Grace Wen
13 Dec. 1999
Feminist Criticism
  1. Introduction

  3. Catharine R. Stimpson's comment on Kate Millett's Sexual Politics reflects some cultural ferment in which feminist criticism developed.

    1. The feminist journey has started from Simone de Beauvior to Kate Millett.
      1. What's "otherness" in Beauvior's The Second Sex?
      2. In the 1960s, most feminist critics were making their way.
    2. What's "sexual politics"?
      1. The relations between men and women are power relations.
      2. The most fundamental and pervasive concept of power in our society is male dominance.
    3. Does feminist criticism lack literary sense and values?

  5. What's the relationship among women, education, literary studies and feminism?
    1. Why and when did the women's movement arise?
    2. The alliance among feminism, education, and culture reaches to the climax in the twentieth century.
    3. What are the oppositions against feminist criticism?
      1. Does feminist criticism aggrandize women's historically inferior status?
      2. The fear of the loss of traditional cultural authority overspreads.
      3. Feminist criticism arises a clash of worldviews and ideologies.

  6. How does feminist criticism deal with sexual difference?
    1. Feminist critics believe that sexual difference means sexual discrimination and repression.
      1. Feminist critics want to rewrite literary history and to design the curriculum.
      2. Can men, the class whose powers feminism analyzes severely, help feminism?
    2. Feminist critics celebrate the women's difference.
      1. The celebration of women's difference has produced a number of critical studies, biographies and anthologies.
      2. How much does gender matter to literature?
    3. Feminist critics recognize the difference.
      1. The study of the difference is the subject of women itself.
      2. Feminist critics question the meaning of a women authors'¦ membership in a social group or groups.
      3. In the 1970's, feminist critics divided into several different critical communities.

  7. Kate Millett's Sexual Politics has merits and demerits.
    1. Although Tori Moi praises Millett for challenging cultural authority, she charges that Millett is a misreader, ignorant of form, messy with facts.
    2. Stimpson condemns Millett's use of the generic he in her preface, which masculinizes the reader of her book..

  8. Conclusion:
Feminist criticism still rejects hierarchies of literary values and also continues to suspect linear notions of literary history.

          Redrawing the Boundaries: The Transformation of English and American Literary Studies. 
                                                               Ed. Stephen Greenblatt & Gile Gunn.  NY: MLA, 1992.