As an independent, self-taught woman who, espousing the
enlightenment ideal of reason, declared that women's rational natures
are no less capable of intellectual achievement than are those of men.
Here are some quotes from her works for you to enjoy.
Virtue can only flourish among equals.
If the abstract rights of man will bear discussion and explanation,
those of women, by a parity of reasoning, will not shrink from the
It may then fairly be inferred, that, till society be differently
constituted, much cannot be expected from education.
The beginning is always today.
Strengthen the female mind by enlarging it, and there will be an end
to blind obedience.
The being cannot be termed rational or virtuous, who obeys any
authority, but that of reason.
No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for
happiness, the good he seeks.
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.
If women be educated for dependence; that is, to act according to the
will of another fallible being, and submit, right or wrong, to power,
where are we to stop?
Surely something resides in this heart that is not perishable - and life
is more than a dream.
In fact, it is a farce to call any being virtuous whose virtues do not
result from the exercise of its own reason.
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.
How can a rational being be ennobled by any thing that is not obtained
by its own exertions?
I do earnestly wish to see the distinction of sex confounded in
society, unless where love animates the behaviour.
The divine right of husbands, like the divine right of kings, may, it
is hoped, in this enlightened age, be contested without danger.
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.
Of women I do not wish them to have power over men but over