2.01.2011

Vindication of the Rights of Wo- oh wait, you've heard...

Winter in Florida
Title: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Author: Mary Wollstonecraft
Pub: A long LONG time ago. . . or 1792
Pages: 194
Genre: Non Fiction; Classics; Feminism; Women's Studies
Etc: Feminist Classics Challenge

Okay, okay, admittedly I'm like, what (?) two weeks behind on this post!  So much so, I thought about not actually writing it.  I mean, aren't ya'll tired of reading about this antiquated text.  BUT because I am attempting to at least ramble a wee bit about everything that I read this year, here goes my wee bit of rambling.

This is my second time around with Vindication.  My first experience was a bit over ten years ago, when I was in my early twenties and I could define what "feminism" meant to me in a more concise black and white manner.  (Experience has taught me that no belief system is either concise or black and white).  Perhaps it will surprise you that I found the text far more interesting the first time around than reading it at my more mature age?

Some notes that I made at 21 ...


  • "Interesting that this debate is still going on...biology vs. sociology, thus attempting to find reason in books." in reference to the quote - 'that either nature has made a great difference between man and man, or that the civilization which has hitherto taken place in the world has been very partial.' 
  • "Beauty vs. Brains..great comparison to fading leaves." 
  • "What, women have no souls?"
  • "Really good at acknowledging her audience"
  • "Sarcasm!!"
  • "What are the values that are being taught...obeying turns into ignorance, not very well thought out."
  • "Passion will subside, the mind needs so much more" 
What has changed since the me of the past?  Well, to tell you the truth, I had to convince myself to continue reading multiple times (and yes, I even skimmed parts).  It was just so damn repetitive.  Why did I forget that?  I know that many were put off by the god/christianity because it was a-plenty in the text, but I was forgiving.  It just seemed more in the context of the time period.  I mean wasn't EVERYONE religious back then?  

Also, I still have to give Wollstonecraft props for what she did.  Huge credit.  I mean, man, she put herself out there.  I don't think it is unforgivable that she still refers to women as second to man.  It's baby steps people.  What was she suppose to do back then?  Let's face it, we have a bit more opportunity now a'days than we would in the late 1700's.  

I'm definitely intrigued by Wollstonecraft's life and will (must) get my hands on a biography.

3 comments:

  1. Read the Tomalin bio! So worth it. And I completely agree with you: baby steps.

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  2. I've only read Wollstonecraft in excerpts, but have always been fascinated with her lifestyle and the fact that she was Mary Shelley's mother.

    Isn't it interesting when you've made notes during one reading and then return on further readings and discover what you've written? A professor I once had used a different color highlighter for successive readings, and I've done that on occasion, too.

    We change. Our experiences broaden. It is never exactly the same reader that returns to the book.

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  3. The repetition is what got me too. Like 100 solid pages could have been removed. :) It still was quite remarkable read though.

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