Thesis feminism literature

Feminist Criticism (1960s-present)

Anti —abortion laws was considered the heart of the female sexuality regulation and denied women control of their own sexuality. New writings and views coming from Friedan, Greer, Brownmiller, Jong, Hewlett and other former feminists during the s proved to be crucially vital in the creation of an even more sustained critique of modern feminism during the early s. The writings of Camille Paglia, Katie Roiphe and Christina Hoff Sommers contributed a genuine intellectual backlash against modern feminism.

Radical feminist Gloria Allred and Mary Daly argued that human society would be better off with few men. Katha Pollitt with her book Reasonable Creatures and Nadine Strossen, author of Defending Pornography, consider feminism to be as simple as "women are people. However, monogamy evolved as a way just like that of the human infants who were born relatively vulnerable in comparison to other species would survive in their early development. There are more to sight just to illustrate the effect and the influence of modern feminine literature to our society.


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It is everywhere- in schools, universities, in churches, in politics. It affects behavior towards a certain belief and it is focused between gender-gender equality- its definition, application, and evolution. Thus feminism serves as a gender ideology of our society. Need essay sample on "Modern Feminism Literature" topic? We will write a custom essay sample specifically for you Proceed. Some Indian feminists have suggested that these issues are not specifically "Indian" in nature but rather a reflection of a wider trend of patriarchal oppression of women. According to Maitrayee Chaudhari, unlike the Western feminist movement, India's movement was initiated by men , and later joined by women.

But feminism as an initiative by women started independently a little later in Maharashtra by pioneering advocates of women's rights and education: Savitribai Phule , who started the first school for girls in India ; [18] [19] Tarabai Shinde , who wrote India's first feminist text Stri Purush Tulana A Comparison Between Women and Men in ; and Pandita Ramabai , who criticized patriarchy and caste-system in Hinduism, married outside her caste and converted to Christianity s. The efforts of Bengali reformers included abolishing sati , which was a widow's death by burning on her husband's funeral pyre, [2] [20] abolishing the custom of child marriage , abolishing the disfiguring of widows, introducing the marriage of upper caste Hindu widows, promoting women's education, obtaining legal rights for women to own property, and requiring the law to acknowledge women's status by granting them basic rights in matters such as adoption.

The 19th century was the period that saw a majority of women's issues which came under the spotlight and reforms began to be made. Much of the early reforms for Indian women were conducted by men. However, by the late 19th century they were joined in their efforts by their wives, sisters, daughters, protegees and other individuals directly affected by campaigns such as those carried out for women's education. By the late 20th century, women gained greater autonomy through the formation of independent women's own organisations.

By the late thirties and forties a new narrative began to be constructed regarding "women's activism". This was newly researched and expanded with the vision to create 'logical' and organic links between feminism and Marxism, as well as with anti-communalism and anti-casteism, etc.

10 Writing Ideas about Feminism from Essay Help Pros

The Constitution of India did guarantee 'equality between the sexes,' which created a relative lull in women's movements until the s. During the formative years of women's rights movements, the difference between the sexes was more or less taken for granted in that their roles, functions, aims and desires were different.

As a result, they were not only to be reared differently but treated differently also.


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  4. Over the course of time, this difference itself became a major reason for initiating women's movements. Early 19th century reformers argued that the difference between men and women was no reason for the subjection of women in society. However, later reformers were of the opinion that indeed it was this particular difference that subjugated women to their roles in society, for example, as mothers. Therefore, there was a need for the proper care of women's rights.

    With the formation of women's organisations and their own participation in campaigns, their roles as mothers was again stressed but in a different light: this time the argument was for women's rights to speech, education and emancipation. However, the image of women with the mother as a symbol underwent changes over time — from an emphasis on family to the creation of an archetypal mother figure, evoking deep, often atavistic images.

    The colonial venture into modernity brought concepts of democracy, equality and individual rights. The rise of the concept of nationalism and introspection of discriminatory practices brought about social reform movements related to caste and gender relations. This first phase of feminism in India was initiated by men to uproot the social evils of sati widow immolation , [22] to allow widow remarriage, to forbid child marriage, and to reduce illiteracy, as well as to regulate the age of consent and to ensure property rights through legal intervention.

    In addition to this, some upper caste Hindu women rejected constraints they faced under Brahminical traditions. These movements resisted 'colonial interventions in gender relations' particularly in the areas of family relations. In the mid to late nineteenth century, there was a national form of resistance to any colonial efforts made to 'modernize' the Hindu family.

    This included the Age of Consent controversy that erupted after the government tried to raise the age of marriage for women. During this period the struggle against colonial rule intensified. Nationalism became the pre-eminent cause. Claiming Indian superiority became the tool of cultural revivalism resulting in an essential model of Indian womanhood similar to that of Victorian womanhood: special yet separated from public space.


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    6. Gandhi legitimized and expanded Indian women's public activities by initiating them into the non-violent civil disobedience movement against the British Raj. He exalted their feminine roles of caring, self-abnegation, sacrifice and tolerance; and carved a niche for those in the public arena. Peasant women played an important role in the rural satyagrahas of Borsad and Bardoli. Women were grappling with issues relating to the scope of women's political participation, women's franchise , communal awards, and leadership roles in political parties.

      Feminism in Literature

      The s was a new era for Indian women and is defined as 'feminism' that was responsible for the creation of localized women's associations. These associations emphasized women's education issues, developed livelihood strategies for working-class women, and also organised national level women's associations such as the All India Women's Conference. Under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi , it worked within the nationalist and anti-colonialist freedom movements. This made the mass mobilisation of women an integral part of Indian nationalism.

