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... Mary Wollstonecraft maintained that this did not contradict the role of the woman as a mother or a carer or of the role of the woman in the home. She maintained that ‘meek wives are, in general, foolish mothers’.
Reason was her starting point. For Mary Wollstonecraft, rationality or reason formed the basis of our human rights as it was our ability to grasp truth and therefore acquire knowledge of right and wrong that separated us, as human beings, from the animal world. Through the exercise of reason we became moral and political agents. This world-view was acknowledged by all progressive thinkers of the time. However, it was essentially a man’s world and the work of Rousseau was typical of this. What Mary Wollstonecraft did was extend the basic ideas of Enlightenment philosophy to women and Rousseau’s educational ideas of how to educate boys to girls.
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