Instead, the traits we often associate with womanhood stem from society’s projection of what women should be, not necessarily what they are. English novelist Marian Evans Lewes exists counter to 1800’s European beliefs of womanhood. Instead of adhering to society’s standards, she adopts the pen name of a man and becomes a successful author, avoiding judgement for her work based solely on her gender. In her letter to Melusina Fay Peirce, however,
Cultural Feminism The enlightenment goes beyond the rationality of liberal feminism, its atomistic individualism and its legal basis. As we remember, liberal feminism criticized the fact that the enlightened minds of the 18th and 19th centuries confined a woman as wife and mother into the house and that the woman was under male authority. In this respect, the law demanded the principle of equality, the right to vote for women, the recognition of equal opportunities for women in education and business life, and the liberation of women from private space. Cultural feminism focuses on the more irrational, intuitive, and generally collective aspects of life, as well as accepting and supporting the idea of equal rights and the importance of self-development for liberal feminism. In this context, a world that emphasizes collective understanding, emotional ties and an organic or holistic life concept is suggested on the basis of cultural feminism lies a matriarchal / matrimonial view.
Constance Leadbelly breaking the chains of literature identity limitations The role of women in literature has been represented by male authors for a very long time. This representation has been vastly criticized by modern day feminists. The assumption of women in such discourse was absolutist; a woman was either a virtuous figure or a deceptive one who is a danger to the society. The absurdity of this tradition has led many women to write back in response, challenging the logic of the overly used feminine role and characteristics. They further attacked the implementations of women’s’ role in society that was created by this literary tradition.
A Raisin in the Sun is feminist because, the play encourages women to develop an identity for themselves, particularly through education and career. Beneatha dreams to be a doctor, which is a male-dominated profession. She says, “I am going to be a doctor and everybody around here better understand that!” (Hansberry 33). This shows her feminist attitude in the play when Beneatha takes a largely optimistic stance when facing troubles of entering a male-dominated profession, implying that she is a ‘non-conformist’. Additionally, Beneatha refuses to “just get married and be quiet” (Hansberry 22), as her chauvinistic brother, Walter Lee, expects her to be.
De Gouges based her case on two fundamental issues – survival and security. She knew society perceives women as the responsibility of men and they belonged to the private sphere, but she wanted to make use of the Revolution climate to detract women from this conventional identity and role. Only then can women ensure its survival without depending on men or charity. For de Gouges, dependence causes oppression and subordination of women. Therefore, de Gouges calls for education for women which would liberate them from the conventional private domain of family, and hence, would ensure their survival (De Gouges 1791).
Similar to many other authors that emerged during the Second-Wave Feminism Atwood chooses to denounce the lack of reproductive and sexual rights in Gilead, as a depiction of the absence of these in the United States during this epoch. Specifically, Atwood belonged to the cultural feminism current where women attempted to enhance and validate feminine principles and ideologies, instead of the values of a misogynistic society. This philosophy is reinforced in the protagonist of the novel as she
Since the 1300’s women rode sidesaddles just because society considered it unladylike to ride astride a horse and categorized them to be unruly, unfeminine and overly sexual while ignoring that it restricted women’s movement. It also did not allow women to be in control of their horse reinforcing the societal belief system that women need to be controlled, protected and restricted. The ideal femininity in the western society has been split between the ‘woman as sexual’ as the prostitute and the ‘woman as nurturing’ as the mother, instead of seeing both these traits a possible aspect of the same woman. This ‘fantasmatic’ or orgasmically fantastic dueling myths of femininity hugely impact the social expectations of women. These contradictions, of ‘if women are sexual’, men desire her and ‘if women are nurturing mothers’ then they have control over the domestic environment, gave birth to feminism.
During the Medieval times women were still the property of men. Women were not allowed to have jobs, get an education, choose who to marry, choose how many kids to have, etc. Women were the obedient slaves of men, and if they ever tried to break out of this role laws were in place to severely punish them. The ability to choose personal life decisions that women now take for granted, were not our decisions to make back in the Medieval Era. Throughout time gender roles have began to change and the definition of feminism has changed with them, but there has always been a common theme to the term, which is
It will compare the two passages to show their similarities in representations of gender relations. Together, these will demonstrate both the traditional and the changing relationship between men and women in both the Victorian era and in the early twentieth century. In both eras, there were strict social rules that women were expected to adhere to, though the same rules were not subjected unto men, showing instant inequality in their relations. Though, both Lily and Margaret go against this. Lily is aware that it is her “duty” as a woman to follow a “code of behaviour” (Woolf, 74) that will benefit Mr. Tansley, though he has done nothing to benefit her; instead, he had taken the liberty to belittle her.
This common interest of postmodern feminists about women’s bodies and how it serves as a “feminine language” to define identity continues to represent explorations, discovery and opinions of the traditional mind and body dualism, the role of sexual analysis in the development of gender and the self as well as the analytical modes of exploration of the body which all in all defines what it means to discuss about postmodern feminist issues in this twenty-first century. For example, in Mislina Mustaffa’s opinion, the female body directly reflects an artistic subjection to what is considered a norm to women in society today. Nevertheless, the artist disagrees with such manner. The entire discovery of what makes a woman a woman in fact lies in the matter other than the body itself. One route of inquiry along these lines concerns reevaluation of the senses and the conservative materials that are fashioned into forms or ideas that define the identities of women today.