Woman is Not Born but Made- View from Feminism

When a girl child is born it is as good as a boy. But when she grows up, the society places on her certain inhabitations and formulates her role. Despite of the old practices of matriarchies—social orders with women in charge, gradually patriarchal cultures that worshiped male gods and in which men were political, religious, and military leaders took the gun and women were kept in subordination. So it is now that the woman feels the gender difference. It is right to say that a woman is not born but made.

The adjective “feminine” origins and supports the belief and theories that pay special attention to women’s rights and women’s position in culture and society. When applied to literature nowadays it broadens the view and customarily indicates the author’s preoccupation with intimate human relationships, concern with the emotional aspects of life and with the dynamics of the psychic realm of experience. “feminine” writing may, of course, be produced by men as well by women, is usually non-authoritarian in narrative point of view (the reader is allowed to draw his own conclusions about the characters), it often displays an unconventional literary structure or approach to language.

It is important to distinguish between “feminine” and “feminist”. The term “feminist” implies a political position the conviction that “traditional definitions of woman are inadequate” and that “woman suffer injustices because of their sex.” Feminists nurture the idea that women’s position in society is unequal to that of men. They also voices the inherent bias in society that it is structured in such a way as to benefit men to the political, social, and economic detriment of women. However, feminists have used different theories to explain these inequalities and have advocated different ways of redressing inequalities, and there are marked geographic and historical variations in the nature of feminism. Feminist literary criticism is prescriptive that is as free as possible from biased portraits of individuals because of their class, race or sex.

Historically, there are two halves in “feminist” argument. The first half, which began in about 1800 and lasted until the 1930s, was largely concerned with gaining equal rights between women and men. The second half, which began in the late 1960s, has continued to fight for equality but has also developed a range of theories and approaches that stress the difference between women and men and that draw attention to the specific needs of women. In the United States the woman’s movement of the 1960s and onward represents a renewed attempt to establish social and legal equality for woman. The present wave of feminist criticism be said to have been born with the appearance in 1970 of Kate Millett’s powerful polemic, Sexual politics. In the same year the modern Language Association, a professional organization of more than 28000 professors of literature and modern languages held its first workshop on “Feminist literature and Feminine Consciousness”. The most basic purpose of feminist criticism is to eliminate what Mary Ellmann in her much-quoted book of 1968; Thinking About Women has phallic criticism”: the automatic assigning of inferior status to books because they have been written by women or because they display “feminine” characteristics of substance, structure or style.

Ref: 1. History of English Literature- Albert,      
     2. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature
      3. Microsoft Students’ Encarta