Mary Wollstonecraft's novel does not mince words as the author goes straight to the point in justifying the need for women to have rights. In her arguments, the author claims that the ability of human beings to think critically and the reason is the greatest gift that humanity could ever receive. As such, she reckons that women should enjoy the same rights and privileges as men because both of them have the same reasoning capacity (Wollstonecraft). This essay will defend the author's position by asserting that women, indeed, are entitled to the basic human rights that are accessible to men in society. They have the right to quality education, political participation, and the holding of influential positions in society at large. The author is right in her claim that the only reason why women may not seem to be as smart as men is that they have restricted access to quality education like their male counterparts.
In making her case, Mary Wollstonecraft grudgingly admits that men have the physical advantage of being strong but she also notes that there is no circumstance that necessitates the application of all this strength. The text is an outright rebuttal to some writers who have claimed that as much as women should receive some form of education, this education should be limited to the women being able to please their husbands and fathers. These arguments incense Wollstonecraft who tears into this archaic logic by asserting that such a mentality was the reason for a myriad of problems that face the society (Wollstonecraft). The popular opinion held by most of the male members of her then society was that women have no business taking much of their time to read or study because their place was in the kitchen, with their role being to remain mum on issues and dressing attractively for their men.
This school of thought does not sit well with the author who vehemently, and rightly so, vents upon such thinking. She rhetorically asks how the male gender can expect women to raise children properly without proper education and the inherent ability to reason. She further pokes holes in this premise by wondering how women are expected to be virtuous and morally upright where the only teaching they receive is how to appear moral and virtuous. In her defense, it is true that such kind of an education aimed towards women can only serve them to have nice appearances which makes them completely superficial. Family wealth and social status, according to her sentiments, should not be the only guiding factor in giving children of both genders a quality education. In fact, they rightly point out that there should be a national school system that is free for both girls and girls to improve their enrollment and accessibility to quality education (Wollstonecraft).
This essay defends Mary Wollstonecraft's position that women should not qualify for just a superficial education but a qualitative one that unleashes their thinking and reasoning potential. Her arguments also make sense when she insinuates that a society that oppresses women simply means that it is made up of selfish men who are bullies and tyrants. It takes reasoning gentlemen to realize that society would be better off with a lot of educated women as they make the future much brighter for their children, their men, and themselves.
Wollstonecraft, Mary. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (a Feminist Literature Classic). United States: E-artnow editions, 2013. Internet resource.
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