Desire In Wollstonecraft's Objectification Of Women

Good Essays
Wollstonecraft’s second argument is about the objectification of women. She notices that “a pretty woman, as an object of desire, is generally allowed to be so by men of all descriptions; whilst a fine woman, who inspires more sublime emotions by displaying intellectual beauty, may be overlooked or observed with indifference.” At first, this notion seems to have nothing in common with women’s desire. However, Wollstonecraft argues that some “women deluded by these sentiments [of being an object of desire], sometimes boast of their weakness, cunningly obtaining power by playing on the weakness of men”, and this game leads to nurturing the desires in women. This has to do not only with sexual desires but with desire for power as well. Wollstonecraft says that “women, as well as…show more content…
“Short sighted desire” has “subjected many” women, as well as made them unable to control oneself. Thus, suppressing one’s desires is important for Wollstonecraft: it is required in order for women to perceive the education, which is a way of gaining the equal right with men. Both texts, Zofloya, or the Moor (1806) and A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), deal with desires and their suppression. In Zofloya, or the Moor, Charlotte Dacre shows what can happen if the desires take over a woman. All social liberties, which a woman can obtain by not performing the gender-constructed role that requires her to fully suppress her desires, can be lost if one follows her desires unlimitedly. To keep the social victories, women need to find a balance between being decisive and allowing themselves a destructive full freedom of actions. Yes, Wollstonecraft argues for a stronger suppression of women’s desires in order for women to gain equal rights with men. The path to equality lies through education, and desires pose a danger to perceiving the education
Get Access