Essay Mary Wollstonecraft 's A Vindication Of The Rights Of Woman

1683 Words Dec 2nd, 2016 7 Pages
In the early 19th century, women were often thought as inferior to men due to their sentiment and irrationality. However, emerging feminist advocate Mary Wollstonecraft argued that women were not treated as rational beings because men would not allow them to have an education. She believed that women should have equal rights as men to prove that they were rational beings and not prone to sentiment. She wrote many works demonstrating her beliefs in hopes to evoke change for women’s rights. Mary Wollstonecraft’s political pamphlet, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and her novel, Maria both criticize men for using their desires to objectify women, thus preventing them from having any agency. However, Maria’s Maria hints that understanding how to control desire instead of inhibiting it may, in fact, give her more power.
Mary Wollstonecraft’s works blame men for desiring women to be frivolous and only seek marriage, which only confines them and limits their agency. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman uses a sharp satiric tone in the line, “Can they govern a family, or take care of the poor babes whom they bring into the world?” (pg. 10) to harshly mock men who limit a woman 's entire role to familial matters. Wollstonecraft italicizes “rational” when describing men (pg. 10) to point out that although men think that they are rational enough to decide what masculinity and femininity is for everyone, she actually does not believe men are sensible and is trying to…

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