Response to Mary Wollstonecrafts degradation of women

Response to Mary Wollstonecraft’s degradation of women

“That woman is naturally weak, or degraded by a concurrence of circumstances, is, I think, clear. But this position I shall simply contrast with a conclusion, which I have frequently heard fall from sensible men in favour of an aristocracy: that the mass of mankind cannot be anything, or the obsequious slaves, who patiently allow themselves to be driven forward, would feel their own consequence, and spurn their chains. Men, they further observe, submit everywhere to oppression, when they have only to lift up their heads to throw off the yoke; yet, instead of asserting their birthright, they quietly lick the dust, and say, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” Women, I argue from analogy, are degraded by the same propensity to enjoy the present moment, and at last despise the freedom which they have not sufficient virtue to struggle to attain. But I must be more explicit”.

Mary Wollstonecraft was a woman ahead of her in time in terms of intellect, thoughts and opinion. Wollstonecraft hailed from the romanticism era which constituted of divisions of roles in society. At the period, the male sex is superior of the two making women subordinate to all things male. These circumstances resulted in the degradation and suppression of women. Wollstonecraft provides a series of events that display the way in which women are degraded on several occasions. This repetition in occasions resulted in the creation of a cycle which concluded the fact that women are indeed the degraded sex.

In her book, Wollstonecraft comes to a conclusion mentioning that her view of different circumstances has created a pattern in the degradation of women. This pattern indicates that women are prone to being treated as second class citizens due to their sex. Both men and women are encouraged to believe that women should behave a certain way. She states that the mindset of an individual is responsible for their overall actions and perceptions. The mind is an essential factor in that it can choose to be closed or open. The reasoning of the people in this era encourages them to be narrow minded. The role of the woman is to please the needs of the man. The fact that women are availed few responsibilities places them in a position that is not challenging.

One of the concepts is that women do not require much attention by men. This is seen in the role of the woman as a mother and a wife. This role is considered the fundamental requirement for every woman making it the defining apart of their life. Women were thus not allowed to be ambitious beyond this point leaving other responsibilities to the male species. The fact that women are highly reliant on their male counterparts made them less productive in areas of education, economic and political issues. This in turn, affects the rest of their life in that their lack of power both intellectual and financial places women in a position where they were inferior.