Feminist Criticism by xiaopangnv


									Feminist Criticism
   As a literary theory
        Feminist Critical Theory
 Examinesthe ways literature reinforces or
 undermines the oppression of women:
     Economically
     Politically
     Socially
     Psychologically
          Patriarchal concept of femininity:
 Keeps     women from equal access to:
      leadership positions
      decision-making positions
      keeps women paid (believe it or not)
 Still
  55 to 80 cents for every dollar men make
      Antidiscriminatory laws are frequently side-
       stepped by giving women a different job title
          Patriarchal concept of femininity:

   disempowers women
         • Frailty
         • Modesty
         • Timidity
   It is not feminine to:
       to succeed in business
       to be extremely intelligent
       to earn big bucks
       to have strong opinions
       to have a healthy appetite (for anything)
       or to assert one’s rights
          Patriarchal concept of femininity:
 Accepts that men             Accepts that women
  have free will                are dependent
 Accepts that men act         Accepts that women
  on the world                  have meaning only in
       Change it               relation to men
       Give it meaning              (ex. Mrs. Miss)
        Patriarchal concept of femininity:
   Equates femininity with submission
   Encourages women to accept familial abuse
   Encourages women to wait for a man to rescue
   Encourages women to see marriage as the
    reward for correct behavior
   Accepts that women’s allegiance to men always
    supersedes their allegiance to other women
 Sex- is biologically determined
 Biological Essentialism- puts a higher
  value on male physical assets
     Physical size
     Shape
     Body chemistry
 Gender- is a Social Construction-
      • men are born male not masculine
      • women are born female not feminine
         Traditional Gender Roles
   Men:                    Women:
       strong                  weak
       rational                irrational (emotional)
       protective              nurturing
       decisive                submissive
       short tempered          hysterical
             The Universal He
          “he” claims to represent both
 Inclusive
 men and women but in reality is a deeply
 rooted cultural attitude which essentially
 ignores women’s experience.
     Examples
      • Marginalization of female authors (their themes not
        considered universal thus not fit for the canon)
      • Medicine tested on male subjects only: women
        often experience unexpected side effects
         Good Girls vs. Bad Girls
 Madonna                       Whore
 Angel                         Bitch
       Modest                        you know the opposite
       Unassuming                     of those other things
       Self-sacrificing
       Nurturing                  For women there is
       Never angry                 no in-between…
       Undemanding sexually        both are
       No needs of her own         stereotypes
       Domestic goddess            neither is a real
  Patriarchal gender roles are also
         destructive to men
 Must never fail at anything they try
 Must be a good provider
 Must be strong
     Physically powerful
     Emotionally stoic
       • Cannot cry, show fear, or pain, or sympathy for
         other men
       • Only boisterous or boyish forms of male bonding
         are free of homosexual overtones
    Check out your feelings about the
           following words:
   Stud                          Slut
       Sleeps with a number          Sleeps with a number
        of women                       of men
   Mister                        Madam
       Has maintained its            A women who keeps a
        meaning as a                   brothel
        respectable address       Sissy
   Take it like a man                Started as a name for
       When applied to a              a sister
        woman is a                    Cowardly & feminine

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