The phrase “all men are created equal” has been a subject of debate for a long time; it was used by the women to claim their rights, the slaves and African American relied on it to find for their rightful place in the society. Many people have been asking whether Thomas Jefferson meant exactly what he wrote in the declaration of independence, the equality of all the people.Different people have different views concerning the phrase some arguing that it is just a matter of semantics. I believe that he only meant specific people in the society especially the white males.
(West, T 2000)When Thomas Jefferson drafted this phrase as part of the declaration of Independence he did not include all the people, slavery continued to be part of the American society especially the south, women continued to be denied their rights.Therefore this statement did not have in mind the women population of America. Jefferson himself continued to be a slave owner which included African American women. If his intention was to have all the people treated equally he could have freed all his slaves and above all help in the recognition of women according them equal rights with their male counterparts. The emancipation of slaves and recognition of women rights only came to happen long after he had been the president of the United States of America.
(McMillen, S 2008)The phrase dwelt more on the White males who felt that through colonization they have been subjected to suffering, they aspired to be in a society where they are accorded the same respect as the other people in the monarchy.Women were considered to fall directly at the realm of men; therefore they could not have been included in the statement. Jefferson has been quoted several times saying things that were profoundly sexist and in the normal circumstances he would not have had women in mind when he was calling for the equality of men. Therefore the statement initially referred to the men and in this case not all of them a given segment of the society.ReferenceMcMillen, S (2008) Seneca Falls and the Origin of the Women’s Rights Movement, New York, Oxford University PressWest, T (2000) Vindicating the Founders, Rowman and Littlefield