Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Women's Rights

The lovely lady above is one Mary Wollstonecraft born this day 1759, in London, England. She was cursed with a right bastard of a father, who spent all of the family's money, and then made her turn over her inheritance, and blew through that too. He was a violent man, who beat his wife, and children on a regular basis. Not someone you would fret too much over getting a Father's day card. From those hostile beginning she lived a pretty interesting life, and I am too poor of a writer (unlike her) to put it into some pithy blog post. Her major reason for ascending to the hero(ine) of the day podium is her authorship of "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman." In it she argued that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear so due to a lack of proper, equal education. Her idea was that men and women should be treated as rational beings (a rational woman? if only), and envisions a social order based upon reason. All well and good, and if only it were entirely possible, but in my view, men and women both are just a bit too emotional for a society based upon reason alone. Though I do have to agree with her that education is the key that generally unlocks the mind, and is critical for anyone, man or woman, to become a productive member of society. Perhaps that is why I got some much of it, education that is, the attempt to gather, and gain knowledge, either for its own sake, or for a loftier goal, is something to be encouraged. She also, to be fair, wrote "A Vindication of the Rights of Man," but I figure that has been done to death. She died performing another one of her heroic deeds, giving birth to a lovely daughter that would grow up to be Mary Shelley, and a great author in her own right. So, for living a life that is worth writing, and reading volumes about, and showing us pig men that women can be just as smart as we like to think we are, Mary Wollstonecraft (April 27th, 1759-September 10th, 1797, at the age of thirty-eight), you are my (243rd) hero(ine) of the day.

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