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In A Vindications of the Rights of Women, can Mary Wollstonecraft be seen as an...

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jd09mj | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:08 AM via web

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In A Vindications of the Rights of Women, can Mary Wollstonecraft be seen as an anti-feminist due to her extreme hatred of soft spoken women?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 28, 2012 at 10:35 AM (Answer #1)

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It seems as if it is a tough standard to meet if Mary Wollstonecraft is anti- feminist if she critiques women who capitulate to the traditional notion of being a woman.  I think that Wollstonecraft is seeking to undo much in way of academic and social understandings of women that desire to relegate them to a status that is inferior to men.  She is fighting against an embedded attitude that is indicative of how women are not to be treated in the same light as men.  In this light, she perceives women who capitulate to such standards as unnecessarily acquiescing to what men want and say.  This does not make her anti- feminist in pointing this out.  It makes her a zealous advocate for her beliefs, to the point that she would be driving against anyone or anything that embraced what men would say or think about women.  I don't think that her repudiation of the traditionalized roles of women makes her anti- feminist.  Even in her anger and disdain for women who accept the traditional roles, I think that one can find Wollstonecraft to support women's rights and voices, even should disagreement happen.

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