Wollstonecraft's Vindication argues that women need to be properly educated so that they can be better helpmates to their husbands, better managers of their households, and better parents to their children. She condemns a society that encourages middle-class young women to be flirtatious, vain, childlike, and dependent in order to catch a husband. Such women then take these traits into marriage and childrearing, with unfortunate results in both areas.
Instead, Wollstonecraft argues, women should be educated to be intelligent and sober-minded, to be capable of taking an interest in their husbands' work, and able to raise moral children who will contribute in positive ways to society. Although she was considered radical in her time period, Wollstonecraft can seem conservative by modern standards: she wished women to be well-educated so as to be good wives and mothers but did not envision them having independent careers outside the home.
Emma Bovary could stand as a textbook example of the folly of how women were brought up in Wollstonecraft's era and her own. Emma is self-absorbed and has little moral compass or experience of reality. She has imbibed highly unrealistic and romantic ideas about love and men from reading romance novels. She is dissatisfied with her husband and her life in a small French town. She is not happy as a mother to her young daughter. As a result of the ideas that have entered her mind as a result of reading romances, she embarks on disastrous affairs with men not her husband, and she leads her family to financial ruin. Her young daughter suffers as a result, ending up after her parents' deaths working in a cotton mill.
Wollstonecraft would argue very clearly that had Emma Bovary been raised with proper moral principles that led her to center her thoughts on the needs of others and educated in life's reality, she would not have brought disaster and disgrace to herself and her family. She is a victim of patriarchy because she has never been properly educated and as a result spreads trouble to her family while destroying her own life.