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Why did Fuller believe that the phrase "All men are born free and equal" was not made...

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poppyp | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 26, 2013 at 8:46 PM via web

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Why did Fuller believe that the phrase "All men are born free and equal" was not made in vain?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 27, 2013 at 12:01 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that Fuller believes that the statement of "All men are born free and equal" was not made in vain because she understands it to be true.  Fuller views the use of the term "men" in the most deliberate of senses.  The construction of universal suffrage and the idea of "All men are created equal" are elements that Fuller believes applies only to men.  Fuller believes that the only way to transform this use of language so that it is more inclusive, ensuring that the promises and possibilities of universal suffrage are applicable to more people, is to engage in the critical process of reflection and examination. 

Through her belief that the phrase of "All men are born free and equal" is not in vain if one is a man, Fuller is suggesting that widening the scope of understanding regarding discrimination is the best way to overcome it.  In making the case that such language is deliberately limited in terms of gender applicability, Fuller hopes to transform its narrow scope into something larger.  It is here in which Fuller sees the phrase as something not in vain, but rather quite deliberate.

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