The Forgotten Feminist: Mary Wollstonecraft

Experiencing History

“Well behaved women rarely make history”, or so the saying goes. However, sometimes a woman can be so badly behaved that she can be written out of history. Mary Wollstonecraft is a prime example of this. Author of the ‘Vindication of the Rights of Woman’ in 1792 she was one of the first radical writers on women’s rights yet she is often forgotten in the mainstream telling of the women’s liberation movement.

Wollstonecraft was a proponent of the education of women, she believed that women were the weaker sex because men forced them to be that way through their lack of education. She argued that men did not consider women as humans and were more concerned with creating ‘alluring mistresses’ out of them than rational and reasonable thinkers. Wollstonecraft saw women’s subordination as a social problem, education was necessary but it was not enough, the values of society needed to…

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