Teresa Lopez Ramos
May 18, 2019
Feminist Literary Criticism Genre Assignment
Step One and Two
Q1.) Why or how is this genre important in our society or in our lives?
A1.) A genre that is introduced by feminist theory – to be able to understand the nature of gender inequality. However feminist literary criticism uses those same principles and ideology of feminism to critique literature in a new lens. Feminist literary criticism helps us examine not only old and new text that forms conversations of economic, social, political, and psychological gender inequality that we may or may not be aware of.
Q2.) Who are some of the most well-known people to have written or produced in this genre?
A2.) Mary Wollstonecraft – an English writer, philosopher, and an advocate of women’s rights. She is also regarded as one the founding feminist philosophers. Her work A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is best known as an argument that women are not inferior to men however women are seen inferior because of a lack of education. In her argument, she suggests that both genders should be treated as rational human beings and create a social order on reason.
Simone de Beauvoir – a French writer, existentialist philosopher – the study that beings with the human subject, as well as a feminist and social theorist. She wrote The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women’s oppression and a foundation feminism.
Q3.) What discourse community is usually connected to this genre?
A3.) Feminists. Many of these texts have been known to be the foundation against the fight of gender inequality. By having these text that Marry Wollstonecraft, Simone de Beauvior or Harriet Tubman wrote, to create almost a manifesto. A blueprint of how women were to continue the fight against oppression.
Q4.) What is the history of this genre?
A4.) There were three waves of feminism. The first wave of feminism began in the middle of the 19th century and was centered in the UK and the United States to end what was known of women’s suffrage. During this era, white women, women of color, and many slaves wanted to change/outlaw many laws that were placed to oppress minorities at the time. Either to vote, own property or even to justify the real meaning of “all men are equal” in the constitution. The second-wave of feminism was placed during women’s enlarged participation during the Second World War and the Civil Right’s Movement, which was during the 1960s and early 70s. This wave was about fighting towards equality in society. However, during the second wave, there has been some disappointment towards minority and low-class women who in which created the third wave of feminism.
Q5.) What are the rules or forms of the genre?
A5.) The basic approach of the genre is to question and protest the oppression of women – economically, politically, socially, and psychologically. To show through this new lens – the analysis of how gender inequality plays a part of how we as a society live, whether we consciously are aware of these issues or not.
Q6.) Are there any people who are most important to have produced in this genre and why are they so significant?
A6.) I have mentioned Marry Wollstonecraft – she wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Women, which created a counter-argument towards educational and political theorists of the 18th century who believed that women shouldn’t be educated. The argument of the idea of educating women exists today in many third-world countries are denying young girls and women’s education due to either religious or misogynistic beliefs. Her writing helps believe that women and men can be equal if all genders have the same opportunity on education. Many today fights bravely to create these opportunities for the opposite sex.
Q7.) How have others responded to the genre OR to some of your example’s texts?
A7.) Simone de Beauvior, author of the Second Sex was placed on the Vatican’s list of Prohibited Books. Mary Wollstonecraft, had harsh critics on her work by both Elizabeth Carter, who was “unimpressed” and Thomas Taylor by quote said “if women have rights, why not animals too?”
Q1.) What is the main message of these samples/examples?
A1.) What can we do as a society to give women her equal rights?
Q2.) Do they all have the same kind of message?
A2.) No, many of the passages touch the ideas of feminism. Wollstonecraft wrote an argument to men during the 18th century who believe that women should not receive a rational education. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir – discusses the treatment of women throughout history. Virginia Wolf wrote Three Guineas – about how to end a war on women.
Q3.) Are there particular constraints that are associated with these examples?
A3.) Most of this genre happen to be essays. An essay always has the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. That essay as well has a theme, thesis statement, tone, maybe an argument, evidence, analysis, and the answer to the thesis statement.
Q4.) Who is the audience to whom these examples are directed?
A4.) Both men and women. As the definition of feminism again, is the fight towards gender equality. When reading these texts, the audience reads the argument about how we as women are letting men treat us in a disrespectful manner due to societal norms. However, there is an argument towards the opposite sex. Men are the leaders of our society, politically, economically, and educationally. These women are trying to grab men’s attention on why woman are the lesser sex and what are the ways to fix it.
Q5.) Are there any significant differences between these examples and if so, why?
A5.) The significant differences would be topics of unequal rights of women. The Vindication of the Rights of Women deals with the argument of many who believe women should receive a rational education. Wollstonecraft argued “The education of women has of late, been more attended to than formerly, yet they are still reckoned a frivolous sex, and ridiculed or pitied by the writers who endeavor by satire or instruction to improve them.” (Freedman 27). She discusses on how women’s education is more of a discussion rather than actual law, that as women we are known to be of less value, by men who try hard to make fun of us women. Her tone during this excerpt was almost tried and exhausted, she believes that she is repeating her ideas over and over, trying to get women to believe what society is doing is wrong. The Second Sex – is written towards the argument of female inferiority and rejecting biological explanation to women’s status as second rank citizens. Beauvoir wrote “And yet we are told that femininity is in danger; we are exhorted to be women, remain women, become women.” (Freedman 253) Being women is becoming extinct – to be mothers, wives, sister, housewives, pretty, followers of society. However, society strongly encourages us to still be those women, those that follow our husbands, fathers, brothers, etc… Both of these women make significant remarks against those who believe that women are weak minded in many areas of life. It is why they have written many topics or themes – there is more than one injustice to a women’s rights.
