John Gregory A Fathers Legacy To His Daughters Analysis
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Dr. John Gregory’s “A Fathers Legacy to His Daughters” epitomizes the extent of oppression of women in the eighteenth century. He is advocating to his daughters that, as women their only purpose in life is to please men and ultimately find a husband. He does not see women as humans worthy of independent thoughts, common sense or knowledge. Furthermore he wishes them to virginal, ignorant, subordinate delicate creatures. They exist to be objects to serve and appease men.
Gregory warns them against the alleged “dangers” of learning, knowledge, and wit for fear of these qualities making them unappealing to men; he extends this to advise his daughters to conceal any learning incase men become jealous of this knowledge. On the contrary, Women were clearly uneducated (especially compared to men) and it is nonsensical that a man would be jealous of the seldom knowledge a woman may have. He claims humor is damaging to women’s decorum and will never grant her respect (Gregory 221). As wit is a combination of intellect with humor, it is obvious why it is the most threatening to these patriarchal men. He opens by…show more content… For women of the period, using logic or good judgment was inacceptable, as men should be making their decisions for them. He tells his daughters, to be wary of merely using good sense for this instills a sense of superiority (Gregory 221). Gregory does not even view his daughters as human beings deserving of any rights, or thoughts; any “superiority” women allegedly had over men for this time period is utterly nonsensical. Women were so oppressed that being able to use their brains was found threating to men. This argument parallels that of contemporaries wanting straight-pride-parades. The oppressor cannot equate itself to the oppressed; in both instances, the oppressor is attempting to advocate for their own rights (which they clearly, already have) to further oppress the