WST 301 - Wollstonecraft

WST 301 - Wollstonecraft - Sikiru Adesina 106223646 WST 301...

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Sikiru Adesina 106223646 WST 301 2/11/09 Woman and Reason: The Ideals of Mary Wollstonecraft vs. Rousseau and Dr. Gregory. In today’s society, for the average person, it would be quite difficult to imagine living in the world where a woman is denied the ability to think and stand on her own. Yet there existed a dark part of history where women were an oppressed sex. Some might argue that the same circumstances are present today but none can say that the same level of degradation perpetuates itself now. Things have slowly turned for the better as a result of prominent historical figures like Mary Wollstonecraft who dared to defy the norms of society and fight for equality amongst all people. This paper will review one of Wollstonecraft’s works, “A vindication of the right’s of woman” and analyze her position on the suppression of women’s intellect. One thing that Wollstonecraft does that it particularly daring and brilliant is that she challenges the ideas of important men. She doesn’t simply propose an objection, she instead uses the writing of men like Dr. John Gregory and Jean Jacques Rousseau to validate her point that women ought to be educated or they will not be able to contribute to society thus progress will be hindered and they will not make suitable companions for a man. “To become respectable, the exercise of their (women) understanding is necessary, there is no other foundation for independence of character: I mean explicitly to say that they must only bow to the authority of reason” (Wollstonecraft, 51). Wollstonecraft is advocating the natural right for a woman to be allowed access to an education instead of only being anchored to fictitious stigmas that would have her serve as a “modest slave of opinion” (Wollstonecraft, 51). One must first of all understand the courage that it takes to voice such an opinion in such a male dominated society to appreciate how important her
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words are and then admire how she goes about making her argument. She establishes that she is not
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WST 301 - Wollstonecraft - Sikiru Adesina 106223646 WST 301...

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