StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Mary Wollstonecrafts A Vindication of the Rights of Woman - Essay Example

Extract of sample
Mary Wollstonecrafts A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

Grounding the idea of female rights, Wollstonecraft bases herself upon positions of the liberal theory of English philosopher John Lock about necessity of recognition of equal rights for all "full citizens".
Paradox of the concept of liberalism of Lock, directed against despotism of absolute power, is that as "full citizens" of a potential liberal society he considered independent in relation to a monarch owners private, mainly the land property, which first of all are attributed with the ability to possess intellect, that is to be rational subjects (be capable to operate own land). "The central idea behind Wollstonecraft's work is that women are rational beings and should be treated as such"2. According to Mary Wollstonecraft, as the theorist of the liberal concept of female rights, the most important becomes the philosophical thesis about recognition of a female subject rational. Only in that case a woman has a chance to enter into a liberal continuum of "full citizenship" described by Lock.
The other significant thesis is that female sensuality is not purely natural, but socially caused characteristic. Wollstonecraft states, "But, if women are to be excluded, without having a voice from a participation of the natural rights of mankind, prove first, to ward off the charge of injustice and inconsistency, that they want reason - else this flaw in your NEW CONSTITUTION will ever shew that man must, in some shape, act like a tyrant, and tyranny, in whatever part of society it rears its brazen front, will ever undermine morality"3.
In conformity with the above said theoretical issues, considering modern position of women Wollstonecraft recognizes that the majority of women are not yet ready to act in a line with men as their intellect is insufficiently developed because of prevalence of sensual characteristics in it.
However this position, in her opinion, is not a consequence of the special nature, female sensuality as considered Russo, or particular qualities of female intellect as considered Kant. Such state of facts first of all is a result of the limited female education, and secondly of deprivations of women of basic civil rights, that is a consequence of certain social reasons which can be changed. Wollstonecraft's aim particularly in "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman" is "to add the individual and civil rights of women to the universal category"4. Therefore the main philosophical thesis of enlighteners, which was a subject of Wollstonecraft's critic, is Russo's thesis about "the special female nature", in which sensuality prevails of intellect. Wollstonecraft considers that femininity in that form as it is described by Russo, is a repressive social construct, which will cease to exist provided that socialization of women will pass in the same conditions as socialization of men.
The basic object of criticism of Wollstonecraft is so-called "superfluous sensuality" which is imputed to women in Russo's philosophical concept. In her book the author opposes men, who are admired of excessive female sensitivity and stand up for its development. It calls such men "tyrants of sexuality", and women, which agree to cultivate such type of sensuality in itself (sensuality of a sexual object) she calls "slaves of pleasures". Wollstonecraft accepts that owing to sensuality women has an opportunity to use a special form of ...Show more

Summary

Despite of the fact that the majority of Enlighteners stood on patriarchal positions, ideas in protection of female rights and female emancipation for the first time have been stated during the epoch of Enlightenment. It is significant that one of the first who has formulated these ideas was a woman - Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) in her book "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman" (1792).
Author : deanna17
Mary Wollstonecrafts A Vindication of the Rights of Woman essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Mary Wollstonecrafts A Vindication of the Rights of Woman"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

Woman and Human Rights
Women and Human Rights The major provisions in International Law for the promotion and the protection of the rights of women There are four main documents in International Law directed on protection and promotion of the rights of women. The first document is Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Comparing Blakes political poems in the Songs of Innocence and Experience to Mary Wollstonecrafts A vindication of the rights of women
Compare one of William Blake’s political poems in the Songs of Innocence and Experience and compare it to a text by Mary Wollstonecraft in a vindication of the rights of women. Is one more politically relevant than the other? Why?
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
A Vindication of the rights of Woman
From the critical part, Silliman had it right, in part. Wollstonecraft did want to see women's social status elevated to the point, where women could partake in all aspects of life, while maintaining family life which she did not belittle. The main argument in the Vindication is that current educational and ethical principles on which society is based are utterly erroneous, and instead of enhancing overall development and growth these principles endanger society's morality.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
A Vindication of the rights of Woman
line ideas, and masculine habits, Mary Wollstonecraft wishes, as the consummation of female independence, to introduce the sex into the Camp, the Rostrum and the Cabinet” (Silliman, 238). From the critical part, Silliman had it right, in part. Wollstonecraft did want to see
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Woman and Human Rights
Numerous aspects connected with gender discrimination are considered in this document. Another regulative document is Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Differentiate between declaration a Vindication of the Rights of Woman
It is the content of these laws that has been the subject of widespread critic, especially by feminists, in that the term ‘man’ has been used selectively to exalt the rights of men folk above those of the women folk. The
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Critical Analysis of Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication
Women are agreeably weak. They are made by this agreeable weakness to be entirely dependent on man for protection. In addition, women also depend on man for advice (Wollstonecraft, 1992). Women
7 pages (1750 words) Essay
Compare one of William Blakes political poems in the Songs of Innocence and Experience and compare it to a text by Mary Wollstonecraft in a vindication of the rights of women. Is one more politically relevant than the other Why
gs of Innocence and Experience to Mary Wollstonecraft’s A vindication of the rights of women particularly when he spoke of innocence and experience in the metaphors of the Lamb and Tiger made Blake politically irrelevant despite of his stature as a great thinker of the
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Literary Analysis- Wollstonecrafts A Vindication / A Simple Heart / The Yellow Wallpaper - Gender/Sexual Difference
She asserts that women are also not frivolous and too emotional by nature, but by nurture, specifically because access to quality education and the same level and quality of social and physical activities are
9 pages (2250 words) Essay
Literary Analysis- Wollstonecrafts A Vindication / A Simple Heart / The Yellow Wallpaper - Gender/Sexual Difference
She asserts that women are also not frivolous and too emotional by nature, but by nurture, specifically because access to quality education and the same level and quality of social and physical activities are
9 pages (2250 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation