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A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  14,207 Ratings  ·  462 Reviews
The perfect books for the true book lover, Penguin's Great Ideas series features twelve more groundbreaking works by some of history's most prodigious thinkers. Each volume is beautifully packaged with a unique type-driven design that highlights the bookmaker's art. Offering great literature in great packages at great prices, this series is ideal for those readers who want ...more
Paperback, Penguin Great Ideas, 144 pages
Published May 30th 2006 by Penguin Books (first published 1792)
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Bookdragon Sean
Wollstonecraft is not passionate; she does not offer any inspiring words or flowery language. Wollstonecraft writes with no embellishment or artistry; yet, her words are commanding and exceedingly persuasive because what she does have is cold, hard, logic. And she knows it.

“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.”

description

She ref
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Cassandra Lê
OH MY GOD , this uncoventional, feminist woman is mother of Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, who was one of my favorite author only after Rowling, Wilde, Plath...etc.?

SHELLEY, you never tell me how cool your mother was!!! . I thought we were best friends.
Jan-Maat
Idly I wondered if to "kiss the rod" in the context of women's behaviour after being chastised by her husband was meant to be a double entendre - but probably not as she is high minded, but luckily I made my idle observation in a dejected off- hand way because later she says Respect for man, as man, is the foundation of every noble sentiment. How much more modest is the libertine who obeys the call of appetite or fancy than the lewd joker who sets the table in a roar! (p232), so shame on you if ...more
PattyMacDotComma
3.5-4★
“. . . as blind obedience is ever sought for by power, tyrants and sensualists are in the right when they endeavour to keep women in the dark, because the former only want slaves, and the latter a play-thing.”

I saw reference several times to Mary Wollstonecraft around International Women’s Day recently and thought I should find this book. I read and enjoyed about a third of it, but I eventually got bogged down in the repletition and the language. The English literary style of the late 1700
...more
Jasmine
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY TO EVERYBODY!

"Make them free, and they will quickly become wise and virtuous, 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 man will be worm-eaten by the insect whom he keeps under his feet."
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)
description

Mary Wollstonecraft by John Opie (c. 1797)
Yann
Ce livre est un pamphlet politique britannique paru en 1792, en réaction aux débats de l'Assemblée Constituante en France quant à l'établissement de l'instruction publique, plus particulièrement un rapport de Talleyrand(view spoiler) de l'année précédente invitant à écarter les femmes à l'accès aux fonctions publiques. Par là on néglige de les instruire, puisque cela serait parfaitement inutile et dispendieux. Mary Wollstonecraft(view spoiler) s'est emparé de ce ...more
Emily
As convenient as it can sometimes be, a disadvantage of reading from anthologies is that one can graduate from college with the vague notion that one has read a work in its entirety, only to discover later that in fact one has read only a page and a half of it in a long-forgotten Eighteenth-Century British Literature class. Which, as you may have guessed, is exactly what happened to me with Mary Wollstonecraft's seminal 1792 treatise A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. I'm happy to have rectif ...more
Aubrey
3.5/5
Women, I allow, may have different duties to fulfil; but they are human duties, and the principles that should regulate the discharge of them, I sturdily maintain, must be the same.
Sound familiar? The quote I started my review of Beauvoir's The Second Sex with runs in a similarly powerful vein, and is why I am, for the first time, rounding my half star up instead of down. When it comes to this work, one must mercilessly separate the wheat from the chaff if the aim is Wollstonecraft's spir
...more
Duane
I imagine Mary ruffled a few feathers when this book was published in 1792, but she only said what needed to be said. Examples of the suppression of women were many, but Wollstonecraft chronicles the ones that were most important to her and provides an intelligent, common sense analysis of what needed to be done in each instance. One of the most important was education, and her belief that young girls needed and deserved the same type of education that was made available to young men. Progress h ...more
Fiona
I particularly liked the bit where she said if women didn't get a proper education, they might find themselves "dependent on the novelist for amusement."

Awkward.
Kathleen
“Make them free, and they will quickly become wise and virtuous, 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.”

In 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft had the guts and awareness to write a common sense response to the prevailing mentality of her day--that women did not share the same rights as men. Sadly, in
...more
Below
Oct 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Below by: Laura
Mary Wollstonecraft: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

A brief introduction to a feminist classic.

What is the Vindication?

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (hence the Vindication) is the classic feminist text. It was written in 1792, and it has its roots in the Enlightenment. Broadly, its aim is to apply the ideas of rights and equality to women and not just to men. This article will briefly explore the origins of the work of Wollstonecraft by looking at John Locke and Jean Jacques Roussea
...more
Helynne
Jun 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a perceptive and courageous watershed work of feminism--especially for 1792! Mary Wollstonecraft, journalist, novelist, and wife of political philosopher William Godwin, eventually had three children, and died giving birth to the last, Mary Godwin Shelley, who would grow up to marry a famous, radical poet, and herself write Frankenstein and several other novels a generation later. Wollstonecraft, writing in the middle of the French Revolution, albeit in relative safety across the English C ...more
Evelyn
I've read a few feminist texts in the past, but none quite compare to this, which is often deemed as the classic feminist text. Unlike others which can be on the painfully dry and weary side of things, Wollstonecraft's attitude just jumps out at you with every page that you turn of this book. Reading it is like listening to her perform a speech in front of millions, it's so strong and passionate. It really is incredible when you remember that this was published in 1792, I don't think I've read a ...more
Tanima
I stumbled upon A Vindication of the Rights of Woman for a classics challenge read, but I was also curious to read about the views of women’s rights long before it was even a movement.

Mary Wollstonecraft was undoubtedly ahead of her time. Although she grew up in an unstable household and was denied education from an early age, she was an intellectual who loved to read and was interested in writing about political and philosophical issues. She decided to support herself by pursuing a career as a
...more
Monique Gerke
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ótimo livro.
Mary Wollstonecraft com certeza viveu a frente do seu tempo, seus questionamentos são pertinentes E necessários ainda em nossa época.
Juro que quando um desavisado me perguntar novamente, "pra quê serve o feminismo" em nossa tão evoluída época (de grandes conquistas e realizações, quá quá), vou sugerir a leitura desse livro.
Tivemos grandes mudanças em termos de direitos, SIM, mas a mudança que é necessária (e definitiva), é a mudança de mentalidade, e essa ainda está bem longe - como
...more
Roman Clodia
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mary-shelley
'A revolution in female manners [would] reform the world'

Passionate, forceful, forthright, sharp, irritable, rigorous and oh so rational, what would Wollstonecraft think that over 200 years after her 1791 polemic we still have to argue about equal pay, body image, female aspiration, authorised social constructions of 'femininity' and 'masculinity' and other forms of politicised social and cultural inequality?

Forging links between female subjugation and class oppression, between government tyran
...more
Giss Golabetoon
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The language might be a little hard but i love this first piece of feminist literature, if only Rousseau didn't talk too much
Kirsty
I read Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman as part of my thesis research. Whilst I'm unsure if I will quote directly from it, it is an important and solid foundation of early feminism. The book was as I expected it would be; it is interesting in part, and makes some good points, but it became quite dry on occasion, and the prose was repetitive. Whilst clearly well informed and well written, the proofreader in me became a little frustrated with the sheer quantity of commas ...more
Ana
I love man as my fellow; but his sceptre 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's classic feminist work touches upon all reasons why women are treated like slaves - and almost all of them have to do with their education. The teaching of decorum, ladyship, the proper way of wearing a dress, the beauty of oneself and the denial of access to books of all kinds and physi
...more
Ceyda
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ataerkil baskıya ve erkek egemen düzene kendi terimleriyle karşı çıkmış ilk feminist savunulardan biri bu kitap. Her ne kadar bazı düşünceleri beni dehşete düşürse de zamanının ötesinde düşünen bir kadın Mary Wollstonecraft.
Sarah Garner
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism
I've had to give up on this one, the language isn't doing my dyslexic brain any good.
I understand her intentions but by chapter 2 I was struggling to understand what she was saying with all the old way of speaking.
Yasmin
Jul 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It has been 221 years since A Vindication of the Rights of Woman was published. In that time women have come along way in a fast time, it could be said as much...Women's suffrage movement in the UK began in 1872; the first woman to vote in Britian was 1867;in Ireland the Dublin Women's Suffrage Association was established in 1874; Women in Britian were given the vote in 1918 for women over the age of 30 and had property (which means wives of householders or wives who lived in a rent of over 5 po ...more
Lara Malik
Es un libro que se me ocurrio leer debido a que este tema esta más que presente en esta época, el feminimo. A pesar de ser un libro corto las primeras 100 hojas se hacen muy difíciles de llevar por la redacción (no por el léxico usado), y las 60 restantes parecen un parpadeo.

Muchos de los tópicos que toca podrían considerarse ya superados, pero increíblemente la mayoría persisten (solo estan cubiertos). Más que nada la parte de la fragilidad y la imagen de la mujer.

Una obra que nos recuerda lo
...more
 SaЯRah Muhammad
In both the Preface and the Introduction, Wollstonecraft emphasizes what she sees as the root cause of the failure of men to treat women as equals. Men discourage women from achieving the same education that men routinely are given, and as long as women are denied this education, then they can never hope to achieve social and economic parity with men. In her opening remarks to Talleyrand, she is gently optimistic that her powers of persuasion will be sufficient such that he "will not throw my w ...more
Veronica
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The eloquence of early writers like Wollstonecraft simply delights me! To make her case for the proper education of women, Wollstonecraft asserts that the present state of women derives from acquired habit and learned associations — not from a fault of the innate nature of females — and censures both Milton's inconsistent discussions on the female sex in Paradise Lost as well as Rousseau's condescension of women in his work Émile. There are many instances when she appeals to the propounded value ...more
Juanita
Apr 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: College students, feminists
Recommended to Juanita by: School
Shelves: older-books
Mary Wollstonecraft was a 16th century mother, teacher, writer, philosopher, feminist, and journalist. She wrote several books and stood out as a rebel in her day. I HAD to read this book because of a college project. But after just the first page I understood why Mary stood out.

She was a brilliant and fearless author. For my class I had to research the ways that women were treated in the 16th century as it related to the bravery of Wollstonecraft. Women HAD to be married in order to entertain
...more
Marc
Five stars for Wollstonecraft's message: Females should be treated equally and all humans would be better off raised to value reason and modesty.

Loved the energy and confidence. The writing style felt ornately oblique at times and perhaps suffered simply by following such a wonderful introduction written by Miriam Brody. So much of this is written as a response to Rousseau that I feel ill-equipped to say more given I'm not too familiar with him or his philosophy. But when have unfamiliarity or
...more
Lobo
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: akademia
Główna teza tej książki - iż mężczyźni nie stanowią głównego, jedynego czy też w ogóle priorytetu kobiet - wciąż nie została przepracowana przez naszą kulturę.
Matty-Swytla
There's much to like in Wollstonecraft's writing, which is surprisingly modern in some aspects, but there are times where she does stumble and show her biases, especially regarding the lower classes. She's a daughter of the Enlightenment era, so she pays special attention to rational arguments and mental faculties, disregarding the previous sensibilities and overblown emotionality. I found her cutting remarks about other author's ideas delightful at times, since she's not afraid to call bullshit ...more
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362 followers
Mary Wollstonecraft was an eighteenth century British writer, philosopher, and feminist. Among the general public and specifically among feminists, Wollstonecraft's life has received much more attention than her writing because of her unconventional, and often tumultuous, personal relationships. After two ill-fated affairs, with Henry Fuseli and Gilbert Imlay, Wollstonecraft married the philosophe ...more
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“I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.” 1057 likes
“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.” 865 likes
More quotes…