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Rethinking Political Thinkers

Rethinking Political Thinkers (1st edn)

Manjeet Ramgotra and Simon Choat
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date: 07 December 2023

p. 370p. 37121. Mary Wollstonecraftlocked

p. 370p. 37121. Mary Wollstonecraftlocked

  • Ashley Dodsworth


This chapter expounds on the political thought of feminist philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft, with a focus on her influential analysis of gender inequality. It highlights her most famous work, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, by focusing on its radical arguments on gender, reason, and education. The chapter contextualizes Wollstonecraft’s work within the republican tradition, which underpinned her opposition to slavery and her recognition of global inequalities. The chapter suggests that her arguments for emancipation were justified by problematic assumptions of universalism that were made more complicated by the tensions of class, motherhood, and Orientalism. It also tackles the backlash against her memoir, published by her husband, as it unveiled her suicide attempts, a dysfunctional childhood, and a child being born out of wedlock.

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