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By Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft’s visionary treatise, initially released in 1792, used to be the 1st publication to provide women’s rights as a subject of common human rights. excellent for coursework and lecture room learn, this accomplished variation of Wollstonecraft’s groundbreaking feminist argument contains illuminating essays by means of best students that spotlight the author’s major contributions to fashionable political philosophy, creating a robust case for her as some of the most sizeable political thinkers of the Enlightenment period. No different scholarly paintings up to now has tested as heavily either the ideological moorings and the long-lasting legacy of Wollstonecraft’s brave discourse.

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Example text

I wish, Sir, to set some investigations of this kind afloat in France; and should they lead to a confirmation of my principles, when your constitution is revised the Rights of Woman may be respected, if it be fully proved that reason calls for this respect, and loudly demands justice for one half of the human race. I am, Sir, Yours respectfully, M. W. A D V E RT I S E M E N T . When I began to write this work, I divided it into three parts, supposing that one volume would contain a full discussion of the arguments which seemed to me to rise naturally from a few simple principles; but fresh illustrations ocurring as I advanced, I now present only the first part to the public.

The woman who has only been taught to please will soon find that her charms are oblique sunbeams, and that they cannot have much effect on her husband’s heart when they are seen every day, when the summer is passed and gone. Will she then have sufficient native energy to look into herself for comfort, and cultivate her dormant faculties? or, is it not more rational to expect that she will try to please other men; and, in the 54 A Vindication of the Rights of Woman emotions raised by the expectation of new conquests, endeavour to forget the mortification her love or pride has received?

The rights and duties of man thus simplified, it seems almost impertinent to attempt to illustrate truths that appear so incontrovertible; yet such 38 A Vindication of the Rights of Woman deeply rooted prejudices have clouded reason, and such spurious qualities have assumed the name of virtues, that it is necessary to pursue the course of reason as it has been perplexed and involved in error, by various adventitious circumstances, comparing the simple axiom with casual deviations. Men, in general, seem to employ their reason to justify prejudices, which they have imbibed, they can scarcely trace how, rather than to root them out.

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