What was Thomas Paine’s stance on Women’s Rights?
Paine was a strong advocate for women’s equal rights, but he did not promote it publicly. His early writings reflect sympathy for women’s social, economic and political rights. He collaborated with Catherine Macaulay in his early writing career in the 1760s, and he associated and worked closely with Mary Wollstonecraft in England in the early 1790’s while he wrote Rights of Man, and she wrote the feminist manifesto Vindication of the Rights of Women. It was a subject often put aside by the democratic movement in the 18th century which tried to rally the working men towards revolutionary change, and many, including Paine, held personal beliefs in favor of women’s equality, but feared it would sidetrack the main thrust of changing governmental structures.