30 November 2009
Note! Notes are written in footnote style so they upload
correctly to the web pages, but that is NOT MLA style. Do not follow footnoting
for your citations. USE MLA style ONLY.
The definition of the word
equal is: as great as, the same as, evenly proportioned or
balanced. Both Mary Wollstonecraft and
Martin Luther King, Jr., were fighting for equality to be applied to the rights
of Americans or women in England, respectively. King was fighting for the end
of segregation in the United States. He wanted African American citizens to be
given the same rights and same treatment as the white American citizens. Mary
Wollstonecraft was fighting for the start of equal education for English women.
She wanted women to be seen as something other than the typical homemaker and
an object of pleasure for men. She wanted women to become something greater
through something they had been denied for centuries. Wollstonecraft and King had different ways on
how to approach such delicate matters to a nation, but the goal was very much
the same: equality for all, no matter the color or sex of the person.
was an advocate of justice “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice
everywhere…whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” (pp. 549) He
wants people to understand that injustice, the segregation of colored people,
is a national disease
that can only be cured by the complete elimination of it. That the segregation
of colored people is degrading and violates god’s natural laws. He
explains that just because something is a law, it does not mean that it is a
just law. A law can not be something that is morally incorrect. He encourages people to take part in justice
and make it happen all around them and not stay idle and wait for it to happen
elsewhere. Wollstonecraft also encourages the
nation, specifically men, to be just and allow women to pursue the same
educational goals as men. “Let men become more chaste and modest, and if women
do not grow wiser in the same ratios, it will be clear that they have weaker
understandings.” (pp. 333) She
encourages educational justice by using reverse psychology.
Insinuating that this trial might prove men right, that if women are not as
intellectual as men, which is why it makes them the weaker sex, then they have
nothing to lose by allowing them the same education. She
also makes it clear that women are degraded by not being allowed to pursue a
higher level of education which would make them independent human beings.
Instead, they are taught that the only way a woman can be successful in life
would be through marriage. A marriage in which the highest achievement would be
to serve her husband and bare children. Wollstonecraft and King are both seeking ways to spark
equality in hope that it can spread through out the nation and perhaps through
out the world.
Wollstonecraft and King have a similar goal in mind,
their ways of approaching the issues are very different. King
uses a more direct approach as to how to fight injustice, whereas
Wollstonecraft asks for justice disguised as a predisposed
outcome. Wollstonecraft, on the one
hand, is trying to negotiate equal education for women by reasoning with men: “I
presume that rational men will excuse me for endeavoring to persuade them to
become more masculine and respectable.” (pp. 332)
Wollstonecraft writes why it is important to provide women with the same
education as men, being that
they are the ones who will eventually raise the family and how can they be expected provide their children with a good education
if they did not receive one themselves.
She gives reasons and explains why it is so important for equal education but
she is not being aggressive in obtaining noticeable results. She is still
kindly asking which is important to recognize because it shows the transition
from asking politely to demanding what is rightfully yours. Wollstonecraft still remains calm, trying to
negotiate and use reverse psychology. Mr.
King, on the other hand, is now approaching the problem with non-violent more direct-action
approach. Mr. King explains that in past negotiations with leaders, there were
promises that were made and later broken and that is why he is seeking
alternative ways to push for change. “The purpose of our direct-action program
is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door
to negotiation.” (pp. 550) The way he is creating this crisis is with sit-ins,
marches and economic-withdrawals to push for negotiations that will actually be
respected and seen through, not like all the other times. This is important because it shows what might
be the next step for women to receive equal education.
If you don’t receive the rights you politely asked for, Mr. King shows that you
must find other aggressive but non-violent ways to reach your goals.
his letter, Mr. King compares the situation in which the colored people were to
situations other races have faced in the past. “We should never forget that everything Adolf
Hitler did in Germany was
“legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was
“illegal.” (pp. 553) This comparison helps people understand the point he is
trying to get across. It puts into perspective how segregation is immoral and
the suffering it is causing to one race so that another feels superior.
He also talks about the white moderate Americans who are conforming with having
order in the country and just letting injustice go on for the sake of having
order in the nation. He points out that these moderate Americans cause the
colored people more harm than the white supremacist groups because they are not
taking a stance in the issue. They have a voice which is not being heard which
keeps things the same, segregated.
Wollstonecraft in contrast does not compare the situation that the women are
facing to any other event in history. This
is important because it could have made a connection maybe with a male reader
or a person who is against equal education, who perhaps at some point was discriminated
against. Had she done so, it could help them understand how women feel and why
they need to receive the same education as men.
Mary Wollstonecraft and Martin Luther King, Jr., were helping two minority
groups obtain equal rights. King was fighting for the end of segregation in the
United States, and Wollstonecraft was fighting for the start of equal education
for English women. Mr. King knew that the
passive technique that he had used in the past was not working, and, therefore,
different steps had to be taken. He knew that the only way the colored people
could ever obtain equal rights was with taking direct non-violent action and
that had to be done now, not later. Wollstonecraft
is more passive in the sense that she is asking and giving reasons as to why
women should be educated. She is not implying that she will organize sit-ins,
marches or any economic withdrawal.
She is simply negotiating with men to allow women and the same education as
men. Wollstonecraft and King had a similar goal,
equality for all. King shows that he is an advocate who has already tried some
of the steps that Wollstonecraft is now taking. Wollstonecraft
shows that she has the courage to continue to fight for the education of women
and knows that there is still more work to be done to achieve that goal.
This paper has
some great strengths, many of which could be enhanced with greater attention
to correcting some of the flaws and inadequate development of the paper. It
improves as it goes along. Her thesis
actually shows up in the conclusion. That’s fine, just be sure to include it
in the intro, too. Thesis: “While King and Wollstonecraft both advocate
change to bring greater just to minorities, King organizes it to gather
public attention and law change, whereas Wollstonecraft red-flags the poor education
of women through brilliant prose with no call for action. They prove that
speaking out is not usually enough; something needs to be done about injustice.”
Grade: B, 83.
King Jr., Martin Luther. The
Norton Reader. New York
: W. W. Norton &Company, 2008.
Wollstonecraft, Mary. The Norton
Reader. New York
: W. W. Norton &Company, 2008.