about women in general; men tend to see women as a community ..."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Mill, John Stuart. "The Subjection of Women" The Norton Anthology of English Literature. ed. M. H. Abrams. Volume II. 6th ed. United States of America, 1962.
  • Chipperfield, Faith. In Quest of Love: The Life and Death of Margaret Fuller. New York, 1957.
  • Dickenson, Donna. Margaret Fuller: Writing a Woman's Life. London: Macmillan Press, 1993.
  • Fuller, Margaret. "The Great Lawsuit" The Norton Anthology of American Literature. ed. Nina Baym. Volume I. 3rd ed. United States of America, 1979.
  • James, Laurie. Men, Women, and Margaret Fuller. New York, 1990.

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