Literature and women right.

Autor Jean Carlos Castro

Literature and women right.

 The literature has server has more than simple writing, literature is able to transmit and transformed ideas, reshape, or modify the status quo of a society. In history there is no shortage of great women, just to name of few Cleopatra (69 BCE–30 BCE) The last Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt, Boudicca (1st Century CE), Elizabeth I (1533–1603) Queen of England, Catherine the Great (1729–1796) Empress of Russia, and Queen Victoria (1819–1901) ruler of the largest empire in history, at the height of her power ruler of ¼ of the earth and population. All these women were of immense importance during their time and more than just figure head. I could go on listing many other women that had hold power or influence their countries, people, and time.  But despite there is larger number of important woman most of the history, writing, policy, achievements of humankind have been attributed man. Only recently have a voice and have achieve parity with the other sex. In the year 2018 only, a century has passed since in some countries the women gained the right to voted and many other advanced in social, labor, and political aspect of modern life.

But is difficult to think that the women of the 20 and 21 centuries could enjoy there right with the ground-breaking work of women of the Victorian age and other like to mention a few Elizabeth Barret Browning (1806-1861), Christina Rosetti, Charlotte Bronte, Virginia Woolf, and Mary Wollstonecraft. The work of this women began a period where women had their own voice, there ideal despite that today may seen that revolutionary where ground-breaking before I continue, I need to point the fact that this aren’t the only women to how feminist view but where either the most import or well know of there time.  Mary Wollstonecraft and her writing A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) was sensational piece of writing in her time. Inspire by the French revolution advocate equal right between man and women especially on education which she considerer that is that fact that make women appear least equal to man and the fact the written knowledge of women is writing by man.

 “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. I have turned over various books written on the subject of education, and patiently observed the conduct of parents and the management of schools; but what has been the result? a profound conviction, that the neglected education of my fellow creatures is the grand source of the misery I deplore; and that women in particular, are rendered weak and wretched by a variety of concurring causes, originating from one hasty conclusion. The conduct and manners of women, in fact, evidently prove, that their minds are not in a healthy state; for, like the flowers that are planted in too rich a soil, strength and usefulness are sacrificed to beauty; and the flaunting leaves, after having pleased a fastidious eye, fade, disregarded on the stalk, long before the season when they ought to have arrived at maturity. One cause of this barren blooming I attribute to a false system of education, gathered from the books written on this subject by men, who, considering females rather as women than human creatures, have been more anxious to make them alluring mistresses than rational wives; and the understanding of the sex has been so bubbled by this specious homage, that the civilized women of the present century, with a few exceptions, are only anxious to inspire love, when they ought to cherish a nobler ambition, and by their abilities and virtues exact respect”, Wollstonecraft Mary. A Vindication of the Rights of Women Introduction (1792). Wollstonecraft say the women and man are both human and not to different species, she then goes on to admit man superior brute strength but advocate that there no reason the women can has the same opportunity to learned and do more than just be beautiful. I must be also point out the she mentions some activities like hunting there are manly but in general her main interest is education the can equal the playfield between that man and women, even going has far to suggest mix sex school. 

“Dismissing then those pretty feminine phrases, which the men condescendingly use to soften our slavish dependence, and despising that weak elegancy of mind, exquisite sensibility, and sweet docility of manners, supposed to be the sexual characteristics of the weaker vessel, I wish to show that elegance is inferior to virtue, that the first object of laudable ambition is to obtain a character as a human being, regardless of the distinction of sex; and that secondary views should be brought to this simple touchstone” Wollstonecraft Mary. A Vindication of the Rights of Women Introduction (1792). She mas mention in the last citation criticize women for choosing beauty over knowledge and believe that one day the will “become objects of contempt”.  In the time this was writing it was received positive by her close circle but for the most part it was revised negative despite that the first copies sold out. But it manages to inspire other feminist like Margaret Fuller, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other. The last two took part Seneca Falls Convention, the first women convention.

