I earnestly wish to point out in what true dignity and human happiness consists. I wish to persuade women to endeavor to acquire strength, both of mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and refinement of taste, are almost synonymous with epithets of weakness, and that those beings are only the objects of pity, and that kind of love which has been termed its sister, will soon become objects of contempt.
The education of women has of late been more attended to than formerly; yet they are still reckoned a frivolous sex, and ridiculed or pitied by the writers who endavour by satire or instruction to improve them.
Slavery to monarchs and ministers, which the world will be long freeing itself from, and whose deadly grasp stops the progress of the human mind, is not yet abolished.
If the abstract rights of man will bear discussion and explanation, those of women, by a parity of reasoning, will not shrink from the same test.
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?
It appears to me impossible that I should cease to exist, or that this active, restless spirit, equally alive to joy and sorrow, should be only organized dust.
Taught from infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.
Learn from me, if not by my precepts, then by my example, how dangerous is the pursuit of knowledge and how much happier is that man who believes his native town to be the world than he who aspires to be greater than his nature will allow.
Women ought to have representatives, instead of being arbitrarily governed without any direct share allowed them in the deliberations of government.
Virtue can only flourish among equals.
How can a rational being be ennobled by any thing that is not obtained by its own exertions?
Why is our fancy to be appalled by terrific perspectives of a hell beyond the grave?
Children, I grant, should be innocent; but when the epithet is applied to men, or women, it is but a civil term for weakness.
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.
Women are systematically degraded by receiving the trivial attentions which men think it manly to pay to the sex, when, in fact, men are insultingly supporting their own superiority.
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.
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.
In every age there has been a stream of popular opinion that has carried all before it, and given a family character, as it were, to the century.
I do earnestly wish to see the distinction of sex confounded in society, unless where love animates the behaviour.
Strengthen the female mind by enlarging it, and there will be an end to blind obedience.