According to Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, what is the false system of education?

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In her A Vindication of the Rights of Women , Wollstonecraft argues that society is harmed because women are inadequately educated. She states that the emphasis in middle-class and wealthier homes is on teaching women to be childish, flirtatious, and charmingly silly to catch a husband. This serves nobody, she...

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In her A Vindication of the Rights of Women, Wollstonecraft argues that society is harmed because women are inadequately educated. She states that the emphasis in middle-class and wealthier homes is on teaching women to be childish, flirtatious, and charmingly silly to catch a husband. This serves nobody, she argues, because a well-educated husband can only hold such a woman in contempt. She cannot be a good helpmeet to him because she has not been raised to be rational. Further, such a woman cannot be an adequate parent to her children and will have difficulty with her servants and running an efficient household.

Giving women a complete and sober education will fit her to be a good companion and friend to her husband and also potentially helpful to him with his career, as well as a mother capable of raising virtuous children and running her household efficiently.

While Wollstonecraft was considered radical when she wrote this work, she was not envisioning, as we might, that women have a role or career outside the home. Instead, she is arguing, in contrast to writers like Rousseau, that women should be educated to be more than ornaments to entertain and obey men. This is a false system of education that warps the human character by giving men too much power, so that they are tempted to become tyrannical, and women too little, meaning they learn to become deceptive and manipulative. Neither mode of being is healthy for human flourishing.

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