Feminism and Virginia Woolf

Feminism and Virginia Woolf

In the race of feminism, one of the great feminist writer was Virginia Woolf. She is the pioneer of the literature reflecting the women troubleanities, inequalities, gender and identities differences, femininity (ies) and masculinity (ies) with true pen. Earlier the women was represented by the male writer in literature, that is why we find “Pamela” and Shakespearean women in ‘king Lear’ and ‘Hamlet’ as subordinate class. Even Donne’s women are not optimist in poetry. The patriarchal discourses was firstly was challenged by Virginia Woolf in  “A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN”.

Feminism piece of literature that forces the female by its tremendous discourse to revolt against patriarchy and seeks equality and rebel to male dominance.

She was a “touch stone” for contemporaries and predecessors. Woolf believes that women are socially and economically disable. Men have prejudice and economic selfishness(1992: 14). She also uses the stream of consciousness by representing the feelings and emotions suppressed by men by physical torture and linguistic choices in  discourses. She expresses her feeling as

                       “A room which a women may call her own and which she can be inhabit with same freedom as her brother”(Woolf, 1992: 191).

The male dominance and female subjugation is strictly criticized by realistic pen. She argues that fluidity comes if women have same freedom of expression like men. She argues further that women will not contribute in literature due to less access and material resources available to men. She strictly follows the capitalism and Marxism by saying that poverty has bitterly affected the literature.

Woolf, Language and Power

Spender (1980) states in hi most famous book “Men Made Language” that language in origin and implication men made. Male has strict control over language as power and claim to be master and women are subordinate to men in all patriarchal societies. She tells that men construct femininity (ies) through language. Spender is mile stone in feminism. Amebella Moorey & Sutori Soden (2010) argues in “Language, Society and Power (an introduction), that society, culture, ethnicity, class and gender has strong grip at thought. It is determiner of class and status. Language construct identities and femininity (ies). It is complex phenomenon of social construct.

         Jenifer Coates, 2004 (women, men and language) justify that how male form dominance by language and talk differently and using  language as power and prejudice. They are actually all the followers of Woolf.


Feminism: Portrait of Virginia Woolf
Portrait of Virginia Woolf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)