A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
It would be an endless task to trace the variety of meannesses, cares, and sorrows, into which women are plunged by the prevailing opinion, that they were created rather to feel than reason, and that all the power they obtain, must be obtained by their charms and weakness.

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects

Mary Wollstonecraft

Published in 1792, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman was the first great feminist treatise. Wollstonecraft preached that intellect will always govern and sought “to persuade women to endeavour to acquire strength, both of mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and refinement of taste, are almost synonimous [sic] with epithets of weakness.”

Bibliographic Record


 Dedication   Advertisement   Introduction

CHAP. I. The rights and involved duties of mankind considered
CHAP. II. The prevailing opinion of a sexual character discussed
CHAP. III. The same subject continued
CHAP. IV. Observations on the state of degradation to which woman is reduced by various causes
CHAP. V. Animadversions on some of the writers who have rendered women objects of pity, bordering on contempt
CHAP. VI. The effect which an early association of ideas has upon the character
CHAP. VII. Modesty.—Comprehensively considered, and not as a sexual virtue
CHAP. VIII. Morality undermined by sexual notions of the importance of a good reputation
CHAP. IX. Of the pernicious effects which arise from the unnatural distinctions established in society
CHAP. X. Parental affection
CHAP. XI. Duty to parents
CHAP. XII. On national education
CHAP. XIII. Some instances of the folly which the ignorance of women generates; with concluding reflections on the moral improvement that a revolution in female manners may naturally be expected to produce