The history of different countries around the globe has over the years presented the plight of women in the society and the strategies set to help reduce these challenges. Considerably, several scholars have developed mechanisms to help discuss how the female gender contributes to the growth of the society despite the numerous problems they are facing. Although their approaches are not similar, the theme and general purpose of their research present a modern approach to solving the issue. Essentially, while the study by Mills points out the effectiveness of human liberty in achieving equality in the modern community, Woolf concentrates on the principles, policies, and values that have limited the success of women in writing. As such, this study will compare the study done by these scholars and to identify any disparities between their arguments.
Mill’s Arguments in favor of Equality for Women
The concept of equality for women as presented by Mills elaborates different concepts that not only affect the female gender in the society but also limit their development in the community. Notably, to earn respect in the society and to initiate growth according to Mills is initiated by the formulation of moral sense that limits the difference between the two genders (Mills 13). The religion of human liberty is used by the author to depict some of the steps that the society can use to reduce the effects of discrimination against women in the modern society. Essentially, it encompasses an inward domain of consciousness, the liberty of feeling and thought, freedom of sentiments and opinion in all various subjects including theological, scientific and moral perspectives (Mills 16).
According to Mills, liberty creates the foundation of enhancing equality in the community and limiting the oppression against women. This principle helps an individual to plan for the type of life they want to live without disadvantaging others in the society. Additionally, it helps to create limits, defining the level of freedom and guiding both mental and spiritual growth in human beings. In the modern world, aspects such as the increase in political interference have limited the concept of equality as most of the decisions are made by men thus preventing fairness of authority and overall standardization of the existing laws (Mills 18). Undoubtedly, most of the leaders from both political and religious platforms are still tied to traditional methods of governance that advocate for men’s superiority and spiritual denomination.
Mills also states that in the modern society, people have adopted primitive ways of humanity and lost track of the constant development of freedom and equality of both gender and race. In summation, Mills argues that the concept of liberty is the only way of encouraging equality between the two genders in the society as it advocates for self-growth and overall development of the society.
Woolf, on the other hand, concentrates on the conditions that limit the progress of women in achieving their dreams in the society. Understandably, women require specific conditions to improve their writing skills including leisure time, financial independence, and privacy (Alimam n.p). However, the achievement of these aspects has been limited by the continued use of traditional methods of governance in the society.
According to Woolf, traditional hierarchies have over the years limited the progress of women, especially in literature (Alimam n.p). Seemingly, this approach involves the flow of power in the society that in turn defines the decision making process and overall equality in the community. Additionally, she states that standard logical argumentation has also limited the progress of the female gender and also limited their freedom in living their dreams.
Moreover, the increase in the desire for self-assertion has equally led to the challenges facing women in the society. Notably, in most cases, the female gender concentrates on what men do to achieve but fail to concentrate on their abilities and interests that define their desire (Alimam n.p). This not only reduces their contribution to the society in terms of innovativeness and creativity but also limits their understanding of what writing entails. Similarly, she asserts that lack of enough opportunities in the society has equally limited the ability of women to achieve their professional objectives. The high level of discrimination in the modern society has limited their progress and contribution to the world of literature.
The two cases provide an overview of the problems encountered by women. Although mills is successful in presenting the concepts of human liberty and how it can be used to achieve equality, I believe that Woolfs research presents a clear and more elaborate case the examines the plight of women in the modern society. The failure of the female gender to believe in their abilities and values, has limited the level of their success and general contribution in the community especially in the writing profession.
Alimam, Rawan. The Feminist Thought in Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own and Three Guineas Diss. Middle East University, 2010.
Mill, John Stuart, and Harriet Taylor Mill. Essays on Sex Equality. University of Chicago Press, 1970.