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John Kerber A Vindication of the Rights of Woman Throughout much of modern history women in most societies and particularly in Western Civilization have been subject to third class citizenship Mary Wollstonecraft challenged and helped change the old ideas about womens role in society with her book A Vindication of the Rights of Woman During Wollstonecrafts time period women had very little control over the own destiny and were basically property of the leading man in their life Wollstonecraft shows that this is not because of biological or innate factors that cannot be changed She then contributes to society by showing that there is a path or a way to change these things Life does not have to follow the status quo She then further shows how society as a whole would be bettered if this path is followed to its logical conclusion Mary Wollstonecraft lived and witnessed the French Revolution She lived in a period where the basic rights of human beings were under constant discussion It was during this time that the general population of France wrote a constitution stating what they believed should comprise a government More importantly they also wrote the Declaration of the Rights of Man This document stated that people have certain unalienable rights because of the fact that they are human She lived in this turbulent and questioning time and she also saw that she and all other women were being left out of these basic rights as they had been for ages Wollstonecraft could not sit idly by and continue to watch the oppression of her sex She wanted to focus on the fact that all of us are human beings and that is a more underlying truth than our sexual organs She was seeing horrific things happen to the women around her At this time women were poorly educated and the standards upon which men and women were judged were completely different
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