I hadn’t thought, going into it, that I’d want to do any Words Crush Wednesday posts from John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, but I was wrong. (There’s actually going to be one next week, too. Or possibly next month. Depends if I decide to do double-post Wednesdays in April, or if I just put these off until May. So it’ll probably actually depend on if I can find any good quotes for what I’ve decided to do for each Wednesday’s topic in the April A-to-Z.)
Uh, anyway, moving on to the quote, it’s the beginning of Chapter VI of the Second Treatise. (And because it was always in English, no translator was required! Yay! Though it was edited to have modern spellings…which is for the best, really. The Hobbes reading hadn’t been so edited, and it was really distracting.)
It may perhaps be censured as an impertinent criticism, in a discourse of this nature, to find fault with words and names that have obtained in the world; and yet possibly it may not be amiss to offer new ones when the old are apt to lead men into mistakes, as this of ‘paternal power’ probably has done, which seems so to place the power of parents over their children wholly in the father, as if the mother had no share in it; whereas, if we consult reason or revelation, we shall find she has an equal title.
I just loved the fact that he acknowledged the full rights of the mother as equal to the father. (Technically speaking, in some ways I think the mother should have more rights, since she’s the one lugging the kids around inside her womb for all that time, but…that’s beside the point. The point is that Locke (1632-1704) was actually giving women some rights, which was not exactly something with a lot of precedent at the time.)