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Feminist Theory Reader- Critical Analysis Paper Discussions regarding the position of women of in society have often been identified as ending in unanswered disputes. However, majority of the discussions unveil the dominance of male folk over the opposite sex…
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Download file to see previous pages Shakespearian tragedies were male-centered though some of his female characters like Lady Macbeth in “Macbeth” and Portia in the tragi-comedy, “The Merchant of Venice” expressed the glimpse of heroism. The presentation of women as suppressed under the male folk is not specifically the peculiarity of the literature of Shakespeare’s time, but one find it even in modern literatures as found in the plays of the modern dramatist Bernard Shaw. Shaw’s “Pygmalion” clearly reveals how the girl Eliza Doolittle is suffocating under Professor Henry’s treatment. Therefore, one can infer that history has not marked tremendous changes in the treatment of women in literature even if there were many feminist movements. Nevertheless, one cannot disregard the significant role of the various revolutionary feminist movements occurred during the first part of 19th century and spread all through the following centuries. The mushrooming of the feminist movements facilitated women writing and witnessed some classical writing, purely challenging male chauvinism in both social and cultural life. Analyzing the feminist theories and writing, one may feel that they have the right claim of equality with the male folk, and should not be considered a second class. McCann & Kim (2003, p.1) identifies that “The term “feminism” usually refers in its most general sense to political activism by women on behalf of women.” They have also identified that feminism can be regarded as a movement that started in the 1970s which was actually originated in France in the 1880s. Analyzing the historical origin of the word ‘feminism’ one can see, “it combines the French word for woman, “femme,” with the suffix meaning political position, “ism,” and was used in that time and place to refer to those who defended the cause of women” (McCann & Kim, 2003, p.1). It was the French philosopher, Simone De Beauvoir who first used this term in The Second Sex which later spread all over the world. McCann & Kim (2003, p.1) have clearly stated the claim of feminism when they said thus, “Feminism involves the implicit claim that the prevailing conditions under which women live are unjust and must be changed.” The feminists also propounded the view that women have the ability to recognize the injustices that they face in their day to day life, and as such, they can change the existing situations. Thus, one can see that the feminists set out various theories that would promote their status totally refuting the present status as second class citizens. McCann & Kim (2003) in their book, "Feminist Theory Reader" explores the important works in feminist theory by incorporating the works of some of the feminists, specifically the women of color and post colonial scholars. These scholars provide both global and local perspectives of feminism by challenging the hegemony of white, Western feminism, providing an approach to feminist theory for the twenty-first century. This is also to be noted that this approach includes the conversations among postcolonial women and women of color about issues of gender, race, colonialism, and sexuality as paramount to understanding the concerns of feminism (McCann & Kim, 2003). The feminists anthologized in this book are of the opinion that the females should endeavor to attain respect, mutual benefits, equal wages, a voice or presence in male dominated world. They solely have the right of liberty as the country itself has obtained it by ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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