Women Roles in 16th Century

Analysis of “The Rights of Women” during Romantic Period

      What women had to fight and go through in the 18th century to break the views men had of women. I will focus on women writers of the romantic period that stood for their rights and changed the women's title forever.

      Many people would consider Mary Wollstonecraft the "mother of feminism" and her piece on the Rights of Women was the beginning of a lot of later arguments and struggles for woman equality. Many of women activists, such as Catherine Macaulay, Priscilla Bell Wakefield, and Mary Anne Radcliffe came after Wollstonecraft to take a stance and speak their voice. The definition of equality is having the same quantity, measure, or values as another. For decades woman such as those mentioned fought for this description to be true amongst males and females. Many males, including Rousseau, claimed that "Nature intended that subjection of the one sex to the other; and that consequently there must be an inferiority of intellect in the subjected party" (320).

      Women in the late 1700s and early 1800s were observed more as objects of possession to the male population than as an equal human being. According to Macaulay, women were told that "they must abstain from those vices which are contrary to their personal happiness" (321). Men were not necessarily intelligent in all manners but rather speak out of pride and indulge in the interest of their own happiness. Rather, they were simply useful for nurturing the children, working around the house, needle work, and other various trivial tasks. According to Radcliffe,

“women seemed formed by nature to seek protection from man" (332). In actuality, men just saw females like children and did not concern them with any serious affairs. Women, nevertheless did have unrecognizable advantages over men in that they have and use their "systems of mundane creation" and have a "natural influence over the male mind" (321). It is said that if women were...