Happy Birthday, Mary Wollstonecraft!

Today is Mary Wollstonecraft’s birthday! Other than being the mother of the novelist Mary Shelley, Wollstonecraft is considered to be the mother of the feminist movement. Her philosophical ideas and her powerful words made her a model advocate for the woman’s movement. To celebrate her achievements, let’s read some of her words through some powerful quotes:

“Make women rational creatures, and free citizens, and they will quickly become good wives; – that is, if men do not neglect the duties of husbands and fathers.”

“Virtue can only flourish among equals.”

“Women ought to have representatives, instead of being arbitrarily governed without any direct share allowed them in the deliberations of government.”

“It is justice, not charity, that is wanting in the world.”

“My own sex, I hope, will excuse me, if I treat them like rational creatures, instead of flattering their fascinating graces, and viewing them as if they were in a state of perpetual childhood, unable to stand alone.”

“It is time to effect a revolution in female manners – time to restore to them their lost dignity – and make them, as a part of the human species, labour by reforming themselves to reform the world. It is time to separate unchangeable morals from local manners.”

“Strengthen the female mind by enlarging it, and there will be an end to blind obedience.”

“My dreams were all my own; I accounted for them to nobody; they were my refuge when annoyed – my dearest pleasure when free.”

“I love man as my fellow; but his scepter, real, or usurped, extends not to me, unless the reason of an individual demands my homage; and even then the submission is to reason, and not to man.”

“Friendship is a serious affection; the most sublime of all affections, because it is founded on principle, and cemented by time.”

“The power of generalizing ideas, of drawing comprehensive conclusions from individual observations, is the only acquirement, for an immortal being, that really deserves the name of knowledge.”

“Only that education deserves emphatically to be termed cultivation of the mind which teaches young people how to begin to think.”

If you would like to read my review of her book,  A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, you can find it here.

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