'Mary Wollstonecraft'

             In two centuries where women have very little or no rights at all, Mary Wollstonecraft appeared as a claiming voice of feminism. In these male- dominated societies Wollstonecraft educated women and tried to vindicate their rights through one of the few areas where they could show their intelligence: literature. Scorned in her own day and for generations afterward due to the illegitimacy of her daughter, her free lifestyle, and her unorthodox opinions, Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) is today a feminist classic and she is honoured as an early English feminist foremother1. In Vindication Wollstonecraft applied the language of the French Revolution to women, scorned the inconsequential training of women common in her time, and advocated a real education for women, she applied radical principles of liberty and equality to sexual politics. Mary Wollstonecraft was a radical in the sense that she desired to bridge the gap between mankind's present circumstances and ultimate perfection. She was truly a child of the French Revolution and saw a new age of reason and benevolence close at hand2. Mary undertook the task of helping women to achieve a better life, not only for themselves and for their children, but also for their husbands. Through her many struggles within society, Wollstonecraft would most definitely be regarded as the founder of feminist thinking. Mary Wollstonecraft deserves the title of "enlightened despot” because of her ability to promote women's rights through the use of her critical understanding of society, and writings which used enlightenment ideas stressing progress, new values of freedom, individual rights and equality.

             During the 18th century there was little argument for civil and educational rights for women. There was more concern about racial matters than about women status and rights. When Mary Wollstonecraft wrote Vindication of the Right of Woman, she tried to fulfil this lack of civil and educational rights for women; this was a plea to give equality of opportunity to women.

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