Confession: I broke The List

Posted by Bel. The time is 3:50pm here in Wellington, NZ.

So. The List. I have vowed to read every book upon it. I have hit trouble before, but I told myself that "Middlemarch" just wasn't good 'summer reading' material, and that I would come back to it. (I will!)

But now, for the first time, I have actually admitted defeat. Last week I got out "A Vindication of the Rights of Women" by Mary Wollstonecraft and - and I just couldn't finish it. I couldn't. Imagine... an academic text... All those fancy words, those convoluted sentences, those references to things that only make sense to other academics... Right, now imagine something like that that has been written 200 years ago. Yah huh.

Lordy me, Mary Dubyah, I'm am totes on your side, and I am glad you were repping it for us sisters back in the day - but oooeee that was some complex shit to be trawling though. Especially as I am someone who reads late at night or snuggled up on the couch, and the chances of me dropping off to sleep mid-sentence are HIGH.

The basic gist was that women should have the same chances in life that men get, particularly in the field of education (Mary was a prototype feminist, not that she knew it at the time). She felt that if all women were trained up for was marriage and to be feeble, gentle wee girl-brides dependent on their menfolk, that actually did more damage than good - and was deterimental to the male poplace as well.

The strange thing was that her diatribe was addressed solely to men, not to her fellow womenkind, and is so heavily framed within the patiarchy of the time. Wollenstoncraft refers to her own gender as 'the sex' throughout "A Vindication of the Rights of Women" (okay okay, throughout the bits I read, and I assume the rest), which may be in part an idiosyncracy of the time, but is also indicative of the male-centric society in which she had to operate.

I think I am going to make up for this by reading a biography about this trailblazer - maybe I can find one that encompasses her daughter's life also? Betweeen the two of them there are a few tales to tell! (Hopefully in a slightly more comprehensible English for my lazy brain.)

PS The image supplied is not of the exact same edition that I read (ATTEMPTED TO READ) as I usually strive for, but I thought this one, where she appears to be peering out judgementally was a good approximation.

2 thoughts on “Confession: I broke The List”

  1. Oh I did 'LOL' at this review Bel. What is this 'The List' you speak of? I have perused this blog but I can't find it. Did you make it up or is it some official 'Whitcoulls Top 100' type deal.

  2. I got The List off a website - I believe it was Jezebel, in fact! It's one of those "100 Books Every Woman MUST READ!!! Or Else." type lists.

    I haven't posted The List up on here yet, but I may do so. Although I am worried it will then create overwhelming demand for my upcoming enthralling reviews!!