The History of Feminism: An analysis of Mary Wollstonecraft and Virginia Woolf

Posted: December 07, 2018

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The History of Feminism: An analysis of Mary Wollstonecraft and Virginia Woolf

Abstract

Feminism refers to a movement that is inclined towards the empowerment of women in the political and social settings. The movement gained popularity in late 19th century and early 20th century. It was aligned towards the achieving economic, political and social equality for women. Before the movement, women were often relegated to domestic settings and were not allowed active participation in the administrative process both nationally and domestically within the family settings. Many people believe that feminism ended with the emancipation of women in the society. However, women continue to experience inequality in the 21st century. This paper examines some of the feminist concerns today as captured by Virginia Woolf and Mary Wollstonecraft. The use of “A Room of One’s Own” by Virginia Woolf and “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” by Mary Wollstonecraft as theoretical inferences in the analysis is intended to establish the history of the feminist movement to the present day.
Introduction

Women in the 21st century continue to grapple with discrimination in the political, economic and social settings. For instance, only a handful of women form a part of the administrative bodies globally. Alternatively, recent times have seen increased calls for the levelling of pay rates that is extended to the male and female employees. Thus, many employers tend to pay better wages to male employees than the female employees for regardless of the homogeneity of their productivity and qualifications. Similarly, the underrepresentation of women in the technical and mechanical industries comprises a reflection of the patriarchal structure of the modern day society. Overall, there are very many problems that women continue to grapple with in the society that their male counterparts are not subjected to. The objectification of women through advertisements and music such as rap songs negates the feminist principles and further impedes the emancipation of women in the society.

Feminism is a term that is subject negative connotation in the society today. An increased number of individuals negate the plausibility of feminism in the 21st century. Such inclination is predicated on the idea that feminism has long achieved its objectives given the establishment and enactment of legal frameworks that protect women against inequality Indeed, there are several milestones that have been achieved since the establishment of the feminist movement. However, majority women continue to experience hindrances which are occasioned by the inefficiency of the enacted policies and the lack of goodwill in the enforcement of the same by the relevant institutions. The assumption that feminism outlived its usefulness is further augmented by the increase in radical groups which are often inclined towards the framework. Such notions negate the intention of feminism as it was mainly intended to improve the lives and position of women in the society vis-à-vis the male members of the society Given the resistance that is often extended the feminist initiatives, it is plausible to state that feminism is under threat. The threat still hovers long after the establishment of metrics which were enacted to prevent such an outcome. Given the potency of the threat that is posed by the detractors of feminist principles in the 21st century, there is an overriding need to trace the roots of feminism and to capture some of the literary voices that globalised the movement and enabled the creation of policies which protected women’s rights in the society.

Virginia Woolf comprises a significant factor in the feminist movement (Freedman 26). Similarly, Mar Wollstonecraft provides another leading proponent of the feminist stance. Working in different centuries, the authors engage different narration elements in expounding on the topic of feminism. The portrayal of women in the texts “A Room of One’s Own” and “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” converge around the notion that members of the female sex are subjected to inequalities and operational limitations that members of the male sex are not subjected to given the patriarchal nature of the society. Woolf established that “women have sat indoors all these millions of years, so that by this time the very walls are permeated by their creative force, which has, indeed, so overcharged the capacity of bricks and mortar that it must need harness itself to pens and brushes and business and politics” (112). Similarly, Wollstonecraft, with regards to the aims of feminism, determined that “virtue can only flourish by equals” (34). Thus, both authors were inclined towards the promotion of equality for women in the society and the negation of the discrimination based on gender. Whereas this goal is often overlooked in the modern day arguments against feminism, it provides the major intent of feminism. Feminism was not intended to undermine members of the male gender. Instead, it was intended to streamline the rights that were being extended to both men and women to better the standards of living among women and allow them a greater influence in the social processes.

