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Gynocriticism, a term coined by Elaine Showalter, is female centered criticism. It is focused on creating female models and theories for studying literature by women and thereby creating a female subculture and separate identity. Elaine Showalter was a second wave feminist as well as an American feminist, so much of her work was in equalizing women in all aspects of society, including literature and literary scholership. It could be consered more positive than First Wave feminism for literary study and scholorship because it attempts to include more female writers into the literary cannon and establishing feminist thought as a primary model for understanding and studying literature by women.
Realistically, however, gynocriticism is a facet of feminism and cannot really be compared to feminism directly, though it can be compared to other feminist thought and theoretictions. For instance, Elaine Showalter could be criticised as being too essentialist in her theoretical framework, meaning that she believes in an essential biological difference between men and women. For instance, Constructivist feminists may see flaws with her belief that women and men have inherent differences.
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