What is the meaning of “Feminism”?
Third wave feminism: “is a feminist movement that began in the early 1990s. While second-wave feminism largely focused on the inclusion of women in traditionally male-dominated areas, third-wave feminism seeks to challenge and expand common definitions of gender and sexuality.” (4)
“Traits of third-wave feminism include queer theory, women-of-color consciousness, post-colonialism, critical theory, transnationalism, and new feminist theory. In particular, a post-structuralist interpretation of gender and sexuality is often, though not always, central to third-wave feminism. Other consequences include a decreased emphasis upon addressing and overthrowing a perceived oppression by patriarchy and instead focuses on equality between the sexes”(4)
Feminist Literary Criticism: Some Definitions.
“Generally, feminist literary criticism exists to counter, resist, and eventually eliminate the traditions and conventions of patriarchy the ideology or belief system which sees as "natural" the dominance and superiority of men over women in both private and public contexts--as it exists in literary, historical, and critical contexts.” (5)
“Écriture féminine, literally women's writing, is a philosophy that promotes women's experiences and feelings to the point that it strengtheness the work.
Écriture féminine places experience before language, and privileges the anti-linear, cyclical writing so often frowned upon by patriarchal society. For Cixous, though, ecriture feminine is not only a possibility for female writers, rather, she believes it can also be employed by men. Just as women often lapse into masculine writing, Cixous believes that men can also tap into feminine writing.” (7)
Goals of Feminist Literary Criticism
“Lisa Tuttle has defined feminist theory as asking "new questions of old texts."  She cites the goals of feminist criticism as: 1) To develop and uncover a female tradition of writing; 2) to interpret symbolism of women's writing so that it will not be lost or ignored by the male point of view; 3) to rediscover old texts; 4) to analyze women writers and their writings from a female perspective; 5) to resist sexism in literature; and 6) to increase awareness of the sexual politics of language and style.” (8).
What did the women’s writers say?
“Helene Cixous states that l'ecriture feminine seeks a way of writing that literally embodies the female, thereby fighting the "subordinating, linear style of classification or distinction." While men have a penis, she states, women, too, possess something of their own: All women write in a little of that good mother's milk.” (9)
Some of the women’s writers of the 19th century adopted male names, pseudonims,as for example George Eliot:
“George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans): She used a male pen name, she said, to ensure that her works were taken seriously. Female authors published freely under their own names, but Eliot wanted to ensure that she was not seen as merely a writer of romances.” (10)
“Adrienne Rich: Feminism means finally that we renounce our obedience to the fathers and recognize that he world they have described is not the whole world re-vision--the act of looking back, of seeing with fresh eyes of entering an old text from a new critical direction--is for us more than a chapter in cultural history,it is an act of survival.” (9)
4_ “ Third- wave feminism”. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 11 May 2006, 02:23 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 25 May 2006. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Third-wave_feminism&oldid=52597511
6_ “Feminist Literary Criticism”. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 24 May 2006, 00:42 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 25 May 2006. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Feminist_literary_criticism&oldid=54809691
7_ “Écriture Feminine”. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 20 April 2006, 16:00 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 25 May 2006. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=%C3%89criture_f%C3%A9minine&oldid=49301247
8_ “Feminist Literary Criticism”. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 24 May 2006, 00:42 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 25 May 2006. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Feminist_literary_criticism&oldid=54809691
. Links update in July 2003 By James Romesburg. Last time viewed: 25 May 2006.