Feminism in general is a position, not necessarily confined to women or to
literary criticism, having to do with the advocacy and encouragement of
equal rights and opportunities for women -- politically, socially, psychologically,
personally and aesthetically.
The modern flourishing of this movement has been traced
by some to a
publication of Simone de Beauvoir's, The Second Sex (1949).
In literary criticism, feminism is a mode of discourse
that emphasizes and analyzes the gender relationships in text.
The general thrust
of feminist critics has been to condemn male attitudes
toward women, charging that men
have historically imposed their will on women
in order to convince them of their
inherent inferiority. Such a male view of the world has been called "phallocentrism".
People of the Movement
Julia Kristiva is a noted
feminist critic who is aligned with the Psychoanalytic group.
In recent years, feminist criticism has been combied with other
of criticism, such as psychoanalytic criticism,
Marxist criticism and
It has also developed internal divisions, resulting, for example, in a group of
black feminist critics who have added a racial orientation.
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