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Feminist Theory

by Eva Hughes, Emily Jezak, MIa Navarra, Jamie Ogranaj, & Kylie Salyers

jamie ogranaj

on 12 January 2015

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Transcript of Feminist Theory

Table of Contents:
History of Theory
Wave 1
Wave 2
Wave 3
Afghanistan vs. America (past)
Afghanistan vs. America (present)
Feminism in The Kite Runner

Background Information
Feminist Theory

Emily Jezak, Eva Hughes, Mia Navarra, Jamie Ogranaj, & Kylie Salyers

History of the Theory
Wave 1
Wave 2
Wave 3
Women's Right's
America vs. Afghanistan
(early 2000's)
Feminism in
"The Kite Runner"

Women's Rights
Amercia vs. Afghanistan
Mostly high school education
Stay at home moms
Societal expectation of marriage

Career Women
University Level Education
Leave the home freely
Tried to ban forced marriages (1965)
Forbidden to work
Must wear all-covering burqa
Difficult to seek medical attention
Arranged marriages
Able to work
Free wardrobe
Able to obtain medical attention
Able to seek divorce
Simply: Feminism is Gender Equality
Early feminism was mostly about women's rights.

As the balance of power shifts, feminism is applied to both men and women.

Feminism today is being yourself...not your gender role.

Also, Feminists not only believe in equality between men and women, but also in equality between every gender, class, race, and sexual orientation.
How Other Theorists View Our Theory
Other Names for Our Theory
Questions Asked by Feminists
(roughly 1960s-1990s)
Position in Time:
context of the anti-Vietnam War and civil rights movements
Voice of the Movement:
increasingly radical and theatrical, opposed to its previous modesty; time when the Feminist theory in literature began

Goal for Wave 2:

much of the movement's energy was focused on passing the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the Constitution guaranteeing social equality regardless of gender
Wave 2
Status of Women's Rights:
could not vote, own property, keep their own wages, or even have custody of their children
Struggles of Wave 2:

during a time of other pressing issues, such as the Vietnam War efforts and racial equality
included women of color; women-only organizations such as NOW (National Organization for Women)
Myths & Truths
All feminists are lesbians and bra-burning radicals who hate men.
Being feminist has nothing to do with sexual orientation or discrimination of the male gender. Feminists come from all different backgrounds and cultures to support equality.
Myths & Truths
Feminism has made women equal now, and there is no need for feminists or the current women's movement.
Women are still behind in many different ways; they continue to be paid less on average than men and women continue to be responsible for the majority of household work.
Myths & Truths
Feminism only liberates women at the expense of men.
Feminism doesn't just liberate women, it also liberates men by breaking down the standards which society has put in place for both women and men. Men are taught in this society to be macho, emotionless leaders, and to never show weakness. Feminism says that it's okay for men to show weakness, be followers, and to show their emotions.
Position in Time:

Beginning in the early 90s and continuing into present day
Voice of the Movement:

Eliminating societal expectations
Personal self expression

Goal of the Movement:

Including all women, no matter race, social class, or sexual orientation

Wave 3
Status of women’s rights:

Women can own property, hold a job
No longer considered a man’s property.
Women of color as well as many other various minority groups around the world
Struggles of wave 3:
Strong emerging anti-feminist movement

To what extent does the representation of women (& men) in the work reflect the place and time in which the work was written?

How are the relations between men and women, or those between members of the same sex, presented in the work?

What roles do men and women assume and perform and with what consequences?

Does the author present the work from within a predominantly male or female sensibility? Why might this have been done, and with what effects?

How do the facts of the author's life relation to the presentation of men and women in the work? To their relative degrees of power?

How do other works by the author correspond to this one in their depiction of the power relationships between men and women?
Example of Feminism in Pop Culture Today
"This goes out to all my girls
That's in the club rocking the latest
Who will buy it for themselves and get more money later."
Wave 2
Wave 3
"I have heard that Sanaubar's suggestive stride and oscillating hips sent men to reveries of infedelity" (8).

"My father was a force of nature, a towereing pashtune specimen with a thick black beard, a wayward crop of curly brown hair as unruly and the man himself, hands that look capable f uprooting a willow tree, and a black glare that would 'drop the devil to his knees' begging for mercy', as Rahim Khan used to say" (13).
Position in time:
18th century-20th century
Voice of the Movement:
Goal of Wave 1:
Legal inequalities, mostly voting rights
Wave 1
Status of Woman's Rights:
Struggles of Wave 1:
being treated equally after the war
National Woman Suffrage Association
Susan B. Anthony
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
"The Woman's Bible"
Matilda Joslyn Gage
"Woman, Church and State"
Wave 1
an outgrowth of the general movement to empower women world wide
Women Studies
Equal Rights
Gender Equality
Women's Rights Movement
Women's Liberation
Feminist Movement
a person who believes in the social,political and economic equality of the sexes
refers to the traditional male dominated society
refers to being forced to the outskirts of what is considered socially and politically significant (the female voice was marginalized or discounted)

What is the theory according to the novel?
Most theorists criticized feminist theory

These theories were based around the ideas of men

Psychoanalytic determinists (esp. Freudianism) tried to discredit feminism

Feminism was explained as a masculinity complex

Early on Feminist theory was marginalized
In Afghan culture, the women are not valued contributors in society.

Gender roles are a large part of the culture in Afghanistan.
Excerpt from Prof. Nina Baym's
"The Agony of Feminism"
"Feminist theory's main point-- that no coherent definition of that crucial feminist term 'woman' underlay our diverse undertakings--was undoubtedly correct. But feminist theory's obsessive complaints over, alternately, the dearth or surplus of concepts of 'woman' in our work seemed to reanimate the disabling essentialism that our practical feminism hoped to escape."
"...he wedded my mother, Sofia Akrami, a highly educated woman universally regarded as one of Kabul's most respected, beautiful and virtuous ladies. And not only did she teach classic Farsi literature at the university, she was a descendant of the royal family, a fact that my father playfully rubbed in the skeptics faces by referring to her as 'my princess'" (15).
"When you kill a man, you steal a life, Baba said you steal his wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father" (18).
"...said the soldier wanted a half hour with the lady in the back of the truck" (115).

"It's his price for letting us pass..." (115).
"The flea market was where you sipped green tea with almonds Kolchas, and learned whose daughter had broken off and engagement and run off with her American boyfriend..." (138).
What to take from this demonstration:
Feminism is a very pressing issue that affects many different parts of the world

The feminist theory, an outgrowth of the general movement to empower women worldwide

This theory is prevalent in many different aspects of society and literature, such as "The Kite Runner"
Full transcript