Mary Wollstonecraft The Rights Of Women Free Essays

Mary Wollstonecraft made a powerful case for liberating and educating women; at the same time she lived out her theories. Often reviled by her contemporaries, today she is considered a 'modern' heroine. Biographer Janet Todd analyses Wollstonecraft's contribution to women's rights and recognises an enduring spirit.

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That year John Stuart Mill stood for parliament. He and his wife Harriet were ardent supporters of women's suffrage; indeed Harriet's essay The Enfranchisement of Women had appeared in the Westminster Review as far back as 1851. The Langham Place group helped with his election campaign and he won. In 1866 a Representation of the People Bill was soon to come before parliament, and Disraeli had suggested that he might support the enfranchisement of women. Mme Bodichon asked Mr Mill, if she got up a petition for votes for women (as men had done in the past for their own sex), would he present it to the House to support and amendment to the Bill, that would gives votes to women. He asked her to get a hundred names, and she formed the Women's Suffrage Petition Committee. Members included Mme Bodichon, Emily Davies, Jessie Boucherett, Elizabeth Garrett, Jane Crowe (b.1832) and Rosamund Davenport Hill. A petition was drawn up by and in two weeks they collected 1,499 signatures, including those of some famous and eminent women such as Florence Nightingale, Lady Anna Gore Langton, Martha Merington (1831-1912, the first female Poor Law guardian), Ada and Julia Barmby, Anne Ashworth, Harriet Martineau, Mary Somerville, Josephine Butler, Helen Bright (later Clarke), Elizabeth and Emma Corfield, Florence Davenport Hill, Jane Horsburgh and Ursula, wife of . The petition sheets from all over the country were collated at Aubrey House, Kensington, home of Clementia, wife of Peter Taylor MP. Copies of the petition were printed into pamphlets and sent to various publications. The Representation of the People Bill was later aborted because of the fall of the Liberal government, but the Conservatives intended to bring in a Reform Bill. On 7th June 1866 J.S. Mill presented the women's suffrage petition to the House of Commmons.

Vindication to the Rights of Women Essays

Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Women was published at the end of the 18th century - a century marked by the emergence of the philosophical spirit and the concept of 'enlightenment', by the gradual erosion of monarchical authority (which reached its apex with the French Revolution in 1789), and by the birth of democracy. While the question of the rights of men engendered lively debate at that time, a woman's lot remained unconsidered. Wollstonecraft, however, was determined to change this and to add a dissenting female voice to the chorus debating political emancipation.

A Different “Enlightenment”: Mary Wollstonecraft and the Rights of Women
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