He stressed on female education because, to him, this would enable them to be more suitable for their tasks as wives and mothers. Women should still be subservient to men, but an education would allow them…
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Men of those times were busy on various fronts and could not possibly take up the time to educate their children, or to help them with that. Moreover, in some cases, the men could not look after the affairs of their houses or parts of their businesses, therefore, it was necessary for the womenfolk to rise to the occasion and take up these responsibilities themselves. In a society where female education was frowned upon, it was necessary to make an appeal to such notions for the patriarchs to be willing to impart formal education to the females of their household, whether daughters or sisters. When men thought that educating women would be beneficial to them in the sense that they would be able to delegate duties to their womenfolk, as well as ensure that their sons got the necessary guidance from them as well, they were more agreeable to the idea of female education. Thus, new vistas were open for women to explore.
However, Rush did not intend on this education to bring about any change in the status of the women in the post revolutionary society, and this is where the fault in his arguments lies. The purpose of education should not be to subjugate any class or gender of people, or to have them believe wholeheartedly in their subservience to someone else. Education should be an end in itself; women should be educated for the same reasons as men: it is their inherent right in an enlightened and educated society. Education should help them discover themselves and to become more productive and efficient citizens of the world. Women, just like men, should have the opportunity to pursue their educational interests; they should not be confined to certain branches of education to, consequently, become beholden to men. Moreover, education should not be used as a tool for indoctrination, but should open minds to new ideas and aspirations.
In conclusion, though Benjamin Rush’s arguments in favor of
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