“Feminism constitutes the political expression of concerns and interests of women from different regions, classes, nationalities and ethnic backgrounds…. There is and must be diversity of feminisms responsive to the different needs and concerns of different women and defined by them for themselves.”
Different schools of feminist literary criticism • Liberal Feminist • Lesbian Feminist • Marxist Feminist • Psychoanalytic Feminist • Radical Feminist • Indian Feminist • ECO Feminist • Existential Feminism Thought • Cultural Feminism • Post Feminism • Postmodern Feminism • French Feministic theory • Black Feminist School They are the different analysis of the causes and nature of oppression and means to find solution. They are the antidotes for all types of exploitation and oppression of any kind
Liberal feminist theory • Traditional • Evolved from liberal feminism • Imitates principles of liberty and equality I the context of women • Claims gender equality • believes intellectually men and women are the same • Combines feminists ideals with humanistic ideals (humanism) • Sees sexism (discriminatory behaviour) as deprives society of one half its creative force
Liberal feminists • Mary Wollstone Craft- The Vindication of Rights of Men • John Stuart Mill- The Subjection of Men • Harriet Millet- Enfranchisement of Women • Betty Friedan (American Feminist)- The Feminine Mystique and The Second Stage
Enlightenment liberal feminists JOSEPHINE DONOVAN’s basic tenets(codes) • Believed in rational ideas i.e. reason and God are one • Not to believe in tradition • Individual conscience is source of truth • Men & women are similar • Education to women changes society • Individual independence is the sign of dignity • Power needed to vote
Ex. Mary Wollstone Craft- The Vindication of Rights of Men & The Vindication of Rights of Women Central argument: women remain enslaved because of corrupt process of socialization • This further stunts the development of knowledge • Prepares them to serve only men • Women must be liberated from the monotony of marriage • Duties of those are ‘endless, monotonous and unrewarding’
Mary WSC projects two fold benefits: 1. through proper education: • Women begin to think sensibly and clearly about their own situation and they resist being vulnerable and gullible. • take care of their self interest • Cease to serve men as prostitutes
2. Cultivation of the power of critical thinking • Grow spiritually to develop their souls • Demand for same moral and intellectual training
Sara Grimke’s Letter on Equality makes an argument against Women’s liberation approved in liberal feminists school of thought. She also believed in critical thinking (intelligence) asserted that men has denied women the natural rights Compelled women to articulate their feelings and fight for truth Emphasizes women’s importance to physical appearance to manifest as dignified moral being
Women as isolated self and agent are persons first • It is secondary to be wives, mothers, sisters and daughters • They are fundamentally alone and they need govt.’s protection to determine their own course of life
John Stuart’s theory • Utilitarian (practical) • Firmly based on English liberal tradition • Worries about half of human race dries up society • He claims for women’s liberation that makes them happy
Basic problems • Did not pay attention to the private sphere of women • Liberal feminist were moving towards radical feminism • Criticizes women’s role as slaves to men at home –indirectly attacking marriage and domesticity • Expected for legal changes that would equalize women’s status in marriage • Questions ‘ontological’ differences between man and women remain unanswered by them/ • Mill attempts but not completely • They did not develop any alternate institution for traditional marriage and motherhood
Radical feminists’ theory • Concerned with the issues of ‘pornography, prostitution, sexual harassment, rape and women battering’ • Wanted to create female sexuality- celibacy and lesbianism to escape from sexual oppression and exploitation • Against hetrosexuality and childbirth • Shulaimath Firestone in her The Dialectic of Sex wanted biological revolution- • .
Kate Millet in Sex Politics talks about gender discrimination as the route cause for women’s oppression
Dana Densmore in Independence from Sexual Revolution contributed muchfor Radical Feminism • Women’s liberation and sexual liberation are not synonimous • sex is like opium • a ploy to stop development • Must focus for spiritual freedom, intellectual freedom, freedom from non invasions of privacy • Free from degrading stereotypes
No marriage • Attacked love as it promotes vulnerability, dependence, possessiveness, susceptibility to pain, prevents full development of human potential • Radical Feminism is a VOYAGE OF WOMEN BECOMING • It is discovery and creation of world
Radical Feminism stresses on retaining radical and ethical roots - i.e connecting to our grand mother and mother’s culture- An indirect desire to preserve mother’s culture According to Sushila Singh it is ‘female-identified cultural tradition’ Radical Feminists hold that the roots of oppression are biological.
The origin of subjugation emerges after child birth. • Women become weak and depend on her husband leading to subjugation • This power relationship (sexism) that male is superior and women is inferior is the cause for racism and class society • Cause for war of capitalism against racism
Women’s oppression is the primary form of oppression leading to • war between labourers and capitalists • war between races
So they • Demand biological revolution • Believe technology can liberate women from marriage and child birth • Favour artificial reproduction Convince that when the system ‘family’ is abolished there is no social ‘role system’. Women is free then. According to Sushila Singh • Radical Feminism is the only theory that combines both women’s liberation and children’s liberation • Radical feminism is Neo-Freudian.