How did the Enlightenment signal a change in European society and politics? And how was the Enlightenment similar — or different — than the Reformation that happened two centuries before?
This week we are going to look at how Enlightenment societies — in this particular case, France — treated women. The Enlightenment is really where we see the ideas of what would become the feminist movement starting to take root. Women in the Enlightenment found new positions available to them in society, but those same societies worked to regulate these women in new ways. 1. How did the Enlightenment signal a change in European society and politics? And how was the Enlightenment similar — or different — than the Reformation that happened two centuries before? 2. In what ways did the Enlightenment period benefit from the Scientific Revolution that came before it? 3. In Emile, Rousseau lays out the case for educating women from a young age. What are the arguments he presents for educating women? Do you think these are valid arguments, or not? 4. How — and why — did the police in Paris try to keep tabs on elite prostitutes during the Enlightenment? What was the purpose of the police’s interest in these prostitutes? What does this say about the way societies during the Enlightenment viewed women?
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