Wollstonecraft’s essay “On National Education” is a strong argument for equal education among women and men. She states that a woman can only realize her true value, and society can only accept her true value, as an equal participating citizen if she is educated in the same way and subjects as man.
Wollstonecraft states that virtue will never prevail in society unless both sexes have the same level of virtue and affection towards each other. This virtue can only be based on reason, intelligence, friendship, and mutual respect for one another. She states that when men are married to uneducated women he has little in common with her and will naturally treat her as inferior. The only way she can overcome this treatment is by developing cunning and plotting methods to control him. A wise man can see through this cunning and their relationship will degrade further because he will have no respect for her and only contempt. He will be unable to develop a warm and respectful relationship with her because her cunning is of a base nature and he cannot identify with this. Wollstonecraft was very insightful when she analyzed the relationship between mentally undeveloped equals. It is very difficult for relationships to form when there is little in common with a spouse or friends.
In all walks of life people find friendships and lasting relationships among their peers. Most of the time people of different backgrounds can become lifetime friends if there are personality traits that each can identify with. They do not necessarily have to be educated in the same way or in the same subjects, but they still can become lifelong friends because there are deep emotional ties in their nature with each other. However, this is not the normal case. People, for the most part, with similar backgrounds flock together and many times can become lifelong friends or companions even.
Wollstonecraft states that you can only know yourself through an equal. When relationships are...