The following essay evaluates Mary Astell’s status as a feminist with regards to her works, focusing specifically on `Some Reflections Upon Marriage`.
This essay explains how marriage is a topic that divides feminists today. Some proclaim it a dead institution that has injured women, others simply condemn the way it has functioned as an institution, and other feminists are married or seek to be legally married to their female partners. The confining or ameliorative effects of marriage also continues to be a contentious topic in the popular and political media, even amongst individuals whom are not supremely concerned with feminism as their life’s work.
“It was during the early part of the 1700s when her most influential books and political and religious treatises were published. Astell wrote long before Elizabeth Cady Stanton, even long before Mary Woolstonecraft penned her influential tracts on women’s rights, even before these women were born. Yet the author Ruth Perry has named Mary Astell as one of the first feminist theorists and stated that Astell’s “first three books were feminist books” (8).”