The primary objective of this analytical exploration is to learn the origins of feminism through the analysis of the literary opinions established by Mary Wollstonecraft and Virginia Woolf. The two authors approach the feminist topic from different angles. However, all of them converge around the notion which reinforces the emancipation and empowerment of women in the society. Woolf and Wollstonecraft project different stances with regards to the degrees of freedom that women should be extended. However, this is a consequence of the cultural disparities that existed in Wollstonecraft's and Woolf's era. In reflecting on the issue of the origins of feminism, it is necessary to examine the differences and similarities in the opinions of the two authors with regards to feminism. Similarly, the study will seek to determine the influences of the two authors on the spread of the feminist stance in the 18th and 20th century respectively. In achieving its goal, the paper will augment its analysis through the use of feminist theoretical perspectives.

Methodology

  1. Theoretical Contexts

The analysis of the roots of feminism will be predicated on several theoretical contexts. Similarly, it will engage the analysis of related texts to establish the background of feminism in the society. To begin with, the employ of the social-cognitive theory can be used to establish the motivations behind the development of feminist calls in the society. The social-cognitive theory was developed by Albert Bandura and provides an appropriate theory in the attempt to determine the structure of the society and why it tilts against the women. Essentially, it explores the influences of social norms and gender inequality. Gender inequality, which gave rise to feminism, could be a consequence of indoctrination and the socialisation that one is subject to during growth from childhood to adulthood. Based on the social-cognitive theory, a society that is patriarchal is more likely to discriminate against women. Such a society is often divided along the lines of gender roles. As children grow up in such settings, they are often informed of the limitations of their initiatives depending on their genders. Consequently, such children begin "to form expectations about the response of others to her or his behaviour and interests" (Galliano 54). Societies that align themselves to the gender roles framework encourage disintegration among women and men by alluding to the differences that exist between members of the male sex and the females. For instance, when girls are exposed to certain toys, while in equal measure, discouraged from engaging other toys that are accessible to the boy child, they develop the idea that they are not qualified to engage certain careers. Thus, there are presently more men than women in the scientific field. In communities that align themselves to the gender disparity framework, girls are discouraged from pursuing careers in the scientific fields while boys are encouraged to pursue technical careers. Ultimately, members become more empowered than the female. Such inclinations justify the rise of feminism. Women sought ways through which they could permeate the barriers that were set forth by the social norms. Feminism provided the medium through which they could negate the prevailing norms which hindered the growth of the woman in the society. Overall, the social norms prevailing in the 18th century and the 20th century played an immense role in promoting feminism in the society.

            Similarly, gender inequality can be explained through the employ of psychoanalysis as a theoretical background. Psychoanalysis explains that feminism was a consequence of the need to transcend the barriers that socialisation had erected in the minds of the members of the society against women emancipation. Explored by Nancy Chodorow, gender stereotyping was ingrained in the minds of individuals in the society and portended danger to women’s freedom since it negated women’s development while advocating for the growth of the male individuals in the subject society. Essentially, communities that practised gender inequality focused on the mother-child relationship as the source of socialisation for the children. In growing up, children were exposed to the notion that women were supposed to be attentive, effeminate, and mother-like. In the era, women provided the primary child caretakers whereas the male in the society performed the role of providing for their families (Galliano 53). Equally, the socialisation process in the subject societies decried effeminate characters among men. For instance, whereas men were expected to be demanding and aggressive, grace provided the major virtue that was encouraged among women. Thus feminism provided a forum through which shared responsibilities in parenthood could be advocated for. Communities that aligned themselves to gender segmentation predicated their beliefs in the physical and psychological differences of the male vis-à-vis the women. Therefore, since men were considered to be stronger than women, it was assumed that women were inferior to men (Galliano 53). All these analyses support the idea that gender inequality was a consequence of stereotyping which was mainly reinforced by parents and the communities that prevailed in the 18th and 20th century.

