MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT, ONE OF THE FIRST FEMINISTS
Mary Wollstonecraft, one of the first feminists.
Since today is International Women's Day, we will like to remember Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) since she is regarded as one of the founding feminists.
Wollstonecraft is best kown for her work A Vindication of the Rights of Woman(1792), in which she declares that women are not born inferior to men, but appear to be so because they lack education. She also argues that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and receive the same type of education.
She always defended the independence of women and defied all sorts of conventionalisms. She even set up a school for women in which she tried to teach the same subjects men were taught and not only superficial ones. Unfortunately she had to close it down due to financial difficulties and had to work as a governess.
From an early age she wrote about the limited career options opened to repectable yet poor women. She also praised the French Revolution and in her work An Historical and Moral View of the French Revolution she criticised aristocratic values that emphasized a woman's body and her ability to be charming over her mind and character.
Wollstonecraft had a bad reputation at the time because of her independence and several love affairs. This silenced her works until her last husband, the anarchist William Godwin, published them after her death.
She died 11 days after giving birth to her daughter Mary Shelley, who would become the writer of the famous book Frankenstein.
In the 19th century, with the arrival of modern feminism, writers like Virginia Woolf embraced her life's story and in the 20th century her work returned to prominence.
Here you can read some quotes by this amazing woman who was ahead of her time:
"I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves."
"Make women rational creatures, and free citizens, and they will quickly become good wives"
"It is vain to expect virtue from women till they are in some degree independent of men"
"The beginning is always today"