Trisha's Reviews > A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
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's review
Dec 27, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: ebook
Read from January 22 to 27, 2011

At its core Vindication is a response to 18th century theorists (mostly men) who made some very disturbing comments regarding the education, use, and ideal of women. Wollstonecraft writes back to these theorists, both directly addressing their words and positing her own theories. The work is intellectually challenging, thought-provoking, and revolutionary (but best served in small bites).

Vindication, at least in the translation I have, is not an easy read. The diction is downright imposing, grandiose and formal in nature even when Wollstonecraft is letting her snark shine through - which she does rather often thank heavens. I came across a new word on just about every page, and for one page, I actually went to the dictionary five times. Five times. In one page. And I'm a relatively well-versed person.

I don't want to scare anyone away though. Reading Vindication can be a bit tedious, but it's not painful, and ultimately, it is definitely worth it for the thought-provoking ideas Wollstonecraft lays out in this book. I believe her primary goal revolves around arguing that women need to be treated as human beings instead of pretty objects. That the treatment of women as brainless or childlike is detrimental not only to the moral development of women but also to society as a whole. Hear, hear Mary.
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