A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, by Mary Wollstonecraft

Release Date: 1792
No of Pages: 133
Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves – and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives – and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are.

I found it really too hard to try and write a review on this, as it was one of the most inspiring and wonderful things I have ever read and no words would ever do it justice. So instead, here are some of my favourite quotes from her work so that she can show why I loved her writing and inspiration so much.

“So ludicrous, in fact, do these ceremonies appear to me that I scarcely am able to govern my muscles when I see a man start with eager and serious solicitude to lift a handkerchief or shut a door, when the lady could have it done it herself”

Page 63

“it is vain to expect virtue from women till they are in some degree independent of men”

Page 91

“How many women thus waste life away the prey of discontent, who might have practised as physicians, regulated a farm, managed a shop and stood erect, supported by their own industry, instead of hanging their heads”

Page 102

“Would men but generously snap our chains, and be content with rational fellowship instead of slavish obedience, they would find us more observant daughters, more affectionate sisters, more faithful wives, more reasonable mothers – in a word, better citizens. We should then love them with true affection, because we should learn to respect ourselves”

Page 104

Her writing was so advanced and so meticulous in its descriptions of the status of women. She didn’t hold back from holding her sex to account and laying some of the fault on women. But what she did point out was, just how much more efficient people of society women would be, if they were properly educated and respected – and garnered respect for themselves.

I loved this read, and would thoroughly recommend others to pick it up.

-Personally, Emma

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