restricted access Chapter 12.a How the Americans Understand the Equality of Man and of Woman
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1062 s4s4s4s4s4 c h a p t e r 1 2a How the Americans Understand the Equality of Man and of Womanb I showed how democracy destroyed or modified the various inequalities givenbirth by society; butisthatall,anddoesdemocracynotsucceedfinally a. “1. The man and the woman mingle less in America than anywhere else. “2. Marital authority is strongly respected. “3. The Americans have, however, tried much harder than we have done inEurope to raise the woman to the level of the man, but it is in the intellectual and moral world” (YTC, CVf, p. 44). b. In notebook CVk, 2 (pp. 14–25), a copy of the chapter contains this initial note: “Chapter such as I revised it, but without being able to be satisfied about it in this form any more than the other. The fact is that I no longer understand anything; my mind is exhausted. (October 1839). “Have the two versions copied and submit them to my friends” (YTC, CVk, 2,p. 14). On the jacket of the manuscript, in pencil: It must be condensed more. Remark of Ampère and Édouard./ The same thing is noted in England. Comes from the Germanic and Protestant notion, but stronger in America because of the democratic layer. Good to say according to Ampère./ The above ideas are original only from the perspective that they are due to aristocracy or to democracy. As for portraits, they are drawn in other authors, principally Madame de Staël./ Make more clearly felt and seen the systems called emancipation of the woman. Do not assume that the reader knows them. This will add something piquant much [sic] to the chapter. Cite even, either in a note or in the text, the extravagant ideas of the Saint-Simonians and others on this point. Tocqueville finished this chapter at the end of August 1837. The Beaumonts, who passed several days with the Tocquevilles in Normandy, approved this chapter that Tocqueville read to them. equality of man and of woman 1063 in acting on this great inequality of man and woman, which has seemed, until today, to have its eternal foundation in nature? I think that the social movement that brings closer to the same level the son and the father, the servant and the master, and in general, the inferior and the superior, elevates the woman and must more and more make her the equal of the man. But here, more than ever, I feel the need to be well understood; for there is no subject on which the coarse and disorderly imaginationof ourcentury has been given a freer rein. There are men in Europe who, confusing the different attributes of the sexes, claim to make the man and the woman beings, not only equal, but similar.c They give to the one as to the other the same functions, impose the same duties on them, and grant them the same rights; they mix them in everything, work, pleasures, public affairs. It can easily be imagined that by trying hard in this way to make one sex equal to the other, both are degraded; and that from this crude mixture of the works of nature only weak men and dishonest women can ever emerge. This is not how the Americans understood the type of democraticequality that can be established between the womanand theman.d Theythought that, since nature had established such a great variation between the physical and moral constitution of the man and that of the woman, its clearly indicated goal was to give a different use to their different faculties; and they judged that progress did not consist of making almost the same things out of dissimilar beings, but of having each of them fulfill his task to the best possible degree. The Americans applied to the two sexes the greatprinciple of political economy that dominates industry today. They carefully divided the functions of the man and the woman, in order that the great work of society was better accomplished. c. In the margin: “” d. Variation in the manuscript: “. . . and man. ” 1064 equality of man and of woman America is the country in the world where the most constant care has been taken to draw clearly separated lines of action for the two sexes, and where the desire has been that both marched with an equal step, but always along different paths. You do not see American women lead mattersoutside of the family, conduct business, or finally enter into the political sphere; but...


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