• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss and critically appraise how personal experience informed the political thought of Mary Wollstonecraft

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss and critically appraise how personal experience informed the political thought of Mary Wollstonecraft Mary Wollstonecraft has been seen to be the founder of feminism, with radical ideas in terms of education, marriage and female emancipation. However it is necessary to consider what shaped those ideas, which lead to the emergence of feminism. It is necessary to consider what circumstances events and ideas circulating at the time influenced the politic thoughts of Mary Wollstonecraft. In order to understand what formed the basis of Mary's thoughts we will need to identify their thoughts in the context of a number of factors. Mary's ideas could be regarded as liberal feminism. Her ideas focused mainly around the individual woman and her rights. Her proposals were mainly for women's equality with men. Mary believed women should be treated like men and placed a lot of focus around women's education as being inferior to men's when in fact women were as intellectual as men and therefore should have a more equal education. Her reasoning for this was based around the idea that women need to be well educated to be successful mothers. ...read more.

Middle

Mary believed that women needed freedom as they were being dominated by male patriarchy and in this sense were open to abuse by males. It seems apparent that the above ideas and assertions on male abuse and dominance of women stemmed from her own life experiences and those of her female relations as she witnessed male abuse to family around her; As a young girl Mary used to be subjected to witnessing her fathers drunken violence against her mother. By viewing her mothers abuse and helplessness Mary came to realise the lack of protection available to women. Her past experiences of her and her family may have also influenced her views on relations with males including marriage. In a letter to George Blood in 1789 Mary describes marriage as "legal prostitution"6. Mary had witnessed cruelty of men to her mother, sister and friend fanny in their marriages. She believed that her sister condition of ill health was due to the mistreatment of her husband; she took steps to help Eliza arrange legal separation. "On three different occasions Mary did see the lives of women ruined by cruel dissipated, husbands" (Bouten 1922:131). ...read more.

Conclusion

"Hers was hatred of creatures that seemed capable of doing everything while women seemed to her capable to her of doing nothing"13 They therefore argue her feminist thoughts arose out of her illness of being neurotic and compulsive.7 However it could be argued that Freudian analysis is subjective and therefore has no objective basis for explaining reasoning for Wollstonecraft's political ideas. Overall it is clear Mary had many painful experiences and experiences of social changes in her life, which helped shape her political views. Therefore it can be attained that personal factors influenced political thought, although it also has to be taken into account that her political thought was also influenced by outside factors such as social change and institutions such as religion. This coincides with concept of the "personal is political" where the experience of our personal lives are defined by broader political settings. To feminism personal experience such as that encountered by Mary can be seen as a valid way of knowing the social world and deriving political thought. However it could be argued that the experiences of Mary didn't provide a sufficient claim of truth, as it doesn't necessarily mean that Mary has political insight. Therefore it could be said that this isn't the most objective way to gain an insight into the political sphere of society. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. As the nineteenth century opened, life presented few opportunities for women to experience personal ...

    The poor woman who did not marry was pitied or scorned and the term "Old Maid" was a pejorative. So most young girls made marriage their main focus. And once married, they carried out the only honorable profession they were allowed-that of wife.

  2. Sociological imagination - Notes

    power - how is it expressed - is it formal power or informal power - is that respectable (Peter Burger's book invitation to sociology?) - what is respectable - how do we define respectability (deviance) - what is relative (notion of relativity)

  1. Pitted against Patriarchy

    lack of respect for such devout displays and takes up the author's voice in challenging the already shaky faith held by Judith Hearne: He laughed, 'Religion is it? And what has religion ever done for you, may I ask? Do you think God gives a damn about the likes of you and me?

  2. In what sense is Burke the founder of modern British Conservative thought?

    This evolution should be in a pragmatic manner and not due to radical change. Burke believed that inherited rules and institutions embody the cumulative knowledge and experience of preceding generations, his main point was that the process of cultural advance is utterly dependent upon the absorption and transmission of the cultural inheritance over time.

  1. Examine The Political Significance Of Any Carnival Of Your Choice.

    They want the housing to be bought up by the rich, young professionals to convert and make the area affluent, Richard Branson in fact lives in Ladbroke Grove himself. It seems that the dominant hegemonic and ideological forces that are in power have triumphed once more, after becoming what Cecil

  2. Hamilton Political Views

    judges should remain in their offices during good behavior." By making the tenure of federal judges are not permanent and temporary, "said Hamilton, the Constitution provides that judges should not be changed according to the stimulus of interest or other branches of government.

  1. work experience

    Naturally, I made some mistakes in the first few days, however I grew into the job and it began to feel ordinary to me. I also recall one day when the barman was ill and I had to step in for him.

  2. Disucss the conention that weak leadership, rather than any economic or political factor was ...

    Stephens denounced the Birmingham leaders as 'old women', whilst the young and more reckless leaders, like Harney, who was to represent Newcastle-Upon-Tyne at the forthcoming Chartist National Convention, loudly proclaimed their lack of confidence in such things as conventions. The crisis came in early December.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work