The abolishment of feminine characteristics

In the article ” A Vindication of the Rights of Women”, Mary Wollstonecraft mentions a fact that women have been regarded as lower status than men. Based on this fact, she referred how this kind of idea was produced by men. After that, she suggests the ideal situation that women should possess to improve their social status. In particular, she especially mentions the reinforcement of mental and physical power as her solution.

I especially focus on a sentence ” I wish to persuade women to endeavor to acquire strength, both of mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrase….”  In this sentence, she mentions that women should get mental and physical strength and abolish feminine characteristics such as delicacy of sentiment . I am really confused by this sentence because I do not understand the reason to give up famine characteristics.  How does this process contribute to the realization of the improvement of women status? I understand that the feminine characteristics is a central cause that women has been scorned. However, I think the abolishment of feminine characteristics does not help the improvement of women status. This is because women has to keep their lives with suppressing essential feeling  or idea. Even if women come to avoid the scorn from men throughout the abolishment of feminine characteristics, I do not think it is an improvement of woman status. I think the true improvement of women status can be achieved when women come to have equal right with men without any suppression in terms of their feminine characteristics.



4 thoughts on “The abolishment of feminine characteristics

  1. I agree with your argument that status for women can be achieved through equality rather than the abolishment of their feminine characteristics. For men and women to be intrinsically equal, then the abolishment of any characteristics, whether it be male or female, is unnecessary.

  2. I think what the author means to say is that in order to achieve equality, women must first bolster their mental and physical integrity to such a level so as to rival men. Only then can they seek to achieve the goal of equality. They would not renounce feminine characteristics wholly, but rather achieve a status so that their voices are heard so they can retain those characteristics.

  3. I understand what you are saying regarding how men have put down women over the years and continue to do so today. I agree that this, some way or another, should be stopped. However, this would take a lot more than a woman standing up for herself. While that helps and can lead to a revolution (Rosa Parks), you need to attack the problem at its source – legislation and the overall mindset that men are above women. If you cut out that opinionated belief from America’s corporate ladder/hierarchy, while changing governmental legislation, THEN you could get some real change happening. The problem is, how are you going to do that??

  4. I think that when the author says women should get rid of female characteristics, she does not mean in an extreme way. It is important to be looked at as equal and feminine characteristics are not equal with masculine characteristics. What Wollstonecraft is getting at is that if women want to be looked at as equals they need to loosen up on what makes them women. However they do not need to rid themselves completely of womanhood.

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