Mary Wollstonecraft: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

(2650 words)

Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) is considered the ur-document of modern liberal feminism. Adapting the language of the rights of man that Wollstonecraft first tested in A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790), her second Vindication applied the revolutionary rhetoric of universal rights to women. As a result Wollstonecraft’s essay has been considered alongside other eighteenth-century texts, such as Olympe de Gouges’ Declaration of the Rights of Woman (1791) and Abbe Raynal’s History of the Indies (1770) as early attempts to transform the eighteenth-century discourse of the rights of man into what we now recognize as a more inclusive human rights discourse.

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DeLucia, JoEllen. "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 December 2011
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Feminism & Women's Studies