Updated: Oct 7, 2021
According to the Cambridge online dictionary feminism is “the belief that women should be allowed the same rights, power, and opportunities as men and be treated in the same way, or the set of activities intended to achieve this state.” and feminist literature or feminist criticism as it is often referred to, is "fiction, nonfiction, drama, or poetry, which supports the feminist goals of defining, establishing, and defending equal civil, political, economic, and social rights for women.".
Feminist literature is a literal movement that was born of the need to express injustice faced by women and a need for change, in the nineteenth century with the first wave of feminism, roughly the 1860s to the 1940s. It was a voice reporting, supporting, and reflecting thoughts and feelings of women towards lack of women's rights, social boundaries, frustration, humiliation, patriarchy and outright indignation regarding voting restrictions, marital repression, and male dominance, and also breaking down gender-specific misconceptions.
Feminist literature is characterized by portraying characters and ideas that attempt to change gender norms by tending to examine, question, and argue for change against established and outdated gender roles using the written word. It fights and strives against gender injustice and inequalities by addressing and treating attitudes, stereotypes, patriarchal societal norms, struggles and issues women always face in different fields, social, political, cultural, economical,..etc in their societies.
In a male dominated society, it is necessary for women to be represented by feminism generally and by feminist literature in literature to reduce being over looked and underpresented by the media. Feminist literature has made an impressive impact since its appearance to make women's voices heard and help making progress in the situation and the position of women in a patriarchal world. Ink and paper are then a literal weapon allowing women to fight for getting back the rights they have been denied of in the first place, and preserving and saving a legacy and history of the feminist struggle and fighting in a written format for the next generations.
The literal floor is flourished by its feminist writers, males and females, who left an impact as inspiring feminists of all the times and here are some leading and inspiring examples :
● How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
● The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou
● Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
● Into the Go-Slow by Bridgett M. Davis
● Sophocles Antigone
● The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
● The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
● The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
● The Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill
● Pride and prejudice by jane Austen
● A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.
● The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
● A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
● The Meaning of Freedom and Other Difficult Dialogues by Angela Davis
● A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
● Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks
● Gender Outlaw by Kate Bornstein
● Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
● Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
● Matilda by Roald Dahl
● Redefining Realness by Janet Mock