Furthermore, Feminist Criticism provides a better view of literature because it shows that women can be powerful. When Emilia finds out that her husband has been plotting an evil plan she says,” Tis proper I obey him, but not now”(Othello V.2.195). Emilia refuses to help her husband after she finds the cruel intentions he has despite the expectation of women always being submissive to their husbands. Women also have a voice and feelings, they are capable of defying their husbands commands when they know what he expects is simply wrong. In a literary article,The Role of Women in Othello: A Feminist Reading states that,” Society weighs heavily on the shoulders of women; they feel that they must support the men and defer to them, even if the actions of the men are questionable” (Literary Articles).
In his article Kimmel outlines why simultaneously being a man and a feminist produces resistance from other men and from feminist women as well. His explanations are spoken about as “fears of feminism” divided by gender. Kimmel sets up his argument by reminiscing about the two types of people that are offended by his work as a male feminist. One is the feminist who is determined to prove his intentions are patriarchal (60).
Some of these methods include destroying identity through classification, objectification, and indoctrination. Most women of Gilead are sufficiently repressed that they seem to accept their assigned roles, at least outwardly resigned to their fate. Atwood uses gender roles in The Handmaid’s Tale to show the lengths to which misogynistic totalitarian governments will go, to protect their dictatorships. The Republic of Gilead is a hierarchical society which requires complete submission of women to men. By taking away women’s paid jobs, confiscating their property, draining their bank accounts, and giving them no recourse, the male leadership leaves women in a fully dependent and subservient position.
Their tough archetypes were always present in many plays and reinforced the idea of male superiority. This fact held true, especially for a certain tragic classic by William Shakespeare. There was a misogynistic mentality towards women in Romeo and Juliet, evident through the way women were shown as objects, portrayed as weak, and made to seem unable to dictate their own lives. Men in Romeo and Juliet could be seen acting like owners towards women. Women were seen as nothing more than possessions, as illustrated when Romeo first described Juliet as, “My lady…/my love” (II.ii.10).
Woman should have the right to be treated equally and fairly. The purpose of this essay is to examine MK Asante’s memoir, Buck, through a Feminist theoretical lens in regards to the negative representation of Malo’s mother Amina, girlfriend Nia, and his older cousin Kianna. In the memoir Buck by MK Asante shows many views and one of them is through a feminist theory lens.
Yet where said danger is directed changes due to context. During the Castle of Otranto the women of the book are constantly under threat at the hands of the malevolent Manfred. The women are constantly targeted and this is seen through Manfred’s desire for Isabella - his late son’s betrothed and his disregard for his wife - Hippolita. Hippolita, especially is characterized as weak, feeble and hysterical. She unswervingly bows to the will of her tyrannical husband “Hippolita needed little persuasions to bend her to his pleasure (pg 89).
In the novel Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë, the reader is presented with depictions of many aspects of Brontë’s own life. The novel is a classic example of a Bildungsroman, written in the Victorian period, and many characteristics are focal in the text, one of which was of course gender inequality, as men seemed to rule the society in which Jane Eyre lived in. A woman couldn’t be successful in this period without a powerful man. Jane Eyre however, sought to prove everyone wrong as she attempted to abolish the rules of this Victorian society. “The novel suggests possibilities for gender subversion within a seemingly normative romance narrative” (Godfrey, 2005).
Throughout history, women have often been subjected to prejudice and an inferior status to men. Due to sexist ideologies of men believing that women are not capable of controlling their own lives, women have often been reduced to the status of property. This concept is prominent in many pieces of literature to demonstrate the struggles women have to go through in a predominantly, male structured world. In the novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood, the author illustrates a woman’s battle in an extreme society ruled by men to express the misogyny occurring in the time period when it was written, 1894. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia summarizes Atwood’s story as one that “depicts one woman’s chilling struggle to survive in a society ruled by misogynistic fascism, by which women are reduced to the condition of property.”
Must women be feminine, and males be masculine? Feminism questions the acceptance of these ideologies and works to nullify them in our nation. Equality, the very principle America was founded upon and the very reason why feminism is important to the populace. Hegemonic masculinity not only plagues males but females as well; by creating a fragile male ego that believes a competing female will emasculate males instead of assisting, only causes females to cater to the male needs. Novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie best explained the injustice from traditional gender roles in the quote, “We say to girls, ‘You can have ambition, but not too much.
Women such as, Mary Wollstonecraft, a women’s advocate, who demanded that women be given proper education and opportunities and be allowed to grow in terms of a whole to equal those of men. They recognized and pointed out the causes of women suppression; false moral codes and traditions which only strengthen such stereotypes. Virginia Woolf in her book, ‘A Room of One’s Own’, writes about how women should have a space to themselves in which they are free to do as they please. She fortifies the thought that, women should be financially autonomous as well as professionally. Woolf’s writing had witnessed the great shock of the First World War, causing rifts to appear in the conventions of the then present society, creating a rapid and vast change due to its economically and social effect on the people.
The roles of women are immanently transcending as society continues to alter their perception of the female race. Since the misogynistic Elizabethan era, women exceed the expectations of encompassing subservient and docile characteristics to becoming respectable individuals capable of embracing their own beliefs rather than a man’s. However, equality for women’s rights only began with the recognition of society’s unequal treatment towards women. The Taming of the Shrew in its own sense stands as small step of recognition towards the early fight for the rights of women. Shakespeare uses this piece of literature to essentially reveal and criticize the manner in which male-dominated societies treat women as animals that are to be tamed.
love them”(Foster 23). This comment clarifies that the patriarchal structure has long existed in literature, and as literature is commonly a reflection of societal culture, it explains the fact that patriarchy has long been part of most cultures. The patriarchal structure has been engraved into society so much that it has now been accepted as just common sense that it exists. It is a tragic idea itself that patriarchy has become such a common and indented trend in both literature and culture. Foster expresses this idea that literature connects the issues of the story to the real world, in effect reflecting issues of the society of the particular time period that the work is set in.
Feminism is the philosophy, found in both literature and society, that the Western world is fundamentally patriarchal. Throughout the play, The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, there are several examples of women being oppressed, as seen through the feminist critical lens. Miller uses male characters to reference to women objectively to help demonstrate this. This teaches that women are oppressed not just in literature, but in life. The female characters gain power in a male-dominated society through an elaborate plot of accusations and executions.
Essentially, marriage in the 1700’s was seen merely as a means of birthing heirs and finding a way to financially support yourself, so it resulted in both men and women being devalued. It is universally known that women were often treated as inept and helpless rather than sophisticated people with autonomy and capabilities. In fact, during this time, “married women were consistently compared with minor children and the insane-- both categories of people considered incapable of caring for themselves. To marry a woman was, in one sense, to ‘adopt’ her-- or at least to adopt responsibility for all the circumstances of life with which she entered the marriage” (Teachman 39). Furthermore, when women got married, they would legally cease to exist.