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I am hoping you can help me. I am a senior in college and am researching feminist criticism for my Lit. Crit. class. Would you agree that the origin of feminist criticism was The Declaration of Sentiments writen at the first women's rights convention in 1848, or is there an earlier document? Also, how was feminist criticism originally recieved on the whole (positive or negative response) and would you agree that the extremes today are that it is either embraced, or hated? Thanks.

Thanks for your note. Much of feminist history remains undocumented or untold, so much so that it is hard to document when "it" all began. Historically speaking--yes, the fight for a feminist/equal world did begin in this country sometime around the Declaration of Sentiments. However, there were several meetings and smaller sessions that happened before this meeting/document, not to mention that feminism had already existing in Native American tribes. In fact, in 1600 there was a meeting in Seneca Falls of Native American Women.

But most just begin the documention of a feminist movement around the Declaration of Sentiments. During this same time, feminism was an active movement in Europe and the term "feminism" itself came to the United States from France around the turn of the century. Throughout all of this time from then until now, feminism has been met with a lukewarm response. If it was embraced, I'd hope we would be further along and if it was entirely rejected we wouldn't even be where we are. I don't see feminism today as extreme, however, I also agree that you sometimes have to give 100% more in order to get 20%, so that's where the inaccurate or inappropriate descriptions of extreme come from.


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