Analysis of a Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Wollstonecraft declares that the women like any other human beings are entitled to education and equalities in the civil opportunities just like their male counterparts. In her argument she puts it clearly that when women have the true freedom, they get the equality that they deserve between the sexes. She says freedom acts as the ignition and can therefore claim the intellect of a person, his or her reason emotions as well as the passion that women have. In her view, when granted this freedom, women get the opportunity to do their best in the areas through acquisition of strength of both body and mind. She therefore asserts that it is only education that can act as the key for women to achieve the sense of respect and image that can help them prosper to their full live capabilities (Wollstonecraft, 99).
In the argument that Wollstonecraft put forth, she gives more weight to education than any other notion, power, reasons and virtue. Could this mean that education subject women to more harm than good? She argues that education makes women to get deeper and broader in learning. Can this bring confusion especially when they are now subjected to choice on passion, notion and power? The combination of virtue and power, notion and virtue and reasoning and virtue may crumble the dreams of a person (Wollstonecraft, 213). It therefore means that Wollstonecraft should have put it that education aides and not that it is the only way to go. It is true that education empowers people but at the same time it has the evils that come with it.
Furthermore, it is not that women are not able to access education due to denial of the opportunities but due to scarcity of resources. This is common to every human being on earth. Should any preference be considered, then it should be on a fair deal and not based on sex. By giving women better opportunities, it could mean that women deserve much better than men. This could be absurd since both are created by the same God as Wollstonecraft ascertains.
Wollstonecraft also gives her focus to the virtues that will finally give true civilization to women. By referring to the term virtue in this context, we wish she could have referred to the original meaning of the term virtue. However, by rejecting the traditional notion of what virtue should be she is simply creating confusion in the minds of people. In her view, she does not see virtues in the different sexes (Wollstonecraft, 218). She however sees virtues as the qualities of a human being. Virtues should be geared to the societal well-being. In addition to this, they should have a general goal. How can it be this way when there is disparity among the people? Human qualities are very important but are as dynamic as the human beings are but the virtues are a little bit general. This is where the confusion comes in. how will you expect to have true civilization with different perceptions on human quality?
According to Wollstonecraft argument, it is only intellect, reason or passion that should guide the human conduct. In this sense, she refutes the notion that emotions can also play a role in the building the actions of an individual. She argues that women should meet at a common point due to their vulnerability to emotionally hurting situations. She generally argues that women should have power (Wollstonecraft, 96). This should be power within themselves and not over men. I think once a person is able to understand and overcome his or her stumbling blocks then he or she is not a subject to anybody. Therefore by having power over men and over themselves is contradictory. She should have generalized everything in this clause by simply setting women free. Once free then they will understand what is good for them.
Lastly but not in any sense the least, I noticed that Wollstonecraft makes some points clear. She puts it that men and women are equal, in terms of their freedom and their duty. However her main concern is the equality in education. This raises one strong question: in the current world will the equality of the opportunities in the education sector bring the true equality that she refers to? This compels individuals to judge her views with an open mind. There are some but not all of her assertions that are very relevant to our current situation, but in the whole, most of what is projected in her plea would only apply to her times and period since a lot has changed in the modern world. Although, her issues will always continue to act as a mirror in which the future world will judge the different sexes since there will always be differences.
Wollstonecraft, M. Vindication of the Rights of Woman. (3rd Ed). New York: Norton and
Company, 2009. Print.