Elizabeth Barret Browning (1806-1861) and her contemporary Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855) with their epic poem Aurora Leigh and novel Jane Eyre exposed other points of view of women, advocated other aspect of women equality. Aurora Leigh is about a woman named Aurora, follow her story from childhood in which she is left orphan and raised by her aunt after 13. Before her father dies he educated her and instill her love for learning. Has adult she become a writer and goes on to travel Europe and eventual married. But through the story she is independent, refusing to marry for money, even when offer part of the inherits she refuses. Showing to be her on person.

Jane Eyre of Browning followed the story of Jane from her childhood when lived with her aunt after her parents dies. Her aunt doesn’t know how to manage her niece, so she decides to send her to a charity school, where she is treated horribly under the harsh Mr. Brocklehurst, director of Lowood Institution. There she meets her friend Hela that later dies in a typhus outbreak in the school. By the time she is adult she has become a teacher and left the school. After severe jobs she has teacher of Adèle Varens daughter of Edward Rochester. Rochester and Jane fall in love, they decide to marry but are unable after true is known Rochester married with the mad Bertha Mason. Even after fact the Rochester is trick into marrying Bertha and doesn’t love her, Jane refuses to marry him of principle. She leaves Rochester home and end up him family member, also inherits 20,000 pounds from her uncle. She learned that Bertha has burned the Rochester house, quickly she goes to see Rochester, only to find him blind and has lost a hand from the incident with Bertha. Jane and Rochester now decide to be married, after their first child is born he recovers eyesight in one eye. The way the married is very important Jane at first refuses to married not at just principle but also by that fact she refuses to be subjected or demine by Rochester and their marriage is possible after Jane has archive economics parity. But in reality she is now in a position of strength, suggesting to the reader that their no problem with a women been in power in marriage and she will not abused of her husband, presenting another point of view in the usual man dominate household and also showing that women can and want to me more than just housewife.

Lest that a century after Virginia Woolf present her essay A Room of One’s Own in 1929. Virginia talk about the fact if women are to write their own work, she must have her own money, so they can become has successful has man and that same problem a but a lesser extent that Wollstonecraft talk of women lack educational opportunities. She talks about a fictional sister of William Shakespeare, Judith Shakespeare. She says if Judith had had the same education of her brother, she could be equally successful. She also mentions many women that had inspired her like Wollstonecraft, Elizabeth Barret Browning Christina Rosetti, Charlotte Bronte and other.


Women have always been apart of history in active way, but their voices were lost to time but after had become more educate and awareness of then self, they began to find their voice and write. By write their ideas began to inspire other women not just to be aware but to move actively to better there lived. At first many ideas were not that revolutionary by to day standards but through time they became more radical and found women and man that also believe in this idea but needed a source of inspiration. Bronte and Browning were popular in their time in contrast to Wollstonecraft showing progress and reader more opened, also attracted to the way women think. Today these women are heavily read. The point is that his women mention before were not the first to have these ideas or to hold power, but their ideas began to inspired new generation of women to think differently and take action to the point the we have arrived today, were the radically ideas of Wollstonecraft of having mixed school and regular access to education of women are common in many part of the world.


  1. Ruston, Sharon. “Mary Wollstonecraft, feminism, and the nature v nurture debate.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 12 Nov. 2013,
  2.  “Who is Mary Wollstonecraft? Everything You Need to Know.” Childhood, Life Achievements & Timeline,
  3. “Online Library of Liberty.” A Vindication of the Rights of Woman with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects – Online Library of Liberty,
  4. Powell, Jim. “Equal Rights for Rights for Women: The Contribution of Mary Wollstonecraft | Jim Powell.” FEE, Foundation for Economic Education, 1 Apr. 1996,
  5. Woolf , Virginia . A Room of One’s Own,
  7. Brontë, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. W F Howes Ltd, 2013.

Publicado por Jean Carlos

Amo la historia, en especial historia de Europa, Estado Unidos y Latino America, pero no limitado a estás áreas. Bachillerato en Historia de Europa, UPRRP. #23


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