Mary Wollstonecraft is one of my new favorite authors. She was a feminist English writer after the French Revolution. While I’m not one for waving our uterus’ like a victory flag, this woman has got it together. She implores not to have power over men, but over themselves.
While her pamphlets are a bit lengthy, here were some of my favorite points. They may not weigh as much with you, dear reader, since the meat behind the merit isn’t being copied as well.
She presents that women are to be as innocent as children, never developing physically or mentally. “We might as well never have been born…” She observers that women are supposed to be the epitome of morality, yet they are to remain uneducated. But “Without knowledge there can be no morality.”
- In regards to women’s frailty in the marriage, as a soft and fair creature:
“These fears, [frailties] when not affcted, may produce some pretty attitudes; but they shew a degree of imbecility which degrades a rational creature in a way womn are not aware of- for love and esteem are very distinct things.
- In regards to what a frail woman with no specific gravity is to a husband:
“These women are often amiable; and their hearts are really more sensible to general benevolence, more alive to the sentiments that civilize life, than the square-elbowed family drudge; but wanting a due proportion of reflection and self-government, they only inspire love; and are the mistresses of their husbands.”
- In regards to love as the supreme good:
“Graccious Creator of the whole human race! hast thou created such a being as a woman, who can trace thy wisdom in thy works, and feel that thou alone art by thy nature exalted above her,-for no better purpose?-Can she believe that she was made only to submit to a man, her equal, a being, who, like her, was sent into the world to acquire virtue? -Can she consent to be occupied merely to please him; merely to adorn the earth, when her soul is capable of rising to thee?