Towards The Feministic Theory in Literature

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In literature, feminist theory

has been used to provide insights and criticism on various principles and ideologies that exist in society. It seeks to discuss concerns such as gender discrimination and male chauvinism, which have allowed men the power to lead in literature discussing social, political, physical, and psychological influences influencing society.

Feminist literary criticism

arose from the Women's Movement, which began in the 1960s to address the issue of injustice. Apart from those who seek to write exclusively against male values, feminist critics look for such biases in literature. The feminist theory seeks to uncover the oppression that the woman has faced under men in society. Male writers are brought out as champions of oppression through their works that sought to gratify the male ego and campaign for their dominance. For instance, the bible is a book exclusively written by male writers who have tended to credit most of the historical successes on men while blaming the misdoings on women. For instance, the genesis of disobedience is blamed on Eve. Another example is the feministic phase where female writers tried to match their male counterparts. However, these efforts were thwarted by the society that was dominated by men. Therefore, feminist writers saw that the only way to enforce equality in society was by first fighting male dominance through writing.

The feminist theory has two perspectives

The first one seeks to address explicit and implicit misogynies in male literature that tends to bring out the woman as a weaker and dependent person. The second perspective addresses the issue of male chauvinism where male writers want to depict the male gender as powerful and flawless. However, many people have misinterpreted the aims of feminist writers by claiming that they seek to destroy and damage the image of the men to society and specifically that of the male critics. Virginia Woolf is one of the writers during the female phase of the female writing culture which clearly describes the status of society, for example how the men made women the consistent victims of their anger and misunderstanding (Woolf, 2003). Mary Wollstonecraft is another feminist writer who firmly raised her voice in describing the unfairness of the patriarchal society (Taylor, 2003). The men were considered superior to women, and feminist writers were perceived as belittling men to gratify their ego. All that the feminist writers were doing is describing their situation at the moment and what they longed for, but some people misinterpreted their message to see it as an attack on the male critics.

The feminist theory shows

that women felt oppressed and they looked forward to a society where every gender was considered equal. However, there are instances when feminist writers went too far to show that they could be content with the current status quo characterized by inequality so long as it favored them. Some of them strayed away from the point and wrote against the values of men, without considering that the society was patriarchal at the moment and that the male culture had been as it was since a long time back. Elizabeth Robin is one of such writers in the feminist phase of female writing tradition who wrote about the tribulations that the women faced and went further to criticize the male values. Rather than seek equality, some of these writers show an intention of placing the female gender above their male counterparts. This is unlikely to work given that patriarchy is encultured in most societies and elevating the position of the woman must be undertaken cautiously. These writers face resistance when they fail to acknowledge evident flaws that have been attributed to the female gender. For instance, by writing against bible stories such as the genesis of disobedience, these writers are dismissed even by the women themselves. Therefore, the best method would be appreciating both strengths and weaknesses in both genders and using both to prove that all people are equal if given similar opportunities.

Feminist theory helps understand

the gender inequalities by examining the experiences and roles of women throughout history in various fields. Its aim is to bring out the self-realization of women through a close reading of written texts and their in-depth explanations (Bondi, 2003). However, it does not aim at attacking the men because the focus of the criticism shifted a long time ago to the exploration of the nature and outlook of the female world. Feminist critics should be supported because they mean nobody any harm, all they want is a world of equal opportunities.


Bondi, L. &. (2003). Gender, Place, and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography. In L. &. Bondi, Constructing gender, constructing the urban: a review of Anglo-American feminist urban geography. (pp. 229-245).

Taylor, B. (2003). Mary Wollstonecraft and the Feminist Imagination. England: Cambridge University Press.

Woolf, V. (2003). Women and Writing. Waterville: Thorndike Press.

January 18, 2023
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