Topics: Feminism, Literary criticism, Women's rights Pages: 2 (614 words) Published: March 31, 2013
* Feminist criticism defines a literary theory showing how women were portrayed as less valuable than men in literature throughout history. Usually called feminist literary criticism, it studies how early writings condoned the oppression of women because men dominated society. Feminist criticism also explores how women writers were taken less seriously than male authors from a historical

A criticism advocating equal rights for women in a political, economic, social, psychological, personal, and aesthetic sense.

Feminist Criticism is the interpretation of text as it is directed towards women or feminine characteristics. Feminist critics analyze how the literary work is influenced by a patriarchal or male dominated society. Criticism of this sort often comments upon how women are described as sub-human and thus inferior to the man. Other aspects of feminist criticism may include the analysis of how non-feminine objects or characters are described as resembling females in order to belittle them.

Early Feminism
* One of the earliest feminist writings is Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) in which she criticizes stereotypes of women as emotional and instinctive and argues that women should aspire to the same rationality prized by men. Wollstonecraft believed that women should enjoy social, legal, and intellectual equality with men. * John Stuart Mill’s essay on the Subjection of Women (1869) is a defense of gender equality in which he attacks the idea that women are naturally incapable of doing things that men can do, and should, therefore, be forbidden from doing them. * First-wave feminism started in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century in the U.K and US. It focused on the promotion of equal rights for women. By the end of the nineteenth century, the focus was more on political rights, particularly the right of women's suffrage. * The Second-wave feminism is a movement that began...
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