      Women therefore were a very important part of various nationalist and anti-colonial efforts, including the civil disobedience movements in the s. However, feminist agendas and movements became less active right after India's independence, as the nationalist agendas on nation building took precedence over feminist issues.

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      Women's participation in the struggle for freedom developed their critical consciousness about their role and rights in independent India. This resulted in the introduction of the franchise and civic rights of women in the Indian constitution. The state adopted a patronizing role towards women. For example, India's constitution states that women are a "weaker section" of the population, and therefore need assistance to function as equals. The utopia ended soon when the social and cultural ideologies and structures failed to honour the newly acquired concepts of fundamental rights and democracy.

      Post independence feminists began to redefine the extent to which women were allowed to engage in the workforce. Prior to independence, most feminists accepted the sexual divide within the labour force.

      Postnational feminism in Third World women's literature

      However, feminists in the s challenged the inequalities that had been established and fought to reverse them. These inequalities included unequal wages for women, relegation of women to 'unskilled' spheres of work, and restricting women as a reserve army for labour. In other words, the feminists' aim was to abolish the free service of women who were essentially being used as cheap capital. This also posed as a challenge for feminists while shaping their overreaching campaigns as there had to be a focus within efforts to ensure that fulfilling the demands of one group would not create further inequalities for another.

      Now, in the early twenty-first century, the focus of the Indian feminist movement has gone beyond treating women as useful members of society and a right to parity, but also having the power to decide the course of their personal lives and the right of self-determination. She served as prime minister of India for three consecutive terms —77 and a fourth term from until she was assassinated in Section 53A of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Indian law, lays down certain provisions for medical examination of the accused.

      Mary Roy won a lawsuit in , against the inheritance legislation of her Keralite Syrian Christian community in the Supreme Court.

      Women and literature

      The judgement ensured equal rights for Syrian Christian women with their male siblings in regard to their ancestral property. In , the Kerala High Court restricted entry of women above the age of 10 and below the age of 50 from Sabarimala Shrine as they were of the menstruating age. However, on 28 September , the Supreme Court of India lifted the ban on the entry of women.

      It said that discrimination against women on any grounds, even religious, is unconstitutional. The state of Kerala is often viewed as the ideal progressive leader in the women's rights movement in India among states. Kerala maintains very high relative levels of female literacy and women's health, as well as greater female inheritance and property rights.

      It was brought into force by the Indian government from 26 October It is a civil law meant primarily for protection orders and not meant to penalize criminally. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal Act, is a legislative act in India that seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work.

      The Act came into force from 9 December The Criminal Law Amendment Act, introduced changes to the Indian Penal Code, making sexual harassment an expressed offence under Section A, which is punishable up to three years of imprisonment and or with fine. The Amendment also introduced new sections making acts like disrobing a woman without consent, stalking and sexual acts by person in authority an offense.

      It also made acid attacks a specific offence with a punishment of imprisonment not less than 10 years and which could extend to life imprisonment and with fine. Except in certain aggravated situation the punishment will be imprisonment not less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine. In aggravated situations, punishment will be rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.

      For instance, if the sexual assault inflicts an injury which causes death or causes the victim to be in a persistent vegetative state , then the convicted rapist must be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of at least twenty years and up to the remainder of the natural life or with a death penalty. Death penalty for the most extreme rape cases is specified. In May , the Supreme Court of India held that the two-finger test on a rape victim violates her right to privacy, and asked the Delhi government to provide better medical procedures to confirm sexual assault.

      In , an Indian family court in Mumbai ruled that a husband objecting to his wife wearing a kurta and jeans and forcing her to wear a sari amounts to cruelty inflicted by the husband and can be a ground to seek divorce. In a judgment of the Delhi high court was made public in which it was ruled that the eldest female member of a Hindu Undivided Family can be its "Karta".

      In the Supreme Court of India struck down a law making it a crime for a man to have sex with a married woman without the permission of her husband. Prior to November , women were forbidden to climb Agasthyarkoodam. A court ruling removed the prohibition. Despite "on-paper" advancements, many problems still remain which inhibit women from fully taking advantage of new rights and opportunities in India. There are many traditions and customs that have been an important part of Indian culture for hundreds of years.

      Religious laws and expectations, or "personal laws" enumerated by each specific religion, often conflict with the Indian Constitution, eliminating rights and powers women should legally have. Despite these crossovers in legality, the Indian government does not interfere with religion and the personal laws they hold. These hierarchies can be broken down into age, sex, ordinal position, kinship relationships within families , and caste, lineage, wealth, occupations, and relationship to ruling power within the community.

      When hierarchies emerge within the family based on social convention and economic need, girls in poorer families suffer twice the impact of vulnerability and stability. From birth, girls are automatically entitled to less; from playtime, to food, to education, girls can expect to always be entitled to less than their brothers. Girls also have less access to their family's income and assets, which is exacerbated among poor, rural Indian families. From the start, it is understood that females will be burdened with strenuous work and exhausting responsibilities for the rest of their lives, always with little to no compensation or recognition.

      India is also a patriarchal society, which, by definition, describes cultures in which males as fathers or husbands are assumed to be in charge and the official heads of households. A patrilineal system governs the society, where descent and inheritance are traced through the male line and men are generally in control of the distribution of family resources. These traditions and ways of Indian life have been in effect for so long that this type of lifestyle is what women have become accustomed to and expect. Indian women often do not take full advantage of their constitutional rights because they are not properly aware or informed of them.