A Vindication of the Rights of Woman Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

Mark Wollstonecraft
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• In the Introduction, Wollstonecraft explains she is pessimistic about the effects of the neglected education of women since they are made “weak and wretched” by it. Most of the women she knows are taught to rely on their beauty alone, and they do not have healthy minds.

• Instructional books written by men only further the treatment of women as a subordinate species rather than part of the human species. She admits that men are more powerful physically, but because this is not enough for them, they try to lower women even further. Women fall for it.

• She says she wants to avoid addressing ladies in particular. Instead, she addresses the middle class because they are the most able to be educated.

• Wollstonecraft hopes women will forgive her for speaking to them rationally rather than flattering them. Her goal is to encourage women to find their strength. Her...

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