Mary WollstonecraftA Vindication of the Rights of Women
Mary Wollstonecraft• 1759-1797• Grew up in poverty but still got an education ▫ Worked as lady’s companion & governess ▫ Started a girls’ school• Mother of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley ▫ Author of Frankenstein• One of the 1st major feminists ▫ Attacked restrictions on women’s freedom and education in her writing
Wollstonecraft’s Writing• 1787 Thoughts on the Education of Daughters ▫ Criticizing poor education for women• 1790 A Vindication of the Rights of Man ▫ Defending the French Revolution• 1792 A Vindication of the Rights of Woman ▫ Defending women’s rights
A Vindication of the Rights of Women • Educational opportunities for women ▫ Much fewer & worse than for men ▫ Focused on learning “ladylike” skills Sewing, playing piano, being a good wife • Societal expectations for women ▫ Ideas of feminine beauty ▫ Stay at home to run household • …All of this has made women silly and vain
Paragraph 11. What is the tone of the 1st paragraph?2. What does Wollstonecraft mean by “either Nature has made a great difference between man and man, or…civilization…has been very partial”?3. What is the problem?4. What is the cause of the problem?
Paragraphs 2 & 31. Women acquire a “smattering of accomplishments” such as…?2. How are women able to improve their situation in life?3. What has the instruction women have received rendered them?4. What does Wollstonecraft want women to become?
Paragraphs 4 & 51. How is the word masculine “only a bugbear”?2. What does Wollstonecraft mean by becoming more masculine?3. What does Wollstonecraft mean when she writes “this artificial weakness…gives birth to cunning, which leads them to play off those contemptible, infantine airs”?4. What does she mean by the last sentence?
Think of problems women face today (relationships, job market, reputation, etc.). -Write about an issue from Austen and Wollstonecraft’s perspectives.▫ 5-6 sentences from Austen’s point of view: unconscious social commentary (points out problems, but not blaming) 1.Describe the issue. 2.Explain the effects. 3.Must use 2 persuasive techniques.▫ 7-8 sentences from Wollstonecraft’s point of view: conscious social commentary (highlighting the cause of the problems) 1.Describe the issue. 2.Explain the effects. 3.Point out what the cause of the problem is. 4.What should we do about it?