Mary Wollstonecraft: A Vindication Of The Rights Of Women

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Mary Wollstonecraft was philosopher, historian, novelist and most famous as a liberal feminist. She was born on the 27th of April, 1759 in Spitalfield, London, England. She has made various contributions to the not well-received views on society and women. Mary had six siblings out of which she was the second child of her father Edward John Wollstonecraft who was a farmer and mother Elizabeth Dixon. Her family’s financial situation was not stable during her youth days so she often witnessed her father violating her mother in his drunken state because of which she grew up as a woman of sensibility. She observed that the problem was with the unprivileged and uneducated men who denied autonomy to women and education. During Wollstonecraft’s lifetime,…show more content…
Even today it is an important reference for the understanding of feminist thought. In the entire manifesto she talks about the inequality that women face in the society when compared to men. Firstly, it is the social norm of the society for women to beautify themselves, their behavior and manners which makes people notice them. As the age increases of a woman the beauty starts degrading. Secondly, many books written by authors related to women’s education for them is to promote or expect them to be ‘alluring mistresses’ than a rational and affectionate mother or wives. Thirdly, women are treated as ‘subordinate beings’, the author talks especially about the middle class women who have not been corrupted by poverty or health. Fourthly, Wollstonecraft does not want to treat women like children instead she addresses to women’s ‘reason’ to acquire strength of both in their intellect (education) and in their physical bodies (exercise). Fifthly, according to Mary women need to read the treatise without expecting it to be entertained. By stating this she is mocking at ‘affectionate’ novels and alleges the prose in novels of building a “sickly delicacy that turns away from simple undecorated truth, and a cataract of false affections and over covered feelings, suffocating the natural feelings of the heart, deliver the domestic pleasures feeble”. The education of women and…show more content…
She explains that firstly, women are soulless creatures, therefore to gain virtue, they must have a soul. No one is born with virtue rather it is the trait that needs to be acquired. Secondly, in order to marry a man who will protect the woman, she is taught to be “outward obedience, cunning, softness of temper. As discussed before that as the beauty of the woman fades away so does the protection of her husband. She believes that it will result to evil outcomes rather than good. Thirdly, the husband is expected to be knowledgeable, reasonable and good but they cannot lead women to acquire virtue. Fourthly, Mary states that in order to be virtuous, women need to practice ‘reason’. Fifthly, women have been portrayed as weak characters, soft spoken and artificial characters who play no role in the society by several men in their writings. Sixthly, women need to be educated in order to bypass unethical society, politics and men. In order to stop blind respect by women as they need to strengthen their minds. It is through education that individuals will gain honorable life. Seventhly, Mary states that if both men and women gained virtue they would have been closer to truth. Women need to be educated not only because they will attain virtue but also in the context of “love” they will not be confined to

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