            The similarities in the two theoretical contexts are projected in the inclinations that the two frameworks present with regards to gender stereotyping. Both converge around the notion that the society was responsible for the propagation of gender disparity in the community. Each of the theories' understanding of inequality towards women is predicated on the understanding that the society assigns gender roles and determines the behavioural patterns of the males and the females in the subject community. Mainly, it alludes to the stagnated nature of traditions which encourage the empowerment of men above the women. Communities that practice such retrogressive practices limit the progress of women and thus, in turn, inspire feminism in the given communities. Bandura’s theoretical framework comprises the next theoretical principle that can be used to explain the rise of feminism as a result of gender inequality. It, however, fails to explain the factor that inspires the given communities to assign different roles to different members of the subject community. Lakoff provided another insight into the gender role discourse. He established that “if we do learn all the … the language of our sex, we are ridiculed for being unable to think clearly, unable to take part in a serious discussion, and, therefore, unfit to hold a position of power” (Lakoff 65). This is an allusion to the negation of women’s progress based on gender disparities that exist within the society today. This argument is predicated on the negative influences of the languages used in a given community on the overall position of women in the society. The language that members of a certain community engage with regards to males and females in that society provides a reflection of the gender roles in the subject community. The author further alludes to other instances of inequality between men and women. For instance, in the majority of the communities that lived in the 18th and 19th century, women were not allowed to retain their names after the death of their husbands while men were never referred by their wives’ names long after they had died (Lakoff 67).

  1. Literature Review

The origins and ultimate spread of feminism can be subdivided into three segments. Historians in the 21st century have found traces of feminism in the late 15th century.Prior to the establishment of the modern day feminism, there were many authors who explored gender inequality during the 15th century. One of the notable texts to have been developed in the 15th century, which captured the aspects of feminism, entails the “Epistle of the God of Love” (Ferree and Hess 53). Other pundits in the given era included Modesta di Pozzo di Fori and Ann Bradstreet. The documented origins of feminism establish the movement began in the 18th century with the rise of the suffragettes. In 1918, after the struggle for recognition that spanned over 10 years, women were allowed the right to vote. The Representation of the People Act of 1918 empowered women to vote in public elections as long as they were above the age of 30 years old (Ferree and Hess 56). The enactment of the bill furthered calls for equality in the society. The first wave of feminism was inclined towards equality in marriage, property rights and contracts. This initial wave mainly took place in the US and the UK. Some of the Acts that were enacted as a result of feminism in the 19th century UK include Custody of Infants Act of 1839 and the Married Women’s Property Act of 1870. Other pioneer countries include Australia and New Zealand. At the shift of the century, feminism shifted from the domestic setting to the larger social setting. This shift provided the second wave of feminism. In the second wave, women were mainly concerned with augmenting their power in the political scene. Before the introduction of policies that protected women's rights in the society, the overall assumption was that women were deviant (Bauer 21).Overall, the second wave involved the Suffragists. The Suffragists were advocates of the feminist movement who advocated for women's rights to vote. It is their direct efforts that led to the creation of the Representation of the People Act of 1918 which had been mentioned earlier. Other policies to have been created in the second wave of feminism include the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution of 1919 which allowed all the women across America to participate in the public voting system (Reger 32).

            Feminism continued to spread to other parts of Europe and quickly found its way to Arabian countries such as Iran and Asia. In China, the Chinese Communist Party played a pivotal role in the emancipation of the Chinese women. Essentially, the second wave of feminism in the late 20th century aimed to completely eradicate discrimination which was predicated on gender bias. The third wave of feminism which began in the early 1990s encourages the use of sexuality as a medium through which women can empower themselves in their communities. The third wave of feminism is subject factions. Whereas one faction believes that there are innate differences between men and women, the other faction contends that the differences are a culmination and socialisation. Similarly, the latter further negates the essences of femininity. Essentially, it assumes that the virtues which are heaped on women do not reflect their true nature as they were constructed by a patriarchal society. The third wave of feminism continues today and provides a framework through which women advocate for increased participation in the economy. For instance, the increased calls for the standardisation of wages among male and female workers is a reflection of the sentiments that are projected by advocates of the third wave of feminism. Still, despite the several milestones that have been achieved by the feminist movement, women continue to experience several challenges in the 21st century. They have not been able to achieve ultimate emancipation. For instance, the majority of the political position are still occupied by members of the male sex. Similarly, women are underrepresented and underpaid in the corporate world. Consequently, there is an overriding need to explore the literary heritages of Mary Wollstonecraft and Virginia Woolf and the impact that their sentiments had on the feminist movement. The analyses of the mentioned authors further allow the opportunity for assessment of the progress of feminism and the establishment of ways through which future feminist call can be streamlined.

