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1. Feminisms and Feminist Literary Criticism: Definitions 2. Woman: Created or Constructed?

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1. Feminisms and Feminist Literary Criticism: Definitions

Engage with biological, linguistic, psychoanalytic, Marxist, poststructuralist, and cultural studies, as well as ethnic and race studies, postcolonial theory, lesbian and gay studies, and gender studies. No longer merely the ism of white, educated, bourgeois, heterosexual Anglo-American women.

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is Feminism has often focused upon what is absent rather than what is present. Reflecting concern with the silencing and marginalization of women in a patriarchal culture. An overly political approach Other approaches for their false assumptions about women

Literature is political, and its politics is male. In part because of the efforts of feminist critics but also because of social changes such as mass education. She is constructed differently by men.

Feminine Mystique demystified the dominant image of happy American suburban housewife and mother. New womens organizations, manifestos, protests, and publications

Sexual politics
The first widely read work of feminist literary criticism The twin poles of gender as biology and culture Millett included critiques of capitalism, male power, crude sexuality, and violence against women more uniform, and certainly more enduring

Collected in large anthologies such as The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women Harriett E. Wilson, author of the first novel by an African American woman Unearthing womens literature did not ensure its prominence Questioned culture, sexual, intellectual, and/ or psychological stereotypes about women

2. Woman: Created or Constructed?

Three phases of modern womens literary development: The feminine phase The feminist phase

The female phase

Four current models of difference: Biological



Biological model is the most problematic Linguistic model asserts that women are speaking mens language as a foreign tongue The Hours relates with unnerving clarity the inner lives of three women connected through their experiences with Woolfs novel Mrs. Dalloway, itself a study of female subjectivity

Has observes, English feminist criticism, essentially Marxist, stresses opposition; French feminist criticism, essentially psychoanalytic stresses repression; American feminist criticism, essentially textual, stresses expression Being woman-centered or gynocentric, must search for terminology to rescue themselves from becoming a synonym for inferiority.