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Characteristics of Feminism: Inequality in the Aging Experience


Feminism as a social movement that arose to achieve equal rights for women with men has affected not only the social sphere but also other areas. In particular, many supporters of feminism expressed their ideas in creativity, and the world literature knows many examples of works in which the corresponding reasoning is described colorfully and deeply. This work aims to reveal the purpose of feminism through the prism of several literary texts in which the authors sought to convey to the reader the importance of equality and respect for women’s rights.

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Purpose of Feminism

Feminism, having turned from an idea into a full-fledged social movement, aims to provide women with equal opportunities but not put them above men. In her work, Walker notes that in the era of their mothers and grandmothers, “the freedom to paint, to sculpt, to expand the mind with action did not exist” (49). In other words, women did not have a chance to express themselves in creativity due to social restrictions and prejudices regarding the clearly defined place of females. While taking into account other restrictions, a whole spectrum of prohibitions resulted in a mass movement. For instance, in one of the stories, Gilman mentions the fact that in Colorado, women have the right to vote, and she presents this with pathos and even surprise (119). Therefore, one cannot assert that only one restriction prompted women to protests. A large number of social constraints that have formed over the centuries have become catalysts for feminism that aims to rid society of relics and prejudices.

Feminist Authors’ Objectives

One of the key objectives of female authors promoting the ideas of feminism in their literary works is the fight against the foundations of the male-dominated world. For instance, Plath presents her autobiographical story and tells about her experiences of interacting with men whom her older generation perceived as those who could deceive and offend (5). This position was natural, and Walker confirms this in her reasoning by comparing females with slaves who cannot count on an equal social status with men (50). Thus, feminist authors sought to achieve equality as a natural social phenomenon.

Calls to pay attention to the problems of women globally is another objective of feminist authors. Through their literature, they intended to spread the idea of equality and convey to the inhabitants of different countries the thought that society should not adhere to obsolete patriarchal foundations that imposed restrictions on females. Gilman mentions “right conditions – proper hours, proper wages,” and many other aspects related to the aspects of labor, employment, and social recognition (239). As a result, through the prism of personal experience and vivid descriptions of the existing challenges, the authors have conveyed the idea that the total domination of one gender over the other one is inadmissible. Therefore, both the presented works and other literary texts became catalysts in the struggle of women for equality as an obligatory attribute of an equal society.


The purpose of feminism revealed through literature is to convey the idea of the importance of equalizing women in rights with men. The autobiographical examples and arguments of the presented authors prove the relevance of this movement and its significance in the context of achieving equality in society. Drawing attention to the problem and combating male domination form the basis of feminists’ creative work and make it possible to describe the existing difficulties and gaps vividly and sharply.

Works Cited

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wall-Paper and Other Stories. Oxford University Press, USA, 1998.

Plath, Sylvia. The Bell Jar. Faber & Faber, 2008.

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Walker, Alice. “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens.” Worlds of Difference: Inequality in the Aging Experience, edited by Eleanor Palo Stoller and Rose Campbell, 3rd ed., Pine Forge Press, 1999, pp. 48-53.

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