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Wollstonecraft

FROM THE DEDICATION:


1. What is the basis of all virtue?
Independence

2. On what basis does she argue for the rights of women?

She argues that, if men and women are not BOTH educated in the same
manner, regardless of sex, the progress of knowledge will be stopped.
This is because women and men, both love the truth, and if a woman as
a man’s companion does not know any of these truths, knowledge and
intellectual diversity wont grow. As mother’s, citizens and companions,
women must understand the reason for the way they Should behave.
3. What does she say about tyrants?

She compares the subject of her dedication to a tyrant saying that in the
same matter as a forceful ruler they will impose their will without
consulting to reason. Wollstonecraft argues, that Talley-rand as a
legislator must also consider womens rights and capacity of reasoning if
he is not to be hypocritical about his new constitution, “the first to be
created by reason” for with reason one should be able to figure that
women need to have an equal role in society.

FROM ‘INTRODUCTION’
4. What does W say about women’s education (what it is and what it could be)?

Womens education is corrupted by the foundation of such education by


men, which emphasizes on their beauty rather than their ability for virtue
and reason. Education should not be “fit for ladies”

5. What does she say about physical difference?


She implies that women’s physical weakness, should not be a basis for making
women less worthy of education, and dependent of men.

6. What does mean when she talks about “masculine women”?

She argues that if there is a woman who does manly things, like gamble,
hunt, or engage in activities that enlarge her virtue and intellect, they are
called in form of criticism “manly women”. For the latter, she urges that
there be more manly women, and that men with a philosophical eye
should think the same, for in the long run they will enlarge society.
FROM CHAPTER 2 (first 4 pages)

7. What are women taught? What does this mean about their virtue?
Women are taught by their mothers: Softness of temperament, little
knowledge of human weakness, outward obedience, and scrupulous
attention. The latter will obtain them the protection of men, and if they
are beautiful, that is all they will need to succeed for the next 20
Years.
8. In what way are women like children?
9. How does she quote Milton’s version of Adam?
10. What does she say about Rousseau?

DEBATE QUESTIONS

•Are men and women still educated differently? How? Is this OK?

•Is virtue considered different for men and women? Should it be?

•Why did it take (is it taking) so long for enlightenment ideas to spread to both sexes?

•Are you a feminist? Why / Why not? What, if anything, still needs to be done?