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  • Feminism
    • Feminist critics focus on the struggles that women are faced with in society and how these are then translated into literature
    • Texts are analysed in a way that explores the patriarchy
    • The different ways in which genders and voices are represented
    • Texts are criticised for focusing on male protagonists while women have submissive roles
    • Acknowledges the negative representations of women in literature and film and how these produced obstacles to equality
    • Feminist critics acknowledge when literary female representations mimicked cultural stereotypes
    • Typical representations included: women being seen as cute and helpless, dangerous and seductive.
      • They focused on the work of male authors, but it was not uncommon to see female authors doing the same thing
    • Feminist literary criticism is a direct result of the woman's liberation movement of the 1960s.
    • Feminist criticism switched from criticising the male world to exploring the nature of the female world
    • They identify 'mechanisms of patriarchy': this is the cultural mindset held by both men and women that perpetuates sexual and gender inequality
    • In the late 1970s, there was a shift from 'androtexts' (books by men) to 'gynotexts' (books by women)
    • Elaine Showalter popularised the term 'gynocritics'. The subjects seen in gynocritics are 'the history, styles, themes, genres and structures of writing by women'.
      • Focus on the rediscovery of literature by women.
      • Focus on the value of woman's life experiences
      • Assess representations of women in literature by both men and women
      • Challenge representations of women
      • Examine power relations and the extent of patriarchy
      • Assess whether men and women are different due to biology or are different due to social construction
    • Gender is a social construct: it is not based on women men and women are, but the a given culture portrays them and constructs them.
      • For this reason, feminism focuses on gender specifically. A change in gender roles would be the most effective way of altering power relations in society
        • Masculine stereotyping is supposed to evoke positive emotions and feminine stereotyping is supposed to evoke negative emotions.


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