Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Literacy Of Men & Women

"Overall, male literacy in New England rose from 60 percent in 1660 to 70 percent by 1710, then to 85 percent by 1760. Female literacy, which probably ranged from 30 to 40 percent in the early 1700's, rose to about 60 percent by the 1760's -- and these figures, based on signature rates, probably understate the proportion of women who could read. Reading, writing, and arithmetic were taught as a sequence, and many girls were taught only to read; the manual skill that women were thought not to need writing, but knitting and sewing." - Paul Starr, Chapter 2: New Foundations, Creation Of Media, Page 52.

Apparently, women weren't as educated as men during these times and it was indeed a shame but at the same time predictable. Centuries ago, men were the "stronger" sex because they were more educated but the only reason this was true was because men were allowed to have these rights -- to have the abilities to learn everything. They learned to read, write, and accomplish different equations with numbers. While the men were forced to learn these things, they were also allowed to learn them. Sadly, the women could not say the same thing because they were only being taught to read. Women weren't learning anything but reading because the men felt nothing more was needed. Since men were more educated, it is obviously sensible as to why the male literacy number is higher. I feel that back in these days, men were above the women. The men wanted to learn more than the women because they were afraid if the women knew as much as them or more, everything would change. This change would be bad for the men. Women were just as capable as men to learn all these things, it's just that the men didn't want it to be done. For the women to have the same literacy as the men, the women would need to be more independent. They would need to come together and change everything.


At 11:07 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A very good post.

Literacy rates were rising. In a patriarchal society the education of women has always been neglected, especially higher education. That is changing in the U.S.

What are the factors that are promoting greater opportunities for women in the U.S. from the 18th century onward? What are the roles of women, religion, government, the economy, etc.?

This is not just a historical or academic question: When we look at the many societies around the world that still stop women from getting the same educational opportunities as men we realize that this struggle is not over.

What part have media revolutions played in all of this?


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