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By Mary Wollstonecraft
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Additional info for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Eager to support his system, he stigmatizes, as vicious, every effort of genius; and, uttering the apotheosis of savage virtues, he exalts those to demi-gods, who were scarcely human—the brutal Spartans, who, in deﬁance of justice and gratitude, sacriﬁced, in cold blood, the slaves who had shewn themselves heroes to rescue their oppressors. Disgusted with artiﬁcial manners and virtues, the citizen of Geneva, instead of properly sifting the subject, threw away the wheat with the chaff, *Contrary to the opinion of anatomists, who argue by analogy from the formation of the teeth, stomach, and intestines, Rousseau will not allow a man to be a carnivorous animal.
Yet they do not lose their rank in the distinction of sexes, for they are still reckoned superior to women, though in what their superiority consists, beyond what I have just mentioned, it is difﬁcult to discover. The great misfortune is this, that they both acquire manners before morals, and a knowledge of life before they have, from reﬂection, any acquaintance with the grand ideal outline of human nature. The consequence is natural; satisﬁed with common nature, they become a prey to prejudices, and taking all their opinions on credit, they blindly submit to authority.
It seems scarcely necessary to say, that I now speak of the sex in general. Many individuals have more sense then their male relatives; and, as nothing preponderates where there is a constant struggle for an equilibrium, without it has naturally more gravity, some women govern their husbands without degrading themselves, because intellect will always govern. This page intentionally left blank V I N D I C AT I O N OF THE RIGHTS OF WOM AN. P A RT I . This page intentionally left blank C H A P. I .
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft