The Wife of Bath

Topics: Gender, Women's suffrage, Feminism Pages: 2 (437 words) Published: May 17, 2006
When reading the Wife of Bath, by Geoffrey Chaucer, one may automatically assume that Allison, herself, is a feminist. Essentially, her façade shows this through her promiscuity and the power she has had over her five husbands. However, the Wife of Bath is anything but a feminist. She hides her anti-feministic ways through her contradiction of personality, from a sex crazed "dominant" to a dependent submissive. Her anti-feminist ways are portrayed through her ways of manipulating her husbands. Also, her true self surfaces whenever she speaks about her sexuality, mainly when quoting scripture. In a sense, her feministic mannerisms serve as proper evidence that she is clearly an anti-feminist.

Feminism is defined by Merriam-Webster's Dictionary as "the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes". Essentially, this statement attempts to cover what Allison is really about because of her gesticulations around men. She portrays this want for equality through her cuckold of her previous husbands. She uses her husbands through her sexuality to win over their minds and wallets. One may assume that she is merely trying to make herself equal to the numerous male landowners, but assumptions only hide the truth. The truth is that this equality is truly an imbalance that is trying to be covered through manipulation. True, she uses her men to be at par with other rich men by owning property and being in control of the income; but Allison uses manipulation as a sub sophomoric tact to find a pressure point in the dominant counterpart and essentially come out as the more domineering of the two. It is seen in history that true feminists use inconsistencies in politics to make their point known and to make equal the lives of males and females. For example, Susan B. Anthony was an advocate for women's suffrage in the early twentieth century. She used the argument that if both men and women are citizens of the nation of the United States, and citizens are...
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