The Evolution of the Feminist Perspective

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Introduce how feminism is ever changing. It is both reactionary to progress made, and an advocate of further progress. Because society's treatment of gender relations are continually developing and changing, it is difficult to compare any two feminist authors. By analysing the goals of feminist authors with respect to their time periods, however, it becomes easier to view the overall priorities of feminist thought. Wollstonecraft's work in the 18th century were certainly ahead of their time (in that feminist thought did not yet exist), yet she did not take her arguments to any level of extremism (possibly because there was no concept of feminism to support her ideas). Though feminist priorities have changed over time – not that this is a single movement, but a collection of viewpoints regarding gender roles, relations and rights – different authors have focused on different aspects of gender relations. Using the works of Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, and even the later Ursula Le Guin, it is possible to see the evolving dynamic of gender relations. Education is something that runs through the earliest work of these feminists. Wollstonecraft was concerned with the accessibility of education to women, in terms of progressing humanity. Woolf uses a historical perspective to deal with how the issue had not yet been solved in her time. De Beauvoir, too, is not content with the level of education of her peers – though her perspective differs from her predecessors because of new circumstances in her time. Wollstonecraft's argument stems from a humanistic, and realistic perspective. She focuses on the limiting factor of education, saying that education would “enable the individual... independent,”1. She goes on to s... ... middle of paper ... ...ov. 2013. . de Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex. Leitch, Vincent B. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 2010. Le Guin, Ursula. Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places. New York: Grove, 1989. LeGuin, Ursula K. The Left Hand of Darkness. New York: Ace, 2003. Marcus, Jane. New Feminist Essays on Virginia Woolf. Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 1981. Sandford, Stella. How to Read Beauvoir. New York: W.W. Norton, 2007. Wollstonecraft, Mary. A Vindication of the Rights of Women. Leitch, Vincent B. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 2010. Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One's Own. Leitch, Vincent B. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 2010.
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