Q6.) Is there a style, form, or format that all examples and if so, why?
A6.) Both Wollstonecraft and Beauvoir begin with the same expression “The subject is irritating” or “I have sighed when obliged to confess” As political activist, both of these women want attention like – “pay attention, we are tired of saying the same thing and over again. Please someone fix this”. They also use anger in their work – Wollstonecraft “My own sex, I hope will excuse me if I treat them, like rational creatures, instead of flattering their fascinating graces, and viewing them as if they were in a state of perpetual childhood, unable to stand alone.” And Beauvoir says “Some years ago a well-known woman writer refused to permit her portrait to appear in series of photographs especially devoted to women writers; she wished to be counted among the men. But in order to gain this privilege she made use of her husband’s influence.” Their anger is controlled, they know exactly who they are trying to direct and that is women. Trying to say that if even men are the reason for their misogynistic view, we as women are the real reason for our oppression.
Q7.) Is there particular language that is common to all examples that you found?
A7.) The writing that both women language of writing is particularly formed from the 18th century. They write with vocabulary like “shall, whom,” due to the time period that they are from. Back when, governments and regimes we just staring. Which makes sense feminism started during the early time of our lives due to trying to form a just government system.
Q1.) Who is the author or producer of this sample of your genre?
A1.) Simone de Beauvoir
Q2.) What is the message or goal of the text/example?
A2.) There are two volumes of the text – volume one begins with the question of “what is a woman”. She focuses on the contrasts between men and women based on physiology and biology that should be viewed on ontological, economic, social context. In volume two – she brings the presentation on how girls and boys upbringing. Why is there such a difference on how boys and girls are raised? Why is a girl given the work of cleaning, clothes making while a boy is going to school and learning to hunt?
Q3.) Is there audience to whom the work is directed?
A3.) Both men and women.
Q4.) What kind of constraints are involved?
A4.) This genre is formed to argue against how the male gender and society, has made gender equality impossible. They also have made remark against the feminine sex. Their arguments are formed by observing society, on how we act, how our governments make us live, which make those argument more valid. That argument are turned into theories, on how society can be improved if gender equality was possible or even how women are at fault due to men believing we are less of value.
Q5.) How is this text important to you, society, or other discourse communities?
A5.) Born as a Latina woman – I have already many stereotypes against myself. That I will find a man, he will take care of me, bare children and not care about being educated. The word feminism – helps me. I know that there is a group woman who are able to fight for rights. They prove to me that it is okay to want an abortion, not be married, not want kids or go to college. However, it is not only towards me it is for all women – those who believe that they must follow the societal norms to be a good woman.
Q6.) What terms or concepts are most important in this example texts?
A6.) The question of “What is a Woman”. This is repeated during the text – she is getting the reader to almost question what does women worth to society? As we are the reading her work, she answers that question by telling the reader “masculinity” and “femininity” on paper are equal or symmetrical. However, in society both sexes are quite different. A man is known to be right, his head, emotions, money will always be correct never doubted. Women however will be wrong, due to their second rank class, ovaries, which imprisons her to subjectivity.
Q7.) What do you personally find most significant about the text?
A7.) She reflects both on the philosophy and biology of women.
Women are known to be wives, daughters, and sisters; however, we are still not as well as doctors, lawyers, engineers, mathematicians, leaders in general, even as we are living during in the 21th century. Society still uses the word “first” when it comes to describing a woman’s occupation. Why is it still during this century women still have a lower percentage entering a company, becoming a leader, even if feminism has become a mainstream hashtag?
During the last four years, there has been an increase of discrimination in regards of race, sex, religion, gender, and sexuality. Social media contributes to how the American public reacts to certain cases pertaining to oppression of minorities. Social Media account “NOW THIS” uploads content on activist, protest, and recently of a black man almost being arrested due to prejudice of white police officer in Texas. During the year 2017, many women have come out to express their stories of sexual harassment and abuse. This is the creation of the #Metoo movement.
Women came out to formally accuse Harvey Weinstein (a famous film producer) of sexual harassment, over 100 women came forward with these allegations. Roy Price, head of Amazon Studios was given suspension after a producer Isa Hackett accuses him of sexual harassment. After, all these allegations Alyssa Milano help create the #Metoo Movement on twitter. She motivated women around the world to share their stories of sexual harassment and abuse as an illustration of how sexual harassment is not just a Hollywood issue but a women’s rights issue.
This movement is seen to help or punish women. For many years, women punish themselves believing that the abuse and harassment is their fault. Not anymore, Alyssa Milano made sure that everyone had a voice, it did not matter if you weren’t a celebrity, the movement was a safe space. To quote Oprah Winfrey “Their time is up” – to men that believed they are able to use their power to shut women up. Everything is now more public; everyone has an opinion. Those opinions also include the definition of feminism. Many forms of media have made stereotypes that feminists are these hard core, men hating women. Unfortunately, this has made the feminist movement to decrease in members. Many women have believed that if they were to say “I am a feminist” the man next to her will always say “why”
We all have opinions – who is better Marvel Comics or DC Comics, or my favorite color is blue. However, those opinions seem to hurt political and social mainstream. We belong in different parties, democrat, republican, independent, or green – however due to those ideals or rules, we seem to put party over reason. That ideals needs to end, any man or female should be a feminist. The future female leader wants to be equal to the man next to her, economically, political, socially, and educationally. The future male leader has the chance to change gender inequality – he is the brain of our society.