Equal Rights Of Woman Essay

645 words - 3 pages

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) was considered by many to be the first feminist philosopher (Clark and Poortenga 2003). Wollstonecraft like many others philosophers of the sixteenth and seventeenth century rejected the constraints of unquestioned tradition and spurious authority. Wollstonecraft focus was on the traditional ethical and social understanding of that of a woman and applies her theory to that of the other part of the human race “The Woman.” Wollstonecraft participated in the Age of the “Enlightenment” Mary found that the thinkers of this time believed that only men were capable or reason (Clark and Poortenga 2003). Wollstonecraft attended meetings that shared the idea of men rights and she found that these meetings were just that “men’s rights” and not that of a woman. She also found that men believed that women were irrational and men only were endowed with those natural rights to liberty and pursuit of happiness. This made Wollstonecraft very unhappy that the “Enlightenment” male thinkers promised to only to degrade women as a person and continue to oppress them as members of society. The exclusion of women from reason and right provided the platform for Wollstonecraft Vindication of Rights of Woman (1792) (Clark and Poortenga 2003).
Vindication was the most prominent early warning that there was something deeply wrong with the moral theory of men. These men systematically excluded women from the attainment of virtue and fulfillment (Clark and Poortenga 2003). These men claimed that women lack the properties that are were essential for becoming virtuous and fulfilled. Wollstonecraft contends that women are fully rational; therefore, they have the property necessary for virtue and fulfillment. She argues that women are intellectually disadvantaged, not by nature but by a poor system of education that prevents women from gaining the wisdom necessary to secure virtue and fulfillment. Wollstonecraft concludes from this vindication that women have been forced to learn, when permitted to...

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