Monday, November 1, 2010

Darwin's views on women: a product of his time

Earlier in this same blog I posted regarding Darwin's seemingly extreme views on women, yet perhaps the post was a bit too judgmental of his character considering his environment.
In the Victorian era, women held barely a fraction of the respect, opportunity, and esteem that they hold today.

Women were not entitled to the same legal rights or educational opportunities that men were, and primarily expected just to take care of the households and the children.
With this in mind, Darwin was really no different than society as a whole regarding his views on women. In fact, he only briefly mentions his opinions on female status and no doubt could have taken more opportunity to express his views.

It IS true that if Darwin had interpreted his theories the same way as they are interpreted today (a prime example of Darwin vs. Darwinism), he would have realized the selective functions of woman's characteristics throughout time.
However, Darwin was a revolutionary in terms of his theories of Evolution- Not his theories of feminism, and perhaps he should be forgiven for merely being a product of his time and furthermore for not realizing the full implications of his speculations.

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