Feminism And The Modern Society Essay

1455 Words Oct 30th, 2015 null Page
Modern society typically uses the term “feminism” to describe a movement, primarily dominated by women, intended to overturn the traditional patriarchal view of female inferiority—in a social, economic, or political sense—and ideally, to encourage equal standing between the sexes. However, the modern definition of “feminism” does not necessarily encompass all of the varied purposes of feminism throughout the past two centuries. The term itself “did not come into use in the English language until the 1890s, and even then its meaning was contested” (Schwartz 672). However, what it has never been is a movement composed of women standing together to create a unified movement against men or even for women; rather, it has been a series of movements with a general, overarching goal of changing the way that people view “femininity.” Feminist literary theory accomplishes this goal by pointing out “…the ways in which literature (and other cultural productions) reinforce or undermine the economic, political, social, and psychological oppression of women,” (Tyson 81) and by encouraging the dissolution of male and female binary gender roles, the achievement of gender equality through a fusion of feminine language with patriarchal signifiers, and . Feminist criticism builds upon the notion that we live in a patriarchal society, which refers to “any culture that privileges men by promoting traditional gender roles” like casting men as the “rational, strong, protective” sex and women as…

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