Literary Analyses of Mary Wollstonecraft and Virginia Woolf

The authors Mary Wollstonecraft and Virginia Woolf provided pioneer insights into the feminist debate and the factors that promote the gender inequality against women. Considered the literary pioneers of the feminist movement, the two authors used literary elements to determine the origins of inequality and the partiality of social institutions.

  1. Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft is one of the earliest pioneers of the Feminist movement. She played an active role in advocating for the rights of women in the 18th century. Born in 1759 to Elizabeth and Edward Wollstonecraft, her adult inclinations were shaped by the instability of her family where her mother performed the majority of the household chores and motherly duties. Her father’s constant change of occupation ensured that Mary and her family were always moving from one region to the other (Garner 83), Mary did not receive formal education as a kid since it was not considered critical among women at the time. The majority of the educated men in the community were men who had committed themselves to overseeing administrative and military duties. As a child, Mary Wollstonecraft projected a compelling desire to pursue the formal learning process (Garner 85). However, since neither her father nor mother were willing to negate the social norms, she undertook to study on her own. She constantly immersed herself in books that explored humanity and the nature of relationships between men and women in the society.

Intrinsically, her love for exploratory texts only served to reinforce her austerity. As a second-born child in a family of six, Wollstonecraft was compelled to constantly play the mother role to all of the remaining siblings. It is in this early stage of life that Mary Wollstonecraft was able to observe the injustices that were committed against women in her society. Her father was a vile-tempered man who constantly bludgeoned Mary’s mother and made it a priority to undermine her authority in the household through constant abuse. Mary’s father provides a reflection of the pervasiveness of patriarchal societies in the 18th century. At the time, women were projected to be no more than servants to the demands of their husbands. They served the purpose of bearing children and further submitted to the family and the husband. Seeing the cruelty that her mother and most members of the female sex in the community had to bear, Mary made it a priority to avoid the same for herself. By the time her mother died, Elizabeth Dixon had suffered immensely in the hands of her brutal husband who treated her like a slave (Johnson 2). The desire to change the situation for all women in her community inspired her to develop a school for girls.

Nevertheless, it was not long before the school collapsed due to inexperience and inadequate funds. Similarly, the majority of the residents in her community, having been exposed to solely male hegemony, refused to help her in the venture and as such, she was compelled to close the school at its infant stage. Later on, without an option with regards to sustenance, Mary was forced to move back into her father's setting where she quickly learnt that her abusive father had married off his daughter to an equally abusive man. She resorted to aid her sister in escaping the shackles that had been imposed by her husband and further resorted to seeking a more pronounced medium of communicating her desires. Subsequently, she solicited the help of Joseph Johnson, a renown radical publisher at the time. It was Johnson who introduced Mary to the world of literature (Caine 24).Her interactions with the publishers led to the development of the book "Thoughts on the Education of Daughters” (Burke 54). The book captured the immensity of teaching the girl child in the society. It further captured the overriding need for parents to take better care of the children that they sire. It reinforced further freedom of women with regards to their sustenance. By empowering girls in the society, the girls would be able to provide for themselves without the need for dependence on their husbands which inspired brutality among the men. At the time, given the patriarchal nature of the society, the book saw only a mild success. However, it provided Mary with the platform that would enable her to quickly draft another book.

