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Mary Wollstonecrafts - A Vindication of the Rights of Woman - Personal Statement Example

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The essay "Mary Wollstonecraft’s “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” is a direct attack on the restrictions imposed on women’s education that bred in them “ignorance and slavish dependence.”  Thus, her fight for her sex to gain a better educational system…
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Mary Wollstonecraft’s “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” Introduction Known as “Mother of Feminism”, Mary Wollstonecraft is one of the earliest feminist ladies who pour out her personal feminist thoughts in the classic essay, “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman”. The essay is a direct attack on the restrictions imposed on women’s education that bred in them “ignorance and slavish dependence.” Thus, her fight for her sex to gain a better educational system was very logically and persuasively penned down in her essay and is a must read by everyone who wants to understand the feminist stream of studies. Various feminist movements fight for different rights of movements such as equality of rights, the right to earn their own living, inheritance rights, etc. Mary Wollstonecraft rises up to the cause of education of women saying that it is the fundamental right of all ladies to gain substantial education not just for their own benefits but, for a number of other reasons: 1. Ladies with education would prove to be good mothers as they would be able to assist in their children’s education. A literate mother can better rise up well educated citizens. 2. Educated ladies can be real companions to their spouses and be more than mere wives. 2 3. As a human being a woman has the same fundamental right to study as the men. She is much more than a mere ornament to society and it is high time that the men realize her worth. Therefore, an educated woman would better contribute towards the improvement of the society. 4. Ladies needed rational education in the same way as men as they are capable of reasoning or abstract thought. For centuries the fairer sex had been given a second citizenship in almost all the cultures of the world. They are assigned some fixed jobs and boundaries and are asked to function within them. It was considered rude and unladylike to raise a voice in protest or demand against any of the men dictated issues. A 1791 report by Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord’s even stated that girls do not need any further education than that supplied by the domestic tutor for they were incapable of holding high level information. A Vindication of the Rights of Women is an answer to this assumption and lays down certain logic to prove that women are indeed capable to attain higher knowledge and a well educated lady would be an asset to any developing society. As a shrewd writer Mary understands that most of her readers would be men. Therefore, she appeals to the better judgment of men by stating out all the positive benefits that an educated mistress would have on the household. She also wants the other ladies to understand the need of 3 education specifically rational education so she prepares them also to demand education as their moral rights. Mary starts the essay by pointing out all the positive benefits that the society would witness after the education of the girls. She introduces all her main topics in the first chapter itself and then builds on each of them individually in the consecutive pages. Wollstonecraft basically calls for the right of rational education to be provided to women in the same manner as the men, for women indeed had a very capable brain that could become great scholars similar to men if they were provided with the opportunity. The main reason that women were uneducated was because the men in their lives disliked their education. Stating in her preface that “my main argument is built on this simple principle, that if [woman] be not prepared by education to become the companion of man, she will stop the progress of knowledge and virtue; for truth must be common to all", thus the writer reasons that the society would not witness a steady rise without the benefit of educated mothers to assist their offspring. The authoress says that “the most perfect education” is “an exercise of the understanding as is best calculated to strengthen the body and form the heart. Or, in other words, to enable the individual to attach such habits of virtue as will render it independent.” 4 She further states that regardless of the sex, all the children should be sent to a “country day school” to gather education in the right manner. Conclusion Thus, through the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft we can conclude that she was the first feminist who fought for the women’s rights to study. She includes in her essay a sound reasoning and a persuasive tone to have the desired effect. Through a number of examples the writer shows us why the education of women is good for both men and women alike. Not only does she ask for educational rights but she also shows the correct way of a woman’s education that would make her capable and independent. Thus, “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” proves to be a well compiled essay. Work Cited Mary Wollstonecraft. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Read More
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