Cover of A Vindication Of The Rights Of Woman

A Vindication Of The Rights Of Woman

Auhtor: Mary Wollstonecraft

Language: english
Published: 1792

Genres:

non-fiction,  philosophy
Downloads: 427
eBook size: 599Kb

Review by Stephen M. Charme, November 2009


Rating: (****)
Copyright: Public Domain in the U.S.
Please check the copyright status in your country.

Summary of the Book 'A Vindication Of The Rights Of Woman':

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects written by the eighteenth-century British feminist Mary Wollstonecraft is one of the earliest works of feminist philosophy. In it Wollstonecraft responds to those educational and political theorists of the eighteenth century who did not believe women should have an education. She argues that women ought to have an education commensurate with their position in society claiming that women are essential to the nation because they educate its children and because they could be companions to their husbands rather than mere wives. Instead of viewing women as ornaments to society or property to be traded in marriage Wollstonecraft maintains that they are human beings deserving of the same fundamental rights as men. Wollstonecraft was prompted to write the Rights of Woman after reading Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigords 1791 report to the French National Assembly which stated that women should only receive a domestic education she used her commentary on this specific event to launch a broad attack against sexual double standards and to indict men for encouraging women to indulge in excessive emotion. Wollstonecraft wrote the Rights of Woman hurriedly in order to respond directly to ongoing events she intended to write a more thoughtful second volume but she died before completing it. While Wollstonecraft does call for equality between the sexes in particular areas of life such as morality she does not explicitly state that men and women are equal. Her ambiguous statements regarding the equality of the sexes have since made it difficult to classify Wollstonecraft as a modern feminist particularly since the word and the concept were unavailable to her. Although it is commonly assumed now that the Rights of Woman was unfavourably received this is a modern misconception based on the belief that Wollstonecraft was as reviled during her lifetime as she became after the publication of William Godwins Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1798). The Rights of Woman was actually well-received when it was first published in 1792. One biographer has called it perhaps the most original book of Wollstonecrafts Wollstonecrafts century.

Excerpts from the Book 'A Vindication Of The Rights Of Woman':


... on a barren heath. It is, then, an affection for the whole human race that makes my pen dart rapidly along to support what I believe to be the cause ...
... attacking the sacred majesty of kings, I shall scarcely excite surprise, by adding my firm persuasion, that every profession, in which great subordination ...
... of the understanding as is best calculated to strengthen the body and form the heart or, in other words, to enable the individual to attain such ...
... the thoughts that should be otherwise employed. The mind that has never been engrossed by one object wants vigour-if it can long be so, it is weak. A ...
... have accidentally been allowed to run wild, as some of the elegant formers of the fair sex would insinuate. The baneful consequences which flow ...
... the same cause but allowing women to be rational creatures they should be incited to acquire virtues which they may call their own, for how can a rational ...
... or matter. Refined seventy times seven, they are still material intellect dwells not there nor will fire ever make lead gold! I come round to ...
... what my reason told me was derogatory to the character of the Supreme Being: and, having no fear of the devil before mine eyes, I venture to call this ...
... conclude that every part of her dress, simple as it seems, was only put in its proper order to be taken to pieces by the imagination. Is this modesty? ...
... eloquence and in most sentimental rant, details his opinions respecting the female character, and the behaviour which woman ought to assume to render ...
... does she inculcate not only BLIND submission to parents but to the opinion of the world.[10] She tells a story of a young man engaged by his father's ...
... appearance principally to that hasty premature instruction, which leads them presumptuously to repeat all the crude notions they have taken upon ...
... slow, orderly walk of reason. So great, in reality, is their mental and bodily indolence, that till their body be strengthened and their understanding ...
... women, by satisfying an appetite, should frustrate the very purpose for which it was implanted? I have before observed, that men ought to maintain the ...
... meme) to distinguish the pursuit of a natural and reasonable desire, from the ignorant calculations of weakness. Parents often love their children ...
... their hearts, the child of exercised sympathy and reason, and not the over-weening offspring of selfish pride,) who most vehemently insist on their children ...
... that contract the faculties and spoil the temper else they mount to the brain and sharpening the understanding before it gains proportionable strength, ...
... of a fellow-creature. My observations on national education are obviously hints but I principally wish to enforce the necessity of educating the sexes ...
... opinions were better than none at all. In fact, the female mind has been so totally neglected, that knowledge was only to be acquired from this ...
... airs. But that noble simplicity of affection, which dares to appear unadorned, has few attractions for the libertine, though it be the charm, which, ...