Mary’s ultimate recognition came after the French Revolution. The “Vindication of the Rights of Women” was met with ire and alacrity in equal measure. Her promotion of women’s right to equality provided the initial feminist stance in the modern world. Nonetheless, Mary Wollstonecraft did not live to see the fruits of her labour as by the time she died, the majority of the women were still considered an inferior gender in many settings. Mary Wollstonecraft gave birth to her daughter Mary Godwin who became famous later on for her intriguing novel “Frankenstein” (Jeanneney 81).

The Vindication of the Rights of Women: "The Vindication of the Rights of Women" by Mary Wollstonecraft provided the basic foundation for feminism. Essentially, it provides the foremost textual analysis that reinforced the need for the promotion of equality between men and women in the society. Whereas it did not capture the empowerment of women in the administrative roles, it demanded that girls be educated just as were boys in the prevailing societies. The book was published in 1792 and provides the metric by which future feminist inclinations were predicated on in future England. The book hoped to justify the empowerment of women through education. Essentially, it was based on the belief that the empowerment of women will not only aid the economies of the family settings but further allow women more power to determine their fates as individuals and not wives or mothers. Still, despite the aims of the book, it was met with significant criticism from both the public and administrative realms. The major belief in the 18th century England was that women's roles were limited to the domestic settings. The ideas represented in the book proved to be controversial. At the time, education for women was unheard of, and many assumed that educating women would only serve to propagate sentimentality and foolishness in the society. In the “Vindication of the Rights of the Women” Wollstonecraft determined that “it is vain to expect virtue from women till they are in some degree independent of men; nay, it is vain to expect that strength of natural affection that would make them good wives and mothers, whilst they are absolutely dependent on their husbands they will be cunning, mean, and selfish” (Wollstonecraft 221). Essentially, this statement was a negation to claims of cunning and selfishness among women.

Principally, it was impossible to expect women to avoid cunning given that all their initiatives were controlled by the men in the society. Thus, women chose to be cunning as a means of promoting their individual interests. Without equality in the society, such acts would continue to form part and parcels of the affected communities. This is because without equality, women would continue to suffer impositions that were instituted by the male members of the society. In the traditional family setting, women were domestically taught to address the needs and desires of their husbands. Thus, it was erroneously assumed that they could be no more than that which had been defined by the men. In such family arrangements, most of the time women would channel their frustration towards their children which would, in turn, inspire moral decay. Wollstonecraft was of the idea that educating women would mitigate the social ills in the prevailing society (Ford 199). The less frustrated the women were, through educational empowerment, the more likely that the society would develop. This is because educational empowerment would provide women with various options which would significantly aid their progress economically and socially. The “Vindication of the Rights of the Women” further captures the contentious sexual topic in the 18th century. Wollstonecraft contended that women, like men, had strong sexual desires but were forced to suppress them given that an exhibit of their desires would be considered immoral in the prevailing 18th century English society. Many at the time felt that her sentiments were a reflection of the frustration she suffered in the hands of an abusive husband and the horrors she witnessed as a child growing up in a household that was mainly controlled by an abusive further. Thus, she established that women “might as well pine married as single, for she (they) would not be a lot unhappier with a bad husband than longing for a good one” (Wollstonecraft 98). Major criticism of the sentiment originated from the male members of the society who had grown up in patriarchal family settings and had been exposed to a system that promoted the desires and needs of man above those of a woman (Hawley 12).

Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Edmund Burke provide two of the major recipients of Wollstonecraft’s ire with regards to equality in the society. The two philosophers played a pivotal role in reinforcing freedom and independence among individuals in the society. However, they failed to capture the need for women’s emancipation. This, according to Wollstonecraft, was hypocritical since she was aligned to the notion that an appropriate freedom framework should entail the emancipation of both men and women (Monroe 145). Mary’s exploration of the lives of the bourgeoisie provided another source of criticism that was levelled against her. The “Vindication of the Rights of the Women” failed to succinctly address the challenges that were facing women in the lower end of the social classes in England (Monroe 147). However, this act can be forgiven on the premises that Mary had mainly based her arguments on the setting that she was conversant with in the middle-upper class society. Conclusively, with regards to the political scenery, Wollstonecraft predicated that the constitution in England, given its disregard of the rights of women “was settled in the dark days of ignorance, when the minds of men were shackled by the grossest prejudices and most immoral superstition (11). Modern day feminism is a direct result of the principles that were propagated in the book “The Vindication of the Rights of the Women”. It provides the earliest textual emphasis on the emancipation of women in the society.

