This essay argues that despite its long-standing status as a founding text of rights-based feminism, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in fact contains within it a challenge to our comfortable narratives about the very modernity of rights. Arguing that Mary Wollstonecraft grasped in profound ways that rights are not only or even necessarily modern, the author suggests that Wollstonecraft's attack on chivalry in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman shares important features with Hannah Arendt's twentieth-century critique of human rights, and thus calls into question Wollstonecraft's role in feminist historiography as an unflagging champion of progressive modernity.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/09699082.2016.1159028
Journal Women's Writing
Citation
Murray, J. (2016). Mary Wollstonecraft and Modernity. Women's Writing, 23(3), 366–377. doi:10.1080/09699082.2016.1159028