The social revolution for women's rights has made great progress in recent years. But how many casual observers - or advocates, for that matter - are aware that the roots of this movement extend deep into Western history?
Even before launching the great campaign to attain universal suffrage, strong female voices spoke in favor of the social, political, educational, and economic rights of women. A Vindication of the Rights of Women, published in the late eighteenth century, is truly a classic in this venerable tradition. Railing against the stubborn social forces that confined women to an inferior station in the community, Mary Wollstonecraft declares war on the prevailing attitudes and customs that prevent women from realizing their individual potential.
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In this passionate reaction to Rousseau's pedagogical work Emile (1762) Wollstonecraft powerfully defends woman's ability to reason, given appropriate education. Her radical prescription was for girls to be educated alongside boys and to the same standard. Originally published in 1792, this is a foundational work of feminist political thought.From the Publisher:
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