By Mary Wollstonecraft
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Additional resources for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Prevents their generalizing matters of fact—so they do to-day, what they did yesterday, merely because they did it yesterday. This contempt of the understanding in early life has more baneful consequences than is commonly supposed; for the little knowledge which women of strong minds attain, is, from various circumstances, of a more desultory kind than the knowledge of men, and it is acquired more by sheer observations on real life, than from comparing what has been individually observed with the results of experience generalized by speculation.
But as I purpose taking a separate view of the different ranks of society, and of the moral character of women, in each, this hint is, for the present, sufﬁcient; and I have only alluded to the subject, because it appears to me to be the very essence of an introduction to give a cursory account of the contents of the work it introduces. My own sex, I hope, will excuse me, if I treat them like rational creatures, instead of ﬂattering their fascinating graces, and viewing them as if they were in a state of perpetual childhood, unable to stand alone.
On national education 188 C H A P. X I I I . Some instances of the folly which the ignorance of women generates; with concluding reﬂections on the moral improvement that a revolution in female manners might naturally be expected to produce 210 I N T RO D U C T I O N . After considering the historic page, and viewing the living world with anxious solicitude, the most melancholy emotions of sorrowful indignation have depressed my spirits, and I have sighed when obliged to confess, that either nature has made a great difference between man and man, or that the civilization which has hitherto taken place in the world has been very partial.
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft