I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.— Mary Wollstonecraft
The most pioneering Mary Wollstonecraft quotes you will be delighted to read
Taught from infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.
The beginning is always today.
Only that education deserves emphatically to be termed cultivation of the mind which teaches young people how to begin to think.
Modesty is the graceful, calm virtue of maturity; bashfulness the charm of vivacious youth.
The more equality there is established among men, the more virtue and happiness will reign in society.
Women are systematically degraded by receiving the trivial attentions which men think it manly to pay to the sex, when, in fact, men are insultingly supporting their own superiority.
Strengthen the female mind by enlarging it, and there will be an end to blind obedience.
How frequently has melancholy and even misanthropy taken possession of me, when the world has disgusted me, and friends have proven unkind. I have then considered myself as a particle broken off from the grand mass of mankind.
Independence I have long considered as the grand blessing of life, the basis of every virtue; and independence I will ever secure by contracting my wants, though I were to live on a barren heath.
The being cannot be termed rational or virtuous, who obeys any authority, but that of reason.
Friendship is a serious affection; the most sublime of all affections, because it is founded on principle, and cemented by time.
Simplicity and sincerity generally go hand in hand, as both proceed from a love of truth.
You know I am not born to tread in the beaten track the peculiar bent of my nature pushes me on.
A modest man is steady, an humble man timid, and a vain one presumptuous.
Men, in general, seem to employ their reason to justify prejudices...rather than to root them out.
Men and women must be educated, in a great degree, by the opinions and manners of the society they live in.
It is justice, not charity, that is wanting in the world.
The divine right of husbands, like the divine right of kings, may, it is hoped, in this enlightened age, be contested without danger.
Women ought to have representatives, instead of being arbitrarily governed without any direct share allowed them in the deliberations of government.
To be a good mother, a woman must have sense, and that independence of mind which few women possess who are taught to depend entirely on their husbands. Meek wives are, in general, foolish mothers; wanting their children to love them best, and take their part, in secret, against the father, who is held up as a scarecrow.
Virtue can only flourish among equals.
For years I have endeavored to calm an impetuous tide -- laboring to make my feelings take an orderly course -- it was striving against the stream.
Till women are more rationally educated, the progress in human virtue and improvement in knowledge must receive continual checks.
Hereditary property sophisticates the mind, and the unfortunate victims to it .
.. swathed from their birth, seldom exert the locomotive faculty of body or mind; and, thus viewing every thing through one medium, and that a false one, they are unable to discern in what true merit and happiness consist.
What, but the rapacity of the only men who exercised their reason, the priests, secured such vast property to the church, when a man gave his perishable substance to save himself from the dark torments of purgatory.
At boarding schools of every description, the relaxation of the junior boys is mischief; and of the senior, vice.
...men endeavor to sink us still lower, merely to render us alluring objects for a moment; and women, intoxicated by the adoration which men, under the influence of their senses, pay them, do not seek to obtain a durable interest in their hearts, or to become the friends of the fellow creatures who find amusement in their society.
I love my man as my fellow; but his scepter, real, or usurped, extends not to me, unless the reason of an individual demands my homage; and even then the submission is to reason, and not to man.
Make women rational creatures, and free citizens, and they will quickly become good wives; - that is, if men do not neglect the duties of husbands and fathers.
Surely something resides in this heart that is not perishable - and life is more than a dream.
I do earnestly wish to see the distinction of sex confounded in society, unless where love animates the behaviour.
Love from its very nature must be transitory.
To seek for a secret that would render it constant would be as wild a search as for the philosopher’s stone or the grand panacea: and the discovery would be equally useless, or rather pernicious to mankind. The most holy band of society is friendship.
I begin to love this little creature, and to anticipate his birth as a fresh twist to a knot, which I do not wish to untie.
Weakness may excite tenderness, and gratify the arrogant pride of man;
but the lordly caresses of a protector will not gratify a noble mind that pants for, and deserves to be respected. Fondness is a poor substitute for friendship.
The absurd duty, too often inculcated, of obeying a parent only on account of his being a parent, shackles the mind, and prepares it for a slavish submission to any power but reason.
The graceful ivy, clasping the oak that supported it, would form a whole in which strength and beauty would be equally conspicuous.
The power of generalizing ideas, of drawing comprehensive conclusions from individual observations, is the only acquirement, for an immortal being, that really deserves the name of knowledge.
The appetites will rule if the mind is vacant.
How can a rational being be ennobled by any thing that is not obtained by its own exertions?
It is vain to expect virtue from women till they are in some degree independent of men.
Fondness is a poor substitute for friendship.
I never wanted but your heart--that gone, you have nothing more to give.
... wealth and female softness equally tend to debase mankind!
The same energy of character which renders a man a daring villain would have rendered him useful in society, had that society been well organized.
Women are degraded by the propensity to enjoy the present moment, and, at last, despise the freedom which they have not sufficient virtue to struggle to attain.
When poverty is more disgraceful than even vice, is not morality cut to the quick?
It appears to me impossible that I should cease to exist, or that this active, restless spirit, equally alive to joy and sorrow, should be only organized dust.
Strengthen the female mind by enlarging it, and there will be an end to blind obedience; but, as blind obedience is ever sought for by power, tyrants and sensualists are in the right when they endeavor to keep women in the dark because, the former only want slaves, and the latter a play-thing.
... the whole tenour of female education ... tends to render the best disposed romantic and inconstant; and the remainder vain and mean.