A Vindication Of The Rights Of Woman Essay examples

A Vindication Of The Rights Of Woman Essay examples

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The eighteenth century brought about a great deal of change and a new-found interest in science and reason. Because of this, many great inventions, ideas and innovative theorists arose from this time period. Among them was a forward-thinking essayist by the name of Mary Wollstonecraft. In her book, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Wollstonecraft preaches her belief that the oppression of women is largely due to lack of female education. Although the term "feminism" wasn’t coined until decades later, Wollstonecraft paved the way for future women’s rights movements by advocating equality in education for women. She believed men and women should be equal in the very basic aspects of life, such as in loyalty in marriage. Wollstonecraft openly called out fellow philosopher and novelist of the time, Jean-Jacques Rousseau on his negative views of women and their role in society. Although against common beliefs of the time, Wollstonecraft boldly stated her opinions on a woman’s ability to think rationally and formulate ideas as well as any man.
First of all, it is not difficult to decipher Wollstonecraft’s feelings about Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Although Rousseau was dead at the time A Vindication of the Rights of Woman was written, Wollstonecraft does not hesitate to argue and dispute his points. Actually, both Rousseau and Wollstonecraft had many ideas in common, with an exception to one major theme, that is. Wollstonecraft disagrees with Rousseau’s thoughts on the proper place for women in society. Wollstonecraft argues "for why should the gracious fountain of life give us passions, and the power of reflecting, only to imbitter our days and inspire us with mistaken notions of dignity?"(14). By this, she means that because women are...


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..., yet were frightened as to how they would achieve it.
In every age there are great thinkers who step forward and present ideas that “cross the line,” so to speak. It is because of these people that society is constantly changing and evolving. While some of Wollstonecraft’s thoughts were forceful and abrupt, her early thoughts on feminism challenged society to view women in a different light. She was able to make people consider the importance of education for all, and was not afraid to go against popular philosophers of the time to do it. Many people, especially women, did not know how to react to Wollstonecraft’s new ideas. However, her main point, equality, and understanding of ones self, did encourage women to educate themselves, push past the false limitations which society had placed on them and begin to cultivate rationality, understanding, and peace of mind.

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