SAT OG 2016 Reading - Test 3 reading 4

Questions 31-41 are based on the following

Passage1 is adapted from Talleyrand et al., Report on Public Instruction. Originally published in1791. Passage2 is adapted from Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Originally published in1792. Talleyrand was a French diplomat; the Report was a plan for national education. Wollstone craft, a British novelist and political writer, wrote Vindication in response to Talleyrand.

Passage 1

That half the human raceis excluded by the other

half fromany participation in government; that they

are native by birth but foreign by law in the very land
where they were born; and that they are
5 property-owners yet have no direct in fluence or

representation: are all political phenomen

a apparently impossible to explain on abstract

principle. But on another level of ideas, the question

changes and may be easily resolved. The purpose of
10 all these institutions must be the happiness of the

greatest number. Everything that leads us farther

from this purpose is in error; everything that brings

us closer is truth. If the exclusion from public

employments decreed against women leads to a
15 greater sum of mutual happiness for the two sexes,

then this becomes a law that all Societies have been

compelled to acknowledge and sanction.
Any other ambition would be a reversal of our

primary destinies; and it will never be in women’s
20 interest to change the assignment they have received.
It seems to us in contestable that our common

happiness, above all that of women, requires that

they never aspire to the exercise of political rights

and functions. Here we must seek their interests in
25 the wishes of nature. Is it not apparent, that their

delicate constitutions, their peaceful inclinations, and

the many duties of motherhood, set them apart from

strenuous habits and onerous duties, and summon

them to gentle occupations and the cares of the
30 home? And is it not evident that the great conserving

principle of Societies, which makes the division of

powers a source of harmony, has been expressed and

revealed by nature itself, when it divided the

functions of the two sexes in so obviously distinct a
35 manner? This is sufficient; we need not invoke

principles that are in applicable to the question. Let us

not make rivals of life’s companions. You must, you

truly must allow the persistence of a union that no

interest, no rivalry, can possibly undo. Understand
40 that the good of all demands this of you.

Passage 2

Contending for the rights of woman, my main

argument is built on this simple principle, that if she

be not prepared by education to become the

companion of man, she will stop the progress of
45 knowledge and virtue; for truth must be common to

all, or it will be in efficacious with respect to its

influence on general practice. And how can woman

be expected toc o-operate unless she know why she

ought to be virtuous? Unless freedom strengthen her
50 reason till she comprehend her duty, and see in what

manner it is connected with her real good? If

children are to be educated to understand the true

principle of patriotism, their mother must be a

patriot; and the love of mankind, from which an
55 orderly train of virtues spring, can only be produced

by considering them or a land civil interest of

mankind; but the education and situation of woman,

at present, shuts her out from such investigations....
Consider, sir, dispassionately, these
60 observations —for a glimpse of this truth seemed to

open before you when you observed,“that to see one

half of the human race excluded by the other from all

participation of government, was a political

phenomenon that, according to abstract principles, it
65 was impossible to explain.”If so, on what does your

constitution rest? If the abstract rights of man will

bear discussion and explanation, those of woman, by

a parity of reasoning, will not shrink from the same

test: though a different opinion prevails in this
70 country, built on the very arguments which you use

to justify the oppression of woman—prescription.
Consider—Iaddress you as a legislator—

whether, when men contend for their freedom, and

to be allowed to judge for themselves respecting their
75 own happiness, it be not inconsistent and unjust to

subjugate women, even though you firmly believe

that you are acting in the manner best calculated to

promote their happiness? Who made man the

exclusive judge, if woman par take with him the gift
80 of reason?
In this style, argue tyrants of every

denomination, from the weakking to the weak

father of a family; they are all eager to crush reason;

yet always assert that they us urpits throne only to be
85 useful. Do you not act a similar part, when you force

all women, by denying them civil and political rights,

tore main immured in their families groping in

the dark?

Question 31 As used in line 21, “ common ” most nearly means