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The second chapter on women's rights disputes that women have the inadequate mental strength to be morally correct, which suggests that they need men's guidance. Wollstonecraft, however, claims that as long as women contain souls, they are as logical as men. Therefore, if and only if they could not have a soul, women could be viewed as less powerful.
The chapter also reveals that women trained by believing that they should not be taught to preserve their innocence is an essential obstacle. However, the only thing they should be able to understand is how their husbands are happy. Wollstonecraft affirms to the notion that children should be held innocent but disputes the idea of keeping women innocent. She argues that, in life, there is a time that every person needs to independently think and make decisions. She explains that parents must prepare children for this time of independence. She also acknowledges that factor that people are influenced by the society they grow and live. She blames the community of her time for supporting an education system that does not see to improve women rather makes women incompetent society members.
The chapter also focuses on the present education system that allows women to learn though limiting their perception to things on the surface. Women are not taught how to fathom large patterns form an individual perspective hence they end up shallow and superficial. Wollstonecraft compares present education of women to the military soldiers who are only taught how to follow orders without any questioning or reason. She argues that the present education system only makes women live on life’s surface. This argument takes readers back to the question of whether women need men’s guidance or have the ability to have an independent life.
The chapter shows that Wollstonecraft acknowledges and respects the existing order of the society that places men as supreme to women. However, she seeks to have women granted the independence they require to create their minds fully. She argues that despite the factor that such an ideology could trigger negative emotions in men she does believe that women were not only created for family or love reasons.
Chapter two also entails Wollstonecraft’s critique of Dr. Gregory book. In his book, he does disclose how he chooses to bring his daughters up. The Dr. advises his daughters on how a woman should dress. Wollstonecraft disputes this idea and finds it weird for the Dr. believing that women natural like dresses since it proposes that women’s sold are passionate about dresses even before entering the human body. Dr. Gregory also urges his daughters to hide their real emotions arguing that it’s a woman’s duty not to allow her frustrations exhibit. Wollstonecraft criticizes this argument by alleging that the truest connection between women and men is friendship. She describes friendship as a connection between people who have respect for each other’s intellect. The chapter concludes by challenging men to give a chance to women by providing an equal playing field to women.
Chapter Three Summary
This chapter is a continuation of section two on bodily strength between women and men. Wollstonecraft begins by alleging that in the modern society, making emphasis on bodily power is unnecessary. She aims at how unfair it is to women when they are judged based on physical strength. However, she argues that it is exciting for women to take pride in their weakness since it’s a symbol of delicacy. Nonetheless, she mobilizes women to take part in physical exercise since she believes that one should row both mentally and physically.
Additionally, she also acknowledges that men are naturally advantaged over women with respect to physical strength. However, she is confident that there is no difference in intelligence and reason between men and women. She questions why women, who are physically weak, have to be subjected to social customs that do not empower them but weakens them. She also despises women who take pride in how weakness and compares them to birds who take pride in decorating the cage that denies them freedom. She argues that women, just like men, need the education to get free them from slavery. She mobilizes the society not to allow initial arguments that oppress women which are similar to those that enslaved men. She also questions what is likely to happen in case a man dies and leaves behind an uneducated woman to take care of the family.
Wollstonecraft also shows her fear of women hating each other as they compete to get men’s attention. Se provides various reasons which make women mean to each other. Wollstonecraft the major point is that truth is not restricted to any gender. She perceives poor education and softness of the female gender as a major factor that drags the human race. She believes that being a woman does enclose an individual to doing nothing else apart from looking pretty and sitting around.
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