Stirred: Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft


We are looking forward to welcoming people to Stirred’s workshop in response to Mary Wollstonecraft Vindication of the Rights of Women, additionally we will be responding to a portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft with the help of Camilla Rostvik.

The timing is pertinent, maternity pay is under threat under Tory government, jeopardising women’s rights in the workplace and shunting women firmly back into the motherhood sphere with no place in paying employment.

We will be looking at what Mary Wollstonecraft asked for equality in 1792, and what we have now.

Mary Wollstonecraft asked that women have access to education, arguing that considering ‘innocence’ the natural state of a woman’s mind was disadvantaging both individual women, relations between men and women, and wider society. She also argued against prizing beauty over intellectual traits in women.

Here are some stat’s with article links to get you thinking:

An eye-opening infographic by UN Women has lifted the lid on just how poorly represented women in the media are. A shocking statistic their research unearthed was that just one in four people mentioned in the news are women.2015 Article link here. 

‘We raise girls to see each other as competitors, not for jobs, or for accomplishments — which I think can be a good thing — but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.’We should all be feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Over and above the pay gap, women face a “motherhood pay gap”. Women with children can expect to earn less when they return to work than childless women, with the difference increasing for every child they have. 2015 article link here. 

Today 50% of the world’s women work, compared with 77% of men. In 1996, the figures were 52% and 80% respectively.2015 article link here. 

The importance of education and in particular literacy for girls resonated. If a girl is literate and has an education a whole ripple effect is sparked as she can get a job, have an income which can sustain herself and her family, be financially independent from men and have confidence and independence in herself. Statistics show that for every year of quality schooling, women’s earnings increase by 10-20% as well as a reducation in child mortality rates.  2015 article link here. 

Women play a vital role in our economy as both workers and consumers. Decisions on the economy, in particular on tax and public spending, have a major impact on women’s incomes and wider lives. This is especially true when it comes to benefits – these tend to make up around a 1/5th of the average women’s incomes as opposed to 1/10th f men’s, and jobs – almost 2/3rds of the public sector workforce is female. Fawcett webpage here. 

Come and write fighting poems with us. Link to event tickets here. 



The Stirred quad is formed of Rebecca Audra Smith, Anna Percy, Jasmine Chatfield and Lenni Sanders.

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Posted in BeccaAudra, Events, Feminist thinking

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The Stirred team at Reclaim the Night Manchester 2015
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