Feminist theory

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The original feminists today

Within feminist discourses there are a number of texts and authors who are held up as the exemplars and originates of the movement. Some of the most famous are Mary Wollstonecraft, who wrote the first seminal text ‘The rights of women,’ then we have Virginia Woolf with ‘A room of one’s own,’ Simone de Beauviour with ‘The second sex,’ and Germaine Greer’s explosive ‘The female eunuch,’ and so many more. Yet how well do these texts still speak to the women of today? What would Wollstonecraft, Woolf, de Beauviour and Greer think of the behaviours and portrayals of women today? Especially those that perpetuate some of the behaviours these women originally fought against. Has the social context changed so significantly that these texts no longer offer a valid perception? I would argue not, but perhaps there is a need for a new voice to frame the next wave of feminism?

  • very good topic. i would note that de Beauvoir's piece perhaps holds up in a very different way in regard to today compared to the others mentioned, as Beauvoir famously says in The Second Sex "one is not born, but rather becomes, a woman." such a statement seems especially relevant today considering the prevalence of gender fluid/gender non-binary identity, the acknowledgement by many that gender as such is a social construct, and the increased interest in gender abolition more generally. – ees 5 years ago