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The Rights of Woman

The Rights of Woman

by Anna Laetitia Barbauld

Rules and Order Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

O born to rule in partial Law's despite,
Resume thy native empire o'er the breast! (3-4)

The speaker says that women are natural rulers, so it's not something that people should argue about. It might seem like they're trying to buck the social order, but it's the social order that's wrong. They're trying to resume a natural order of things, with women in charge. It's something they were born to do. As Lady Gaga might put it, they were just born this way.

Quote #2

Go, bid proud Man his boasted rule resign,
And kiss the golden sceptre of thy reign. (6-7)

Men need to step aside and acknowledge that women are now in charge, our speaker says. But she doesn't just want men to move on, she wants men to bow down to women. She really wants to humiliate them and rub their faces in it.

Quote #3

But hope not, courted idol of mankind,
On this proud eminence secure to stay; (25-26)

Uh oh. The speaker says that women, even though they're now in charge and idolized by everyone, are not going to be able to stay there. Even if it's natural to have women in charge, it's still a precarious position.

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