Declaration of the Rights of Man Vs. Declaration of the Rights of Woman
In 1789 the delegates from the third estate took the tennis court oath, which stated that the group wouldn’t break up until it had succeeded in creating a new national constitution. They called themselves the National Assembly and after two months and six days of debate and voting they issued the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. This declaration contains seventeen articles, which makes the justification for authority no longer the King’s will but the protection of the natural rights of man. However, this document does not acknowledge any rights of women whatsoever. This prompted Marie Gouze to publish the Declaration of the Rights of Women under the pen name Olympe de Gouges two years later. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen and the Declaration of the Rights of Women are two very important documents in history which are similar in many ways but differ in many as well.
These documents both aim for the same goal: “to set forth in a solemn declaration the natural, inalienable, and sacred rights of man/woman”. Each of these documents uses seventeen articles, which follow the same main points article for article aside from slight variations in word choice and gender specific language, in order to accomplish this goal. In some instances the only difference in corresponding articles in each document is a W-o in front of the word man. The striking similarity between these documents, almost to the point of parody, serves the purpose of showing that woman and man are born equally and should be treated as such. However you can’t have equal treatment without equal punishment and article number seven: “No woman is exempted; she is indicted, arrested, and detained in the cases determined by the law. Women like men obey this rigorous law.” exemplifies women of the eighteenth century desire for equality.
The majority of the differences between these documents are due to...