One of the earliest contributions to feminist philosophy, Wollstonecraft's powerful treatise on the value of women in society tackles many of the patriarchal attitudes prevalent in the eighteenth century. In addition to championing the notion that women enjoy all the same fundamental rights as men, Wollstonecraft argues that men benefit from treating their wives as companions rather than commodities.
In A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft tackles the wasted potential she sees in women, refusing to see them as inferior to men; she decries their limitations and suggests that they are worthy of an equal standard of education, and that they should be taught to develop their own reason, not simply how to gain a man. Written in 1792, at the height of the French Revolution, A Vindication is an eloquent and persuasive response to the prevailing attitudes of the time--the original feminist manifesto.
Touching upon many themes in women's education, A Vindications of the Rights of Woman remains a bold and powerful read.