Mary Wollstonecraft: Views on Feminism Essay

Mary Wollstonecraft: Views on Feminism Essay.

1) Mary moved around a lot during her childhood, had no real friends and her father was an abusive husband. 2) Meets a girl named Fanny, similar to Mary’s situation except she was educated, teaches Mary to self-educate. 3) Mary has a public affair and says that women shouldn’t get married anymore until the law change (one flesh doctrine) 4) Writes a short book named “Vindication of the Rights of Women”

Rewrite as a short paragraph/a few clear sentences.

Mary Wollstonecraft grew up with an abusive father and moved a great deal during childhood, causing her to not being able to make any real friends and was deprived of family love.

Later on, she meets a girl named Fanny, who led a similar life excluding the fact that Fanny had an education and teaches Mary to self-educate. Soon afterwards, Mary becomes a writer and is able to support herself; she becomes fascinated by the ideas of the enlightenment and writes a short book named “Vindication of the Rights of Women”.

It would’ve been a success if it weren’t for her scandalous love affair with a married man, which led her to declare that marriage should be invalid until the law changed and the one flesh doctrine was removed.

Sub-arguments

1) Restate the 1st sub-argument from the thesis as a clear, well-written topic sentence.

Mary Wollstonecraft believed that marriage was parallel to legalized prostitution.

List 1 quote from your sources which proves this sub-argument.

“Business of various kinds, they might likewise pursue, if they were educated in a more orderly manner, which might save many from common and legal prostitution. Women would not then marry for a support, as men accept of places under government, and neglect the implied duties; nor would an attempt to earn their own subsistence, a most laudable one! Sink them almost to the level of those poor abandoned creatures who live by prostitution.” (Wollstonecraft, “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” 222)

Paraphrase one piece of information from your sources which proves this sub-argument. Wollstonecraft argued what may well be her most famous line, “To marry for support is legal prostitution.” She contended for intellectual companionship and friendship to be the ideal of marriage. She argued for an end to social prejudice against women which would, in turn, lead to women’s being defined by their character and work rather than by their marriages and social status. (Abbey, “Back to the Future: Marriage as Friendship in the Thought of Mary Wollstonecraft,” 79) List 1 point of your opinion, supported by one of your sources which proves this sub-argument.

Although marriage appears to be sacred, women in society would be deemed to be prostitutes somewhere along the continuum; it was merely a question of degree as to how much a woman sold herself to one man, and how much she relied on him for support. Marriage can be viewed as really just a form of prostitution in which women received poor recompense for their work, are more vulnerable to violence (from their husbands), and had less control over their daily lives than professional sex workers. (Wollstonecraft, “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” 222)

List one additional point: your choice of evidence style (may be a quote, paraphrase, statistic, or your opinion, but must be backed up by a source).

Wollstonecraft points out that in her society, marriage alone brings women prestige and power. The only way women can rise in the world is by marriage. (Abbey, “Back to the Future: Marriage as Friendship in the Thought of Mary Wollstonecraft,” 81)

2) Restate the 2nd sub-argument from the thesis as a clear, well-written topic sentence.

Mary Wollstonecraft argued that women were capable of being equal to men, if given the proper education.

List 1 quote from your sources which proves this sub-argument.

“If women were more broadly educated, they would be better placed to carry out their educative duties as parents and to cooperate with men in this role. Part of Wollstonecraft’s defense of female emancipation, therefore, consists of arguing that freedom, equality, and education would make women better mothers.” (Abbey, “Back to the Future: Marriage as Friendship in the Thought of Mary Wollstonecraft,” 83)

Paraphrase one piece of information from your sources which proves this sub-argument.

Wollstonecraft stated that the boundaries on women’s education greatly affected their maturation. She noted that aristocratic women were not in fact confined to any particular “sphere” but traveled freely in public, going from place to place in order to better “display their finery.” Such a fine lady was useless to society not because of where she went or what she did, but because she never matured. “If she has any maternal tenderness, it is of a childish kind,” Wollstonecraft wrote.

“Though she lives many years she is still a child in understanding, and of so little use to society, that her death would scarcely be observed.” With this grim assessment, Wollstonecraft concluded her argument that female education could best be improved by training young girls to become independent adults. Only then could they develop virtue in themselves and command the influence necessary to inspire others. (Field, “Made Women of When They are Mere Children,” 203-204)

List 1 point of your opinion, supported by one of your sources which proves this sub-argument.

Women are seen as inferior to men and held in a state of ignorance. Women are not educated nor are they allowed to think for themselves. Without the ability to reason, women cannot achieve virtue or morality and society as a whole suffers. If women were allowed to reason and think independently, both women and men alike would share the benefits.

