Is There a Feminist Aesthetic?

Hypatia 5 (2):33 - 42 (1990)
Literary art that is identifiably feminist approaches reality from a feminist perspective and endorses female experience. A feminist perspective demystifies patriarchal assumptions about the nature of human beings, their relation to nature, and the relation of physical and moral qualities to each other. To endorse female experience, the artist must defy or stretch traditional literary conventions, which often means offending or alienating readers. Traditional literary conventions are rooted in philosophical assumptions several thousand years old and still widely current. A third principle of feminist art-which not all feminists subscribe to-is accessibility. When feminist art is difficult, the reason usually lies not in purposeful obfuscation, but in the poverty of our language of feeling, and the difficulty of rendering feeling.
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