By studying authors who expressed their opinion on issues regarding gender inequalities in their time, I was reminded by how far humanity has progressed from the 18th century, but also saddened by the idea that people ignorantly undermine the feminist movement that has existed for the past 200 years. The motive behind the feminist movement is that women are equal to men. Without feminism, women would not be able to vote, own a property, have access to birth control; feminism fought for middle and upper class women to be allowed to work outside the home (poor women have always worked outside the home). Furthermore, if it weren’t for feminism, domestic violence, workplace sexual harassment, and martial rape wouldn’t be considered a crime. For these reasons, I believe that some people nowadays are taking feminism for granted due to their unawareness of the fact that the feminist movement fought to reform the said unjust rules and laws that existed less than a 100 years ago.
Authors who emphasised the importance of equality in their texts include, Ada Cambridge, Mary Gilmore and Barbary Baynton. I found Ada Cambridge’s texts to be especially thought provoking, as it effectively encapsulates how men and women were stereotyped in the olden days compared to nowadays, however, society still needs to improve in terms of practising feminist values. Unfortunately there is a bit of a stigma regarding how people perceive feminists; some people confuse misandry with feminism; there are so many people out their that claim to be ‘feminists’ when they are actually not, as they practise values that are not actually preached or practised in the feminist movement. This is why some people nowadays have a hard time defining what feminism actually is. The vital movement was put into place from the 18th century and will keep thriving if people remember to not overlook its importance. Cambridge’s book, Unspoken Thoughts (1877), published anonymously in England, challenged conventional views on religion, marriage and women’s roles in society, which shows that poetry has the power to stimulate revolution.
Jose, Nicholas. Macquarie PEN Anthology Of Australian Literature. Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin, 2009. Print.