“In proving woman’s inferiority, the antifeminists then began to draw not only upon religion, philosophy, and theology, as before, but also upon science—biology, experimental psychology
Passage: “In proving woman’s inferiority, the antifeminists then began to draw not only upon religion, philosophy, and theology, as before, but also upon science—biology, experimental psychology, etc. At most they were willing to grant “equality in difference” to the other sex. That profitable formula is most significant; it is precisely like the “equal but separate” formula of the Jim Crow laws aimed at the North American Negroes. As is well known, this so-called equalitarian segregation has resulted only in the most extreme discrimination. The similarity just noted is in no way due to chance, for whether it is a race, a caste, a class, or a sex that is reduced to a position of inferiority, the method of justification are the same. “The eternal feminine” corresponds to “the black soul” and to “the Jewish character.” True, the Jewish problem is on the whole very different from the other two—to the anti-Semite the Jew is not so much an inferior as he is an enemy for whom there is to be granted no place on earth, for whom annihilation is the fate desired. But there are deep similarities between the situation of woman and that of the Negro. Both are being emancipated today from a like paternalism, and the former master class wishes to “keep them in their place”—that is, the place chosen for them. In both cases the former masters lavish more or less sincere eulogies, either on the virtues of “the good Negro” with his dormant, childish, merry soul—the submissive Negro—or on the merits of the woman who is “truly feminine”—that is, frivolous, infantile, irresponsible—the submissive woman. In both cases the dominant class [i.e. white men] bases its argument on a state of affairs that it has itself created”.
1. Locate an argument being made in the written passage, and put the argument into standard form. There might be more than one argument being made, so pick one to standardize. Label any sub-arguments and identify any unstated premises or conclusion in the argument. Be sure to look up any words used in the passage that you don’t know, including terms like “Jim Crow laws,” “segregation,” “racial capitalism”, “bourgeois feminism”, “carceral feminism”, “abolitionist feminism”, “categorical representation”, “racialization”, etc.
2. Evaluate the argument: 1) State whether you think it is valid, sound, or fallacious in any way, being sure to give reasons to support your views.; 2) Evaluate the truth of each premise, giving reasons to support your views.
3. State any implicit biases you think the author of the argument has and how they could make those biases transparent to their audience.
4. State whether the argument was convincing to you. If it didn’t convince you that their conclusion was right or well-supported, give reasons why it didn’t. What is the argument missing? If it was actually convincing to you, say why you found it convincing (e.g. what reasons/premises were the strongest), and then give one suggestion for how the argument could be strengthened and made even more convincing.
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