  1. Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf was born on the 25th of January, 1882 in London. Woolf is a pseudonym that she assumed later on in life. At birth, Woolf was known as Adeline Virginia Stephen. Her feminist inclinations were augmented throughout her childhood as a result of her love for study and introspection. Unlike Wollstonecraft, Woolf had unlimited access to her father's library which gave her an opportunity to assess the philosophies behind social freedoms. Woolf, like Wollstonecraft, did not attend formal schooling. Instead, she undertook to educate herself from the books that she could find in her father's library (Clarke 63). It was in the process of reading that her authorship dreams were formulated and primed. However, at this early stage, Woolf had not indicated any inclinations towards feminism. Woolf did not have enough motherly nurture given that her mother died when she was still a child. Her mother’s death inspired a series of trauma that would follow her into adulthood (Briggs 25). Her father's and sister's loss, which followed in the wake of her mother's death, significantly impeded her psychological well-being which led to her being institutionalised in the later years of her life. Her initial feminist desires were inspired at the King’s College where she undertook language lessons.

Still, it was not until she met members of the Bloomsbury that she resorted to employing the pen to challenge the existing social inclinations with regards to equality between men and women. The group had been converted by Woolf's brother, Thoby; before his death in the 1900s (Briggs 39). Her mission began in the aftermath of World War I. During the war, women were called upon to assume duties that were traditionally executed by the men given that the majority of the men had gone off to fight in the World War I.Nonetheless, the writer’s life was marked by incessant depression and restlessness which culminated in her suicide in 1941. The most notable feminist textual analysis comprises “A Room of One’s Own”. Other than the book she was able to draft several poems and stories which documented the struggles of women in the society and the morality of human actions.

A Room of One’ Own: “A Room of One’s Own” provides the most significant text that was developed by Virginia Woolf. The book reinforced the freedom of women in the society. She determined that women’s potentials and imagination were being curtailed by the constant impositions of the family life and the demands of the spouses who assumed that the only duties befitting the women were the domestic affiliated. Conventional family settings at the time did not encourage the participation of women in the administrative systems and instead relegated their efforts to the confines of their home settings. Therefore, "women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size” (Woolf 6). In reinforcing her inclinations towards feminism, the text documents the tribulations that other notable women who lived in the previous centuries had to contend with as a result of the impositions of the prevailing patriarchal society. In the last days of her life, Woolf suffered immense psychological challenges which significantly affected her writing styles (Majumdar and McLaurin 59).

 Some of the notable literary icons, inclined towards the feminist stance in the previous century and captured by Woolf in the essay "A Room of One's Own" include Jane Austen and Emily Bronte. Of the two icons, she determined that they “dashed her brains out on the moor or sopped and mowed about the highways crazed with the torture that her gift had put to her” (Woolf 120). The text received a fair amount of criticism with pundits indicating that it did not reinforce freedom and empowerment for the women of colour who were at the time the subject of segregation in England. Equally, some of the sentiments expressed in the text were considered to be offensive (Maze 175).

