Beverley Civic Society have unveiled a Green Plaque in honour of the feminist Mary Wollstonecraft on the home she lived in when in Beverley.
Lord Lieutenant of the East Riding, The Hon. Mrs Susan Cunliffe Lister officially unveiled the Green Plaque at a short ceremony that was well attended.
During her living years Mary’s views ruined her reputation, but over 100 years later her vision for women became a blue print for women fighting for the right to vote and equality.
Even now, over 200 years since Mary died at the age of 38, here in Beverley things are still being changed as the world slowly embraces equality.
Professor Barbara English from the Beverley Civic Society spoke to HU17.net about the event, she said;
“We have unveiled a plaque for one of the most famous women who ever lived here. Mary is one of the women who is believed to have changed the world and the way the world thinks about women’s rights.”
“We managed to find out this year that she lived as a child from age 9 to 16 at 2 Highgate, her only home that is still standing where she lived, and that she was educated here.”
“So many of her ideas of women being able to vote, being able to have jobs, women being able to govern people come from her education which came from John Arden a great scientist whose house is now included in the Beverley Arms, so it all happened here.”
Graham Stuart, Vice President of the Beverley Civic Society added;
“I am delighted to be here as Vice President of the Beverley Civic Society and celebrate this great feminist author / philosopher. She is an all round good egg who was brought up here, educated here and rightly celebrated here. Well done to Barbara English and the Civic Society for making this happen.”
Professor English explained why Mary’s views have shaped what many of us now take for granted. She said;
“Women were thought not worthy of education with little brains, and so basically should sit around knitting. Mary believed that if you educated people they behaved more sensibly.”
“We now know that with so many women in the work place that women are capable of working alongside men doing what they are doing, which is what Mary wanted.”
“Without Mary I would not be here today as a professor, nor would we have a woman as Lord Lieutenant, she is the first one ever in hundreds of years. We also have a woman vicar at St Mary’s after 900 years. Everything is changing.”
“It is not that women want to rule the world, it is just they want the same chances as men.”