Chapter

Early feminism

Vic George

in Major thinkers in welfare

Published by Policy Press

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9781847427069
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302728 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847427069.003.0006
Early feminism

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This chapter looks at the views of Mary Astell and Sophia, before focusing on the work of Mary Wollstonecraft. Mary Astell is known for her work on the impoverished living conditions of working-class women and how this affected other aspects of their lives. Sophia is an anonymous author who assessed that to fight prejudice one needs both a reasoned argument and a counter-ideology. Wollstonecraft is known to be the first theoretical feminist writer, as well as the ‘founder or foremother of Western feminism’. She has also contributed significantly to the feminist cause and feminist theory and is revealed to have borrowed ideas from Locke and Rousseau.

Keywords: Mary Astell; Sophia; Mary Wollstonecraft; working-class women; living conditions; reasoned argument; counter-ideology; theoretical feminist writer; Western feminism; feminist theory

Chapter.  10130 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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