How do I analyze a text with feminist theory?

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First of all, it's important to realize that there is no one "feminist theory." For example, taking Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex as a guideline, we would analyze a text based on its representation of the biological differences between the sexes as contrasted with the "social and historical constructs" of gender roles and stereotypes. Beauvoir famously equated Woman as "Other," thus making her "the second sex," never equal to and always defined by men.

Compare this with the much more down-to-Earth feminist writings of Betty Friedan, who in The Feminine Mystique chose to focus on how American women, specifically, were forced into roles that left them intellectually unsatisfied and yearning for more challenging lives.

Thus, to answer your question, it would be best to avoid the construct of "feminist theory" in analyzing a text, and instead simply ask yourself about how women and men are portrayed. Are there assumptions that "men behave/do/talk" a particular way, as opposed to how "women...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 697 words.)

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