  1. Origins and Spread of Feminism According to Wollstonecraft and Woolf

“A Room of One’s Own” by Virginia Woolf can be said to be a continuation of “The Vindication of the Rights of the Women” by Mary Wollstonecraft. It acknowledges the immensity of the previous feminist writers in the calls for the empowerment of women in the society. As a reference to the past efforts that were extended by authors in the 18th century, Woolf predicates that “

Woolf and Wollstonecraft project similar experiences which significantly augmented their inclinations towards the feminist stance. To begin with, both the authors were compelled to contend with limited formal education. Wollstonecraft was only able to pursue her literary desires later on in life as a result of the resistance that she was extended by her society with regards to her education. Similarly, both were the subject of traumas that led to their untimely deaths. It is possible that the resistance and criticism they faced may have inspired their trauma. Essentially, the authors used their backgrounds as the basis by which they could champion for women’s empowerment in the largely patriarchal societies of the 18th and 20th centuries. Their textual explorations were intended to achieve emancipation, education and political empowerment for the women in the society (Zalewski 22). Their stance provides the foundation of the present-day feminism.

Conclusion

The history of Feminism is deeply rooted in Mary Wollstonecraft and Virginia Woolf's textual analyses. Principally, the two authors provided the sentiments that led to the development of modern-day feminist. Through the analysis of “The Vindication of the Rights of Women” and “A Room of One’s Own”, this paper establishes that the major inspiration behind feminism was predicated on the desire by women for more freedom and education in order to mitigate the controls that their husbands, and the men in general, had over their lives. Feminism in the modern world is thus a reflection of women's desire for equality over the centuries. Essentially, both Woolf and Wollstonecraft were able to rise beyond the limitations of their positions in the society to become an icon in the literary discipline. Likewise, Feminism challenges convention and seeks to explore the possibilities of peaceful and empowered existence for both men and women in the society. Nonetheless, despite the progression of the framework, it has not succeeded in fully addressing all the afflictions that hamper the growth of women in the society.

 

 

 

Works Cited

Bauer, Nancy. Simone De Beauvoir, Philosophy & and Feminism. New York: Columbia UP, 2001.

Briggs, Julia. Reading Virginia Woolf. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2006.

Burke, Barry. “Mary Wollstonecraft on Education.” The Encyclopedia of Informal Education, 2004. 

Caine, Barbara. English Feminism, 1780-1980. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1997.

Ferree, Myra Marx, and Beth B. Hess. Controversy and Coalition: The New Feminist Movement across Three Decades of Change. 3rd ed. New York: Routledge, 2000.

Ford, Thomas H. "Mary Wollstonecraft and the Motherhood of Feminism." Women's Studies Quarterly 37.3/4 (2009): 189-205.

Freedman, Jane. Feminism. Philadelphia: Open UP, 2001.

Galliano, Grace, M. Gender: Crossing Boundaries. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2002.

Garner, Naomi Jayne. "'Seeing through a Glass Darkly': Wollstonecraft and the Confinements of Eighteenth-Century Femininity." Journal of International Women's Studies 11.3 (2009): 81-99.

Hawley, Trish. "A Rediscovered Feminist Vision: Mary Wollstonecraft and Global Education for Girls and Women." Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table (2007).

Johnson, Claudia L. The Cambridge Companion to Mary Wollstonecraft. Cambridge, England: Cambridge UP, 2002.

Lakoff, Robin. "6. You Say What You Are: Acceptability and Gender-related Language." Acceptability in Language (n.d.): n. pag. Web.

Majumdar, Robin, and Allen McLaurin, eds. Virginia Woolf: The Critical Heritage. London: Routledge, 1997.

Maze, John R. Virginia Woolf: Feminism, Creativity, and the Unconscious. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1997.

Monroe, Julie A. “A Feminist Vindication of Mary Wollstonecraft”. Iowa Journal of Literary Studies 8 (1987): 143-152.

Reger, Jo. Everywhere and Nowhere: Contemporary Feminism in the United States. New York: Oxford UP, 2012.

Wollstonecraft, Mary. A Vindication of the Rights of Men; A Vindication of the Rights of Woman; A Historical and Moral View of the French Revolution. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1994.

Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One's Own. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1928.

Zalewski, Marysia. Feminism after Postmodernism: Theorising through Practice. New York: Routledge, 2000.

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