Female Agency

What is female agency?

Yes. The term "female agency", as used in the above question has to do with feminism.

Expert Answers
Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would define female agency as the active role of the female in a particular genre or endeavor.  Traditionally,women have had little agency in most cultures.  

A good example of the increase in female agency in the mystery genre is the protagonist of Sue Grafton's "alphabet" detective series.  Kinsey Milhone is a female detective in a publishing world of largely male detectives.  She makes things happen, usually, as opposed to languishing while she waits for a male to make things happen.  Since Kinsey came onto the scene, we have seen the advent of many more female detectives with "agency," whether or not they actually have an agency. :)

In a law firm, there has also been an increase in feminine agency.  Traditionally, there were few if any females in law firms, but civil rights legislation opened this door for many females.  Initially, women simply got their foot in the door, but had no agency to speak of.  As time went on, though, we began to see female partners, female managing partners and female rainmakers, women who make things happen. 

If women band together to boycott a product or service, or to effectuate political or social change, they are acting with agency, too.  Women getting the vote and women effectuating a change to allow them control over their own bodies vis-à-vis reproductive rights are examples of this agency. 

When women are in charge of making things happen, when they can affect the world around them, we say they have agency. 

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