A Vindication Of The Rights Of Women By Mary Wollstonecraft Summary

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In the atmosphere of the French Revolution, Mary Wollstonecraft, in her work, A Vindication of the Rights of Women gives a thrashing to Enlightenment scholars who proposed that men should not have power over other men, but in regards to women, this notion was not applicable. To be beautiful, or "womanly" was to be associated with weakness, therefore women were regarded as the weaker sex. However, Wollstonecraft argues men deserve equality based on their humanity, not their sex and since women are equal to men regarding the fact that they are also human, they too deserve equality on the basis of their humanity. Most importantly, she explains that the existing deficits or appeal of women are a result of social construct, and she claims that women take part in their own oppression by enjoying their place as the weaker, "softer," sex who must be protected by men. Thus, for women to escape this state of inequality, Wollstonecraft suggests education is the key for societal order as well as for women to become productive, respected members of society. Wollstonecraft explains that women are sabotaged from birth and are trained to be meek, quiet, unquestioning members of society: "Women are told from infancy... [that] softness of temper, outward obedience and a scrupulous attention to a puerile kind of…show more content…
If women are by nature inferior to men, their virtues must be the same in quality, if not in degree, or virtue is a relative idea; consequently, their conduct should be founded on the same principles, and have the same aim (Wollstonecraft 502). The author firmly believes that the concept that women are substandard to men is illogical. She forthrightly exclaims that if women are in fact poor quality citizens then they must have poor morals. She says if this is not the case, then virtue is not a real, firm
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