chapter  Chapter V
38 Pages

Animadversions on Some of the Writers who have Rendered Women Objects of Pity, Bordering on Contempt

ByJanet Todd, Marilyn Butler, Emma Rees-Mogg

The opinions speciously supported, in some modern publications on the female character and education, which have given the tone to most of the observations made, in a more cursory manner, on the sex, remain to be examined. This chapter begins with Rousseau, and gives a sketch of his character of woman, in his own words, interspersing comments and reflections. Supposing woman to have been formed only to please, and be subject to man, the conclusion is just, she ought to sacrifice every other consideration to render herself agreeable to him: and let this brutal desire of self-preservation be the grand spring of all her actions, when it is proved to be the iron bed of fate, to fit which her character should be stretched or contracted, regardless of all moral or physical distinctions. The common attachment and regard of a mother, nay, mere habit, will make her beloved by her children, if she do nothing to incur their hate.