Should Wollstonecraft be regarded as a “liberal feminist”?

Should Wollstonecraft be regarded as a “liberal feminist”?


Concepts of liberal feminism are argued based on feministic theories focused on women and their ability to maintain the choices they make and equality with the actions they undertake. The liberal feminism was based on the argument that women and men should have equal political rights and hold that the belief that the women are not physically capable and are less intelligent than men to be false. The purpose of this research is to discuss the impact of Mary Wollstonecraft as the mother to feminism, and through extension, to liberal feminism.

Liberal Feminism

The society has always undervalued the females claiming that they do not have enough power, strength and intellectual abilities as compared to the men. Majority of the concerns are raised by the women especially on the case of gender equality and how the females are left out in various stands such as the political rights, roles in marriage, and opportunities in the workforces. The primary goals of liberal feminism are to ensure gender equality in all scenarios and dedicate enough time to provide the females with the opportunity to engage properly with the society.

Works of Mary Wollstonecraft in Liberal Feminism

One of the easily notable intervention by Wollstonecraft is the book she wrote, “Vindications of the Rights of Woman,” which is relevant in the arguments she made based on her stand on women and their treatment . The role of Mary Wollstonecraft in liberal feminism is notable in her period as she was useful in the process of providing significant arguments concerning how the women should be treated. She argued that the ladies are morally and intellectually equal compared to the counterpart male figures and hence are subject to gaining education just like the men and should be treated with equal respect to the same within the public sphere.

Her argument is based on the fact that women are human beings just like the men, and this indicates that every aspect of the brain that the male has is similar to that of the woman. As such, intellectually, the two are equal, and the fact is indisputable. Moreover, she argues that significant evidence indicates that mothers are able to take care of children and teach them on the right moral behaviors. The mothers guide not only the male but also the females and hence have proper morals and are equally as important as the men in the society.

Mary Wollstonecraft also indicates that equality of the two genders with regards to modesty, reason, and mortality is imperative in achieving a growing society. Moreover, she felt that political spots should be held by both the male and the females as opposed to the system of governance where the ladies have no position in the leadership . Moreover, her arguments were that women were to undertake education as much as the male can since there is no evidence to support that the male is intellectually better than the females. She argues that the women should engage in practical styles of learning just like the men and ensure they have a deeper understanding of their roles to humanity. However, she indicates that the women are not to be important or better than men, but to attain an equal state of balance between how they are treated.

Mary Wollstonecraft also argued that the social state of the community will be better when the woman is not threatened concerning her moral behaviors or as a rational being. Her imagination was that the society would value the woman’s needs with regards to education, which would result in the ladies being better friends and wives. Similarly, she established that the women and men should engage in modest practices that ensure marriages are strong and are not inclined to one side, even after the beauty of the woman begins to fade away.

Impacts of Mary Wollstonecraft’s arguments on the Rights of Women and Human Rights

Mary Wollstonecraft vindication of the women’s rights was influential in many aspects, especially on feminist liberations, whose impacts are notable in the suffragette era and times later.


Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Introduction, Ch. 2,3,12.

W.Gunther-Canada, Rebel Writer: Mary Wollstonecraft and Enlightenment Politics

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