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ERIC Number: ED165156
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Dec
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Existentialism and Feminism.
Hiatt, Mary P.
Because the term feminism linguistically narrows the essence of woman's existence when it is used consistently to describe female writing that deals with individual freedom and considered choices, it is essential to distinguish between feminism and existentialism. While feminism is primarily concerned with women in the context of a dominant male society, existentialism is a broader term that characterizes an individual's awareness of life's choices and an eventual definition of one's life according to a "meaningful context." Therefore, the female writer or the female fictional character who chooses her way of life, who suffers the anxiety associated with freedom, isolation, and nonconformity and still remains free, demonstrates the tenets of existentialism. Some examples of novels that contain existential heroines include the writings of Kate Chopin, Joan Didion, Margaret Atwood, and Margaret Drabble. To describe as feminist these women whose views and actions coincide with the philosophy of existentialism is limiting and therefore sexist. (MAI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Modern Language Association of America (93rd, New York City, December 27-30, 1978)