A Vindication Of The Rights Of Woman Book Report

1330 words - 6 pages

When I hear the word feminism, I automatically think of theories that want to place woman in a superior position to man. This is what most people think. When I was reading A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, I questioned if Mary Wollstonecraft was truly a feminist. So I looked up the definition of feminism and discovered that it is not an issue of one sex being superior. It is an issue of equality. In light of the definition, Wollstonecraft is the mother of the feminist movement.A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is a call to society to educate women, especially young women. Wollstonecraft believes that without education, a woman is doomed to live a life in true subordination to men. She ...view middle of the document...

The home is the woman's place. But she must make it a stimulating place. Not only for the children, but for the husband as well. If a mother is confident, busy and happy, her children will be much better off. Be a woman, but be an intelligent, challenging woman. But educating the children, both girls and boys, will only serve to make society stronger when they grow up. Not only women, but men, will benefit from educating girls. "When the ideas, and matters of fact, are once taken in, they lie by for use, until some fortuitous circumstance makes the information dart into the mind with illustrative force, that has been received at very different periods of our lives." (Wollstonecraft pg 118)The typical woman, as Wollstonecraft saw it, grew up with the idea that her purpose in life was to find a husband by any means possible. Her only real value in society was marriage and production of children. Without a husband on her arm, her life had no meaning. Once snatching her man, she was destined to be a decoration of the household doing everything she could do to make her husband happy and prosperous. In short, she had to deceive her man intobelieving that his life was wonderful. In the case of the upper class and increasingly the middle class women, they had nothing to occupy their days. The did not have to perform physical labor for the survival of the family. "Confined then in cages like the feathered race, they have nothing to do but to plume themselves, and stalk with mock majesty from perch to perch." (Wollstonecraft, pg 56) These women were being compared to a caged bird.Customs and routines ran deep in the eighteenth century. The French Revolution and the counter-revolutions made people very skittish voicing dissenting opinions. I believe that this is why Wollstonecraft sounds more like a liberal than a revolutionary. She was careful to word ideas in a suggestive manner instead of demanding the equal treatment of women. Her's was a "what if" scenario. Give women equal opportunities and let's see what happens. And without focusing on the rich upper-class, much of what she disliked in the behavior of women applied to both sexes of the rich. I believe that she was asking for many fundamental changes in society without specifically saying for. She was very against the inherited right to property and status. At one point she even talks about the woman's right to vote! To bad she did not live to see the chance!I found Wollstonecraft's ideas on sexuality and marriage to be the most compelling. How can a marriage survive...

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