The History Of Modern Western Feminist

Distinctions between men and women, and the rules that put women in the second step after men, make females primary victims of the repressive regime in most societies during ancient times. Therefore, in the most of Western history, public life was reserved for men, while women were imprisoned in the domestic world .In medieval Europe, women were forbidden the right to study, to own property, or to participate in social life. Furthermore, at the end of the 19th century in France, women were still forced to cover their heads in public.

And in parts of Germany, husbands still had the right to sell their wives. Even in early 20th century, women could neither hold elective office nor vote in Europe and in most of the United States. Women were banned from making business without a male agent, be it husband, father, brother, legal representative, or even son. Moreover, women had a poor or no access to education, and they were prevented from most occupations.

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However, women began to demand their rights and ask the rules about equality, liberty, and natural rights be applied to both sexes. This leads to the appearance of “Female movement” in every aspect of life.

In literature, however, we notice feminist Criticism as a new literary branch. This term is based on feminist theories and can be used to describe a cultural, political or economic movement in which establishing legal protection, equal rights and justice for women. The Women’s Movement opened doors for females in literature.

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Women’s publishing houses and magazines constructed and, the Women’s Press started. On the other hand, a lot of male writers started to show their points of view on this issue through their works. In this article I will expose Joyce’s shot story Eveline as it has a female protagonist in terms of explaining the historical background of the story, revealing the role of the protagonist as a female, portraying the limitations of Eveline as a woman from Dublin.

Firstly, the historical background of this story traces back to early 20th century, Dublin, Ireland. The society was governed by men; patriarchal society. On the other hand, women typically had poor economic opportunities and the religion, especially rampant Catholicism affected the roles of the women at that time. Actually all of these aspects depicted in Eveline and make it an unusual work at that period as it has a female protagonist. In addition, through the story we can notice the writer’s views of female weakness, the idea in which he affected by the death of his mother. However, Joyce’s female characters in general revealed as stereotyped characters; females controlled by males. So as literature plays a role in reflecting culture, thoughts, history, religion in different societies. This story succeeded in presenting the internal struggle of a woman, and the state, thoughts and responsibilities of women in Ireland at that time.

Secondly, the major role of Eveline was being a manager of the household after her mother’s death. This state was not uncommon for females, but most girls her age would be reluctant to accept this role due to youthful preoccupation. This point described the protagonist clearly, and revealed how the mom’s death influenced her conception of female weakness.

The history of modern Western feminist is conventionally split into three “waves” or time periods with slightly different points or aims. First-wave feminism of the late 1700s-early 1900’s centuries focused on changing legal inequalities, especially addressing issues of women’s right to vote. Second-wave feminism early 1960s-late 1970s broadened to include gender norms, cultural inequalities and the role of women in society. Third-wave feminism early 1990s present its point to wide strains of feminist activity, as a continuation of the second wave. It borrows from contemporary gender, post-structural and race theories to extend on marginalized peoples’ experiences.

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The History Of Modern Western Feminist. (2022, Jun 05). Retrieved from

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