Feminist Literature

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Written by Gracielle Dedo

Origins

The 1860s to the 1940s span the years that feminist literature came into actual fruition. The first feminist-based novel written by a woman in 1792 was Vindication of a Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft. It was not until this “first wave” hit that the movement was concrete. With these first few years of feminist literature being introduced, more women advocated for their rights. The Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 in New York emerged in this era. The convention promoted women’s right to vote, education, and marriage. The “second wave” of literary feminism occurred from the 1960s to the 1970s.

Further rights were challenged, such as women working, reproductive rights, divorce, and sexuality. The “third wave” took place from the 1990s to the 2000s. Gender roles, sexual harassment, and intersectionality were all big ideas in this period. During this time, feminist literature reflected this advocacy. Right now, the “fourth wave” is in occurrence. Starting in 2012, ideals such as equal opportunity, inclusivity, and standing up against domestic violence are prevalent. 

 

Well Known Titles

The literature advocating feminist doctrine has been relevant for many years. Below is a list of some of the most well-known pieces of literature from the movement. 

  1. A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Wolf
  2. The Beauty Myth – Naomi Wolf
  3. Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
  4. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
  5. The Feminine Mystique – Betty Friedan

Sources:

Adams, Paige. “A Timeline of Feminism with Literary Influences.” The Uproar, 30 Mar. 2020, 

https://uproarcsu.com/politics/a-timeline-of-feminism-with-literary-influences/. 

Wood, Jennie. “Top Ten Most Influential Feminist Books.” Infoplease, Infoplease, 14 Feb. 2022, 

https://www.infoplease.com/culture-entertainment/journalism-literature/top-ten-most-infu

initial-feminist-books.