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Vindication of the rights of women with structures on political and moral subjects - Essay Example

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Vindication of the rights of women with structures on political and moral subjects

One of the most important things to remember about this work is the fact that it was written following the French Revolution. The French Revolution was a much feared event in England, where Mary Wollstonecraft hailed from. The possibility of revolution was something that the English aristocracy feared to a great extent. This fear influenced many of their worldviews and beliefs. However, it was important to many members of the intelligentsia as a result of the liberal philosophy that it espoused. This work comes in the backdrop of the continuing French Revolution that was based on the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity. It is also based on these ideals as it talks through several perspectives for the development of equality for women in regard to their male counterparts in the society. It also seeks to counteract those notions that enable such a denigration of the roles that women play in the society. This is then something that needs to be analyzed in a more minute manner. This paper shall look at the different issues that Wollstonecraft brings into her discussion of gender and her critique of patriarchal social relations as they existed in England during the time of her writing this work. The work also needs to be seen in terms of the legacy of the Augustan age when reason was considered to be the most important faculties of mankind. Wollstonecraft draws on reason as the basis of the society that she envisages for mankind and also looks at reason as the way out for the patriarchal conundrum that women were faced with. This is the basis of the rights that she envisages for women. This is significant as it is a break away from the tradition-oriented debates that were common in England at the time of the French Revolution. English conservative politicians had begun to extol the virtues of traditions at a time when they were being threatened by the revolutionary fervor that was present in France. This was detrimental to the condition of women as their rights were being curtailed in England as a result of this insistence on tradition as well. This is one of the reasons as to why it was important for a work of this kind to come out at this point of time in history, especially in England. This insistence on tradition is then countered using the notion of reason as it was prevalent in England. Despite having said this, the spirit of the work derived from the ideas of freedom that emanated from the French Revolution. It is in this relation that one needs to look at the arguments that are advanced in favor of education by the author. She talks of education as the means through which women can be empowered. She advances the notion that this would enable them to think independently and understand the value of reason and understanding. This would also, according to her, help women to nurture their children better. She says, Contending for the rights of woman, my main argument is built on this simple principle, that if she 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, or it will be inefficacious with respect to its influence on general practice. And how can woman be expected to cooperate unless she ...Show more

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Your Name Name of of Professor Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects One of the most influential works that have been written in the history of political literature, Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects was one of the earliest works that looked at the conditions that women lived in…
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