Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Silence Dogood

First of all, I am very happy to have learned the word "lucubration" from this. Reading through Benjamin Franklin's Silence Dogood's letters I was at first confused as to why we were reading them... they seemed to only be personal reflections. I thought that Letters to the Editor that I've seen have never been so personal.

Then I came to the first selection where Dogood received feedback of "her" own.

To Mrs. Dogood.


"My Design in troubling you with this Letter is, to desire you would begin with your own Sex first: Let the first Volley of your Resentments be directed against Female Vice; let Female Idleness, Ignorance and Folly, (which are Vices more peculiar to your Sex than to our's,) be the Subject of your Satyrs, but more especially Female Pride, which I think is intollerable.

I guess it became fairly obvious that at that time a great many men thought that when were an inferior sex. If Benjamin Franklin was being an honest defender of women, then that's pretty great. I didn't expect that he would have done this.

After Thanks to my Correspondent for his Kindness in cutting out Work for me, I must assure him, that I find it a very difficult Matter to reprove Women separate from the Men; for what Vice is there in which the Men have not as great a Share as the Women?

Knowing that Ben Franklin wrote these makes them quite comical. But at the time it was definitely a great way for him to get attention as well as to inspire discussion amongst the people of New England.

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