Wollstonecraft’s central goal was for young girls to grow into independent women, she challenged artificial barriers to female maturity in numerous spheres simultaneously: in families, where the laws of marriage required wives to obey husbands; in education, where girls received inferior training to boys; in religious institutions, where male clerics demanded female obedience; in market relations, where employers paid women too little to support themselves; in the state, where men denied women independent political standing; and in civil society, where men discounted women’s opinions. (Field, “Made Women of When They are Mere Children,” 201)

List one additional point: your choice of evidence style (may be a quote, paraphrase, statistic, or your opinion, but must be backed up by a source).

Wollstonecraft argues that “boys and girls, the rich and the poor” should all be taught “the elements of religion, history, the history of man, and politics” in common—using “conversations, in the socratic form”. (Field, “Made Women of When They are Mere Children,” 211). Wollstonecraft concedes that if women had a proper education and could develop their reason and attain independence, they might not marry at all, but could still live happy, fulfilled lives. (Abbey, “Back to the Future: Marriage as Friendship in the Thought of Mary Wollstonecraft,” 84)

3) Restate the 3rd sub-argument from the thesis as a clear, well-written topic sentence.

Mary Wollstonecraft claimed that friendship and companionship is vital to a marriage and is the key to raising a healthy family.

List 1 quote from your sources which proves this sub-argument.

“If women marry for friendship, coquetry and flirtation would not become a way of life. Not compelled to seek male approval and adoration, they could become dedicated wives and mothers.” (Abbey, “Back to the Future: Marriage as Friendship in the Thought of Mary Wollstonecraft,” 83)

Paraphrase one piece of information from your sources which proves this sub-argument.

Wollstonecraft’s arguments about making women better wives and better mothers are mutually reinforcing, for she believes that if men and women marry by choice and for companionship, the husband is more likely to be at home and to be a better father to his children. (Abbey, “Back to the Future: Marriage as Friendship in the Thought of Mary Wollstonecraft,” 83)

List 1 point of your opinion, supported by one of your sources which proves this sub-argument.

A marriage that consisted of friendship and satisfaction would liberate its partners from petty jealousies and allow them to channel their energies outward to the fulfillment of their duties as wives, husbands, mothers, and fathers. Although such a relationship might not offer romantic love’s grand passion and high excitement, the type of care it offers is precious: Wollstonecraft claims that when the passion of romance subsides into friendship there develops a “tender intimacy, which is the best refuge from care; yet is built on such pure, still affections” (Abbey, “Back to the Future: Marriage as Friendship in the Thought of Mary Wollstonecraft,” 84)

List one additional point: your choice of evidence style (may be a quote, paraphrase, statistic, or your opinion, but must be backed up by a source).

Thus young people contemplating marriage should “look beyond the present moment, and try to render the whole of life respectable, by forming a plan to regulate friendship which only death ought to dissolve”. A freer, more rational approach to marriage would produce stronger marriages because the people in them would be partners, indeed friends, who would value one another for their virtues of character rather than their physical beauty, status, wealth, or femininity or masculinity. ” (Abbey, “Back to the Future: Marriage as Friendship in the Thought of Mary Wollstonecraft,” 84)

Conclusion

Write one sentence to remind the reader of your central argument.

Mary Wollstonecraft strongly argued that marriage was parallel to legalized prostitution, that education was essential to a happy and moral life, and that friendship is a crucial aspect to a healthy marriage.

Write one-three sentences to focus the reader’s attention on the most important evidence(s) you have offered.

Mary Wollstonecraft argued that by marrying for financial support and social status, women are fundamentally committing prostitution. Moreover, she states that education is essential for women to live free and moral lives, for they will be able to learn to think for themselves and become rational thinkers. Lastly, friendship and companionship is vital in a marriage, it is only then will a marriage be successful.

Bibliography/Works Cited

(Wollstonecraft, Mary. “Of the Pernicious Effects Which Arise from the Unnatural Distinctions Established in Society.” A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. Peter Edes for Thomas and Andrews ,Boston, 1792. 222.)

(Abbey, Ruth. “Back to the Future: Marriage as Friendship in the Thought of Mary Wollstonecraft,” Hypatia. 1999. Volume 14, Issue 3. 78-95)

(Field, Corinne. “Made Women of When They are Mere Children,” The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth. Spring 2011. Volume 4. Issue 2. 197-198)

(Ford, Thomas H. “Mary Wollstonecraft and the Motherhood of Feminism”, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly. Fall/Winter 2009. Volume 37. Issues 3 & 4, 189-204)

Mary Wollstonecraft: Views on Feminism Essay

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