In discourses of women’s issues and the history of development of feminist thought, the first-wave feminist movement is accorded a place that is secondary to the second-wave activism of the 1960s and 1970s. One of the reasons for this is the relative lack of emphasis on racial equality in the first-wave movement. To illustrate the point, we have to consider the historical and social context in which the first wave feminist movement was set. The last decades of the nineteenth century and . . . Read More
It is widely understood that Feminism, as the term had come to be defined is a distinctly twentieth century concept, precipitated primarily by the women suffragette movement in the first half of the century and later by the American civil rights movement in the second half. Yet, author Marlene LeGates presents new perspectives on the origins of feminist thought in her scholarly work In Their Time: A History of Feminism in the Western World. This essay will cite instances from this book as well . . . Read More
Bringing forth the intensity of her French-language movies but still maintaining aspects of conventional English movies, Director Lea Pool’s maiden English language venture represents a sound, if somewhat cloyingly romantic, over-earnest film. While the film could be criticized for being overwrought with growth, discovery, adolescent love and passion in the confines of a girls’ residential school, its overall impact is bolstered by commendable lead performance from Piper Perabo, which, alongside the film’s erotic moments, should help win new audiences. Adapted by Canadian screenwriter Judith Thompson from Susan Swan’s novel “The Wives of Bath,” the movie is Lea Pool’s first experience working from a script she didn’t write herself. While most of the successful lesbian movies of previous years, including “Go Fish,” “The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love” and “But I’m a Cheerleader,” . . . Read More
While novels such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, Kate Chopin’s ‘The Awakening’, Margaret Atwood’s ‘Surfacing’ are essential entries in the feminist literary canon, Stephen King’s Carrie does not belong in this company. The crucial difference is that almost all novels that explore femininity and women’s identity are written by women authors themselves. Keeping with the trend, Stephen King’s attempted portrayal of a woman’s innermost thoughts is quite . . . Read More
Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy is another work that could be classified under the feminist canon. The feminist expressions in this five-part novel could be found in the exchanges between the women characters. The imaginative and detailed inquiry into the relationships between mothers and daughters, rich and poor, and black and white in the book brings forth the author’s thoughts on feminism. The fact that Lucy is a semi-autobiographical account of Kincaid’s life experiences makes its voice all the more authentic. The applicability of feminist theories in Rebecca was in the context of the narrator’s relationship with Maxim and his dead Mistress Rebecca. In Lucy, by contrast, we see Jamaica Kincaid’s exploration of subtleties and intricacies involved in relationships between different female characters in the story. Feminism is . . . Read More
Feminism is commonly understood to be the women’s movement for political, social, educational and economic equality with men. While the United States and Europe have been the geo-political arenas for feminist ideas, the rest of the world is also catching up. Feminist issues range from “access to employment, education, child care, contraception, and abortion, to equality in the workplace, changing family roles, redress for sexual harassment in the workplace, and the need for equal political representation”. The object of this essay is to discuss the following three books from the feminist perspective: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, Lucy by Jamaica Kincard and Carrie by Stephen King.
The novel Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier belongs to two genres – romance and crime. Though the two categories might appear incongruous, . . . Read More
Doris Lessing as a literary artist incorporates autobiographical elements in most of her works. And the short story “To Room Nineteen” is no different. The other recurrent theme of Lessing’s writing is her provocative brand of feminism, which also finds expression in this story. The objective of this paper is to draw parallels between the lives of the author and her lead character Susan Rawlings.
In the short story To Room Nineteen, the protagonist Susan Rawlings is propelled by her circumstances into committing suicide. But, this Lessing has dealt with the subject already in her 1971 novel . . . Read More
The advancement of technology in relation to artificial reproductive techniques have thrown open a social debate that has wide-ranging implications. The society is challenged to find a balance between new commercial opportunities and their moral underpinnings. In this essay, salient points in favor and against such reproductive practices will be presented from a neutral perspective.
One of the clear dangers of scientifically engineered reproduction is the unprecedented social and moral complications entailing a cloned human being. The debate on cloning is a subject in its own right and hence this essay will only pertain itself to surrogate motherhood in its traditional and modern versions which categorically excludes the concept of cloning.
It is believed that nearly one in eight heterosexual couple in the United States cannot have babies due to infertility of one or the other. Reproducing and having a family of one’s own is a basic human objective. In this . . . Read More
In her essay titled “Chappals and Gym Shorts”, author Almas Sayeed points to the sources of cultural conflict affronting people like her, when caught between an impulse for progress and the restrictions of tradition. Almas alludes to the fact that she herself is not certain about her sexual identity and orientation. For example, not only was she in a long term relationship with a White man, but she also has a huge crush on a particular girl from her college. While Almas is . . . Read More
The essay taken for analysis is “The Hazards of Naming Sexual Attraction”, written by Michael Kauth. This piece deals with the technicalities involved with naming someone a homosexual. In a world made small by better connectivity and the Internet, words such as “gay, lesbian, homosexual, queer, straight, etc” assume different meanings in different cultural contexts. In the words of the author,
“The term ‘homosexual’ was adopted in the late 19th century by psychiatrists and medical . . . Read More