According to traditional philosophy, woman were to be treated as objects not as human beings. For example, Aristotle believed that “women are imperfect men” and that “the function of women is limited to reproduction like animals”. Jean-Jacques Rousseau said, “Society will collapse if a woman has not grown from a young age to obey a man.” Freud believed that “women are inferior to men because of their lack of a biological system”.
And Kant believed that “women can not be full moral persons, because morality depends on the mind.” He thought women were mentally deficient. This led to two important things–women pretending to be less intelligent, and women thinking negatively about their own creativity.
But modern philosophers have rethought traditional beliefs about women. Modern day feminists stress that “biological deficiencies” are compensated for by a woman’s ability to have children. Some even believe in the idea of young male envy of women, also known as the “envy knot”. Feminism has grown into a socio-political, inclusive movement that seeks social and cultural change toward gender equality. Women have become increasingly interested in feminist writing–writing from a woman’s point of view– from female and even at times male authors
Feminist writers rethink both life and society, trying hard to destroy the idea of masculine domination without advocating feminine domination as an alternative to it. On the contrary, feminists are trying to destroy the idea of domination itself.
Most important is the focus widely on the experiences of women as just as appropriate and exciting and important as the experiences of men. This focus has already spread to the sphere of literary criticism for example, we might ask :
Is the author male or female?
Is the narrator male or female?
What are the roles of women in the text?
Are female characters in the text primary or secondary?
Does the text show any stereotyped characteristics of women?
What attitudes do male characters have toward female characters?
What is the perspective of the author or authors in relation to women in society?
How does the general public receive the female characters?
Does the text contain female or feminine images?
What is the importance of those images?
Do the female characters speak differently than the male characters? If so, how and to what extent?
When literary critics study the work of feminists and feminist critics and use those ideas when critiquing, they rebuild our thoughts about women being creative, they reshape and reformulate our ideas about self, identity, personality, and society,
Feminists seek to promote equality, but if we ask about the purposes of women’s writing, the first answer would be that a woman who writes is difficult to ignore simply because she is a woman who has seen or lived and suffered difficult and horrible situations. Her writing is a valid place for her revelation.
Second, that woman is refusing to be under society’s control, under unfair conditions. She will not be hybridized and she is brave because she asks for change that leads to the greater good.
Third, she may use poetry as a tool to detect and reveal the inner mechanisms of herself as a poet and a woman. This is not always available to male poets, because the they are often seeking great issues to talk about to keep their place in history, or to keep their poems in the mind of the readers for as along as possible. On the contrary, women’s writing reveals to us so many mysteries of the human spirit. It reveals moments of sadness and joy and all of the other emotions that we ordinary people feel in different situations. These emotions appear in the poems of woman in a clear and honest manner far from intimidation and superficiality.
Unfortunately, some men, while critiquing women writers, look to take it as a document against her.
Some of these men see that a woman’s poem is supposed to embody the woman who wrote it–a poem she wrote not only to other women, and some do not believe that the poem belongs to the woman who wrote it unless she shows a clear female perspective. It is as if the critic was looking to free a pent-up desire, and that he forgot that the existence of that writing is not a problem that needs a solution.
Just as a woman does not need to paint her nails to prove her femininity. Her text says, I am a woman and this is an announcement, but my poem is a reflection of what is inside me and not my outside. It is not a hole that helps you to sneak into my bed or my close,
It is interesting to note that there is a continuing witch hunt for erotic vocabulary in women’s writing but not in men’s writing. Some critics say that a woman writes to describe her body and turn it into an icon, but my opinion is that the words have only become erotica because of two contradictory conditions–excessive repetition and inappropriate presence. We cannot use a woman’s writing against her.