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Mary Wollstonecraft quotes (showing 1-30 of 182)

“I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.”
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
“The beginning is always today.”
Mary Wollstonecraft
“My own sex, I hope, will excuse me, if I treat them like rational creatures, instead of flattering their fascinating graces, and viewing them as if they were in a state of perpetual childhood, unable to stand alone.”
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
“[I]f we revert to history, we shall find that the women who have distinguished themselves have neither been the most beautiful nor the most gentle of their sex.”
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
“Taught from their infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.”
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
“It is vain to expect virtue from women till they are in some degree independent of men.”
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
“No man chooses evil because it is evil; he just mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.”
Mary Wollstonecraft
“Strengthen the female mind by enlarging it, and there will be an end to blind obedience.”
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
“I never wanted but your heart--that gone, you have nothing more to give.”
Mary Wollstonecraft
“It is time to effect a revolution in female manners - time to restore to them their lost dignity - and make them, as a part of the human species, labour by reforming themselves to reform the world. It is time to separate unchangeable morals from local manners.”
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
“Friendship is a serious affection; the most sublime of all affections, because it is founded on principle, and cemented by time.”
Mary Wollstonecraft
“I love man as my fellow; but his scepter, real, or usurped, extends not to me, unless the reason of an individual demands my homage; and even then the submission is to reason, and not to man.”
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
“I earnestly wish to point out in what true dignity and human happiness consists. I wish to persuade women to endeavor to acquire strength, both of mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and refinement of taste, are almost synonymous with epithets of weakness, and that those beings are only the objects of pity, and that kind of love which has been termed its sister, will soon become objects of contempt.”
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
“Simplicity and sincerity generally go hand in hand, as both proceed from a love of truth.”
Mary Wollstonecraft
“...men endeavor to sink us still lower, merely to render us alluring objects for a moment; and women, intoxicated by the adoration which men, under the influence of their senses, pay them, do not seek to obtain a durable interest in their hearts, or to become the friends of the fellow creatures who find amusement in their society.”
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
“Surely something resides in this heart that is not perishable - and life is more than a dream.”
Mary Wollstonecraft, The Collected Letters
“Weakness may excite tenderness, and gratify the arrogant pride of man; but the lordly caresses of a protector will not gratify a noble mind that pants for, and deserves to be respected. Fondness is a poor substitute for friendship.”
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
“My dreams were all my own; I accounted for them to nobody; they were my refuge when annoyed - my dearest pleasure when free.”
Mary Wollstonecraft
“But what a weak barrier is truth when it stands in the way of an hypothesis!”
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
“It appears to me impossible that I should cease to exist, or that this active, restless spirit, equally alive to joy and sorrow, should only be organised dust - ready to fly abroad the moment the spring snaps, or the spark goes out, which kept it together. Surely something resides in this heart that is not perishable - and life is more than a dream.”
Mary Wollstonecraft, Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark & Memoirs of the Author
“But women are very differently situated with respect to eachother - for they are all rivals (...) Is it then surprising that when the sole ambition of woman centres in beauty, and interest gives vanity additional force, perpetual rivalships should ensue? They are all running the same race, and would rise above the virtue of morals, if they did not view each other with a suspicious and even envious eye.”
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
“My own sex, I hope, will excuse me, if I treat them like rational creatures, instead of flattering their fascinating graces, and viewing them as if they were in a state of perpetual childhood, unable to stand alone. I earnestly wish to point out in what true dignity and human happiness consists - I wish to persuade women to endeavour to acquire strength, both mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and refinement of taste, are almost synonymous with epithets of weakness, and that those beings who are only objects of pity and that kind of love, which has been termed its sister, will soon become objects of contempt.”
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
“How frequently has melancholy and even misanthropy taken possession of me, when the world has disgusted me, and friends have proven unkind. I have then considered myself as a particle broken off from the grand mass of mankind.”
Mary Wollstonecraft, Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark & Memoirs of the Author
“... judicious books enlarge the mind and improve the heart ...”
Mary Wollstonecraft, Thoughts on the Education of Daughters
“The conduct and manners of women, in fact, evidently prove that their minds are not in a healthy state; for, like the flowers which are planted in too rich a soil, strenght state; usefulness are sacrificed to beauty; and the flaunting leaves, after having pleased a fastidious eye, fade, disregarded on the stalk, long before the season when they ought to have arrived at maturity.”
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
“Independence I have long considered as the grand blessing of life, the basis of every virtue; and independence I will ever secure by contracting my wants, though I were to live on a barren heath.”
Mary Wollstonecraft
“There must be more equality established in society, or morality will never gain ground, and this virtuous equakity will not rest firmly even when founded on a rock, if one half of mankind be chained to its bottom by fate, for they will be continually undermining it through ignorance or pride”
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
“Love from its very nature must be transitory. To seek for a secret that would render it constant would be as wild a search as for the philosopher’s stone or the grand panacea: and the discovery would be equally useless, or rather pernicious to mankind. The most holy band of society is friendship.”
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
“Make them free, and they will quickly become wise and virtous, as men become more so; for the improvement must be mutual, or the injustice which one half of the human race are obliged to submit to, retorting on their oppressors, the virtue of men will be worm-eaten by the insect whom he keeps under his feet”
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
“How can a rational being be ennobled by any thing that is not obtained by its own exertions?”
Mary Wollstonecraft

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