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In one sense, feminism is a type of literary theory. From this perspective, because feminism provides a totalizing hermeneutic which can be applied to all literary texts in order to uncover the cultural paradigm of patriarchy as embedded in both the linguistic and narrative elements of texts, it is a form of post-structural or post-modern literary theory.
From another perspective, feminist literary criticism can be described as being split into several major subgenres. One is a liberal feminism, concerned to a large degree with recovery of women authors. Another is a postmodernist feminism concerned with the patriarchal nature of language itself. A third version of feminism is now increasingly subsumed under gender studies or cultural studies.
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