Compare Adrienne Rich's and Virginia Woolf's arguments on the state of women's education.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I certainly think that there can be an evolution seen in both thinkers' views about women's education.  For Woolf, the driving force behind her thought on the subject resided in the equality of opportunity.  One of the most elemental properties of her work, "A Room of One's Own," is the idea that if education and intellectual advancement had been made as available to women as it had been to men, there would be more notable women intellectual giants.  In democratizing education, Woolf argues that this becomes the first step towards equality of the genders.  For Rich, this argument is still present, but she also approaches education from the point of view that more women receive education and the question becomes what to do with it.  Rich's belief is that where Woolf sought to equalize out opportunity, women in fact have to appropriate what is rightfully theirs within the social and education lexicon in order to establish their own identity.  This "re-visioning the literature" phase is to work on both an intellectual and psychological level, something that Rich thinks has to be done in order to ensure that there is a complete acknowledgement of voice and not a socially imposed silencing of it.