Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964517 | Print ISBN: 9781412909167 | Online ISBN: 9781412964517| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Vindication of the Rights of Woman, A
Five years prior to her untimely death at 38, Mary WoUstonecraft (1759-1797) made a major deposit in the historical account of Western feminism with A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (subtitled With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects). The revolutionary nature of this polemic lay in its rejection of patriarchal conventions. Believing in the elevating power of education, WoUstonecraft sought to dispel the perception that a woman's ignorance has a girlish, innocent quality in an age when Englishwomen (who could hold no property at all) were pregnant more often than not throughout their childbearing years. This was proof, for her, of woman's slavish dependence on man whereby, with all her “spaniel-like” affection, she is made a mere plaything ...