The Establishment of Feminist Writing

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Women from the seventeenth century had two choices, to raise a family or become a nun. These were the stereotypical jobs for women of and before this time period and those who wanted this life style or thought differently were quickly labeled. During this period though some ground breaking ideas and steps emerged for women. For instance Mary Astell wrote an essay that proposed an alternative to the two choices of being a nun or having a family. She proposed that an institute be formed were women could learn and be instructed like many similar men?s institutes at the time. These ideas contributed to the first women?s colleges in the nineteenth century. The first female who made her living solely on writing also emerged during this time period. Aphra Behn wrote many works but Oroonoko was by far her most famous celebrated piece of literature. Virginia Wolf gives Behn claim to be the earliest advocate for women in writing.

During this time period many influential writers for later women?s suffrage supporters emerged. Although many were not published until after their own death?s they impacted contemporaries through friends and casual critic of these works by other authors. The feminist movement blossomed during this time period that changed the way women worked, lived, and gave them their own identity apart from their husband.

Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin impacted women?s suffrage in a very profound way. Mary Wollstonecraft was looked down upon in her own day and for a long time afterward because of two things the memoir of her husband, detailing her mental instability and self mutilation, and the illegitimacy of her daughter (Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, author of Frankenstein). Wollstonecraft expressed a free lifestyle which inpired her book Vindication of the Rights of Women which is today a feminist classic. She is revered...