Examining Mary Wollstonecraft’s Ideas in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, written by Mary Wollstonecraft in 1792, has made a lasting impact on feminist thinkers over the centuries, providing generations with insight into issues of gender equality that are still encountered today.
This book is crucial for anyone wanting to understand the evolution of feminist thought and its place in intellectual history.
In this remarkable book, you get an inside look into Wollstonecraft’s main arguments about why women should receive equal respect and opportunities as men, such as how hyper-femininity deprives woman of the respect they deserve and how inequality can lead to terrible marriages.
Additionally, she looks at why girls are discouraged from certain activities, placing them at an existing physical disadvantage.
Overall, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman urges us to reflect upon the gender inequalities present then and now—helping form an essential lens through which modern feminists still view our world today.
Giving Women a Voice and Inviting Them into the Conversation is Necessary for Social Equality
It is a sad reality that for far too long, women have been seen as second-class citizens and not given the respect that they deserve.
This was perpetuated by literature and government policies throughout history, denying women a voice to express their dissatisfaction and preventing them from being educated and learning how to be truly virtuous.
But it’s time for this to change!
If we want a fair society, then men must no longer look down on women as lesser than themselves.
Instead, they must treat them equally, recognizing their potential and giving them a platform to demonstrate it – through representation in literature and government, enabling them access to the same educational resources as men so they can earn the respect that any other human being deserves.
Ultimately, when women are acknowledged as equal members of society with unique skillsets and contributions, then there will be more opportunities for everyone in our community – which is why we should all be fighting for an end to second-class citizenship of women now.
Girls Are Entitled to An Equal Education and Opportunities to Develop Their Physical Strength
There is no good reason that girls should have fewer educational or life opportunities than boys.
Girls should be treated exactly the same as boys when it comes to schooling and opportunities for development.
Girls need to be allowed at schools with boys, with curriculum designed for both genders, and even better if those schools are public, so more diverse children can learn together.
Private schools often teach wealthy students that they are above others due to their status, while girls are just denied an education altogether – a situation that must not continue.
Moreover, girls need to develop their physical strength just like boys do as they grow up : while boys go outside and enjoy sports activities in the fields so they grow healthy and fit, girls tend to stay inside playing with dolls.
This practice needs to be changed immediately: letting young girls play outside is of utmost importance so there’s a reduced gap between male and female physical abilities later on in life.
The Consequences of the Promotion of Education and Physical Activity Primarily for Boys: Suppressing the Status of Women to Sustain Men’s Power
In Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, she explains how men keep women in a state of mental and physical weakness to enable their oppression.
Men believe that they should be the ones in power and use education and physical activity as ways to sustain this domination.
Women have been trained to measure their worth by the type of husband they can attract, essentially making them reduced to objects used for men’s pleasure.
Women are taught to focus on physical beauty while strength is seen as a manly trait; any woman with aptitude or talent is viewed as challenging either her future husband’s authority or that of other men around her.
The focus on attractiveness harms not only women’s own self-esteem but their relationships with one another too — when you place women in competition instead of forming bonds it puts them at an even greater disadvantage.
We can demonstrate this with the example of a single woman moving into her brother’s home where she will live with him and his wife; due to this third woman existing, it causes tension amongst couples who may get rid of her quickly so peace is maintained — if there were not such extreme inequality between women and men this likely would not happen.
We Must Befriend the Opposite Sex to Truly Become Equals
If men and women were to be treated as equals, it would help to create stronger and more meaningful relationships between the two sexes.
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman argues that when men and women interact as equals, there will be a strong basis for friendship.
When a man and woman are friends, rather than just lovers, their relationship is likely to last much longer and will bring them both more happiness.
Moreover, if men and women had equal rights, it would reduce men’s desire to seek “thrills” outside the relationship.
Men wouldn’t have to resort to seeking out affairs or prostitutes and instead could focus on building meaningful relationships with their wives.
In addition, it would put an end to the double standard of women being forced to remain sexually pure while men are allowed to pursue other relationships without consequence.
Furthermore, true equality between the sexes would allow women more ways to engage their husbands in intellectually stimulating conversations rather than focus solely on looks or other superficial aspects of attraction.
This could lessen women’s dependence on prostitution for subsistence and contribute further towards fostering loving marriages between couples.
Equal Rights for Women Are Necessary for a Better, Healthier World
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman aptly demonstrates why greater rights for women would be beneficial to society as a whole.
When women are given identical opportunities to their male counterparts, they can contribute equally, both inside and outside of their homes.
When granted equal access to education, women would then be able to support their children in their studies and erase any concern over requiring tutors.
Furthermore, with improved skills, ladies could confidently and competently raise healthy children with ease.
Consequently there would be fewer infants and child deaths due to lack of proper maternal care.
Additionally, gentle behavior patterns among mothers will be passed down to them children; this will create an atmosphere of respectfulness instead of cruelty and malice that is established when there is an inner struggle for power among servants.
Finally, with equal rights in hand, women would have the opportunity to become doctors focused on curing contagious diseases so believed to be untreatable before along with utilizing but healthier breastfeeding practices which would minimize the chances for individuals having multiple children within short periods.
All these benefits from greater rights for women clearly demonstrate why it should be implemented across all localities today.
The final summary of Mary Wollstonecraft’s book A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is that men and women should be treated as equals, to benefit both genders as well as society.
She argues that by denying educational resources to young girls, society is reinforcing the idea that women are inferior to men without any basis in fact.
Instead, she encourages both genders to have equal access to education so that everyone can reach their full potential and benefit from the positive effects on a larger scale.