Feminist Theory

By:Jasmine W. Le C. Cynthia L. Faye H. Wenci L. Vicky Z.

Study Goals.....

  • Understanding and able to identify what is Feminist Theory.
  • Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of Feminist Theory.
  • Able to analysis the story.
  • Able to write least one paragraph of each general questions.

Tenets Of Feminist

The relationship between men and women has almost always been unequal and oppressive.

–The extent of inequality and oppressiveness has varied greatly.

•All known societies have been patriarchal.

–Patriarchy is a system in which males dominate females.

•All major social institutions have been characterized by male dominance:


–Political system



•Women have usually accepted their subordination to men.

–They have been socialized to believe ideologies that justify male domination.

History of Feminist Theory

Feminism is a political activity for terminate the sexism, sexual exploitation and sexual oppression. The purpose of this activity is to promote the sexual equality and launched a social theory and political movement. Feminism started on late eighteenth century by a female who was named Olympe de Gouges. On 1791, Olympe de Gouges polished “ Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen”, she challenged the practice of male authority and the notion of male–female inequality. But on that time, there were not many people support her and even against her. Finally, she was accused by her two close relation and executed by guillotine.

Feminist is a type of theory that is about how are the women write their own experiences through the stories. The authors always advocate the equal rights between men and women through describe the different issues on society, for example, the cultural and social status.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strength:1.make men and women more equally on human rights and social level.

2. Making more people know this theory.

3 The story shows the personal psychological changes, which everyone have it, but not only for women.
Weakness: focus on women themselves, ignore those relationships in society , history and economy even break the relationship with men.

General Questions about This Theory

1.How are women represented in the text?

The protagonist, Mrs. Sommers, who is searching for a balance between family life and personal satisfaction, loses her sense of family responsibility when she puts the stockings on in the ladies room, even she knows her family priorities are more important than herself. She is portrayed as a typical married woman of the early 1890 and her action shows her desires to gain personal freedom to be a woman.

Therefore, women in the story are represented as a lower social class. They are expected to stay at home and look after the family, and not be independent. In other words, they are suppressed by the men and have lost their individuality.

2.If you were to rewrite the text’s ending, what would happen to the female protagonist? The male protagonist?

If I can rewrite the story, I would add one more paragraph in the end of story: "The sunlight poured in through the windows. Mrs. Sommers wakes up, she realizes she just had a beautiful dream. As usual, Mrs. Sommers is preparing breakfast for her children. When she opens the cabinet to get the jam, she sees fifteen dollars in the corner of the cabinet." In the end of the story, I want to leave a suspense for readers. If the original story is Mrs. Sommers’ dream and in reality she finds fifteen dollars "again". What will she do? Will she still spend all the money for herself? Or spend them for her children?

3.How do women exercise their power in the text?

In this story the fifteen dollars give this woman power to do anything she want ,she exercise her power by give a dollar tip for that waiter, and she can buy shoes do not care about the money and she asked that assistant give shoe for her just suit for her silk stockings that is the way the woman exercise her power.

4.What were the social and historical conditions for women in this period that might help us understand their roles and desires in the text?

In nineteenth century America, women were not treated fairly, especially in the lower class women. Women of the time were expected to give up everything in order to care for their families and they were not to show independence or aspirations.The author of this story “Kate chopin” was those literary activists who lived in the era when the notion of the ‘New Woman’ emerged. The women of the time were beginning to realize a desire for independence, small changes were emerging as women began to be more self-indulgent and to voice their opinions.So women had the strength to be independent and enjoy their life.

5.How and to what degree are the women’s lives limited or restricted in this text?

Mrs.Sommers is the protagonist of the story and her situation stands for the majority women in the 19 century. According to herself, the role of she has being in her family, and her personal economic strength are limit her. Mrs.Sommers, as a housewife, her life is restricted by taking care of family, cooking, cleaning,etc, as a result, there is no time and economic capability for her to enjoy life. In addition to the society, women in lower class are limited to get education and it is scarcely possible to have interpersonal communication with the people in higher class. Mrs.Sommers can watch drama with the two brilliantly dressed women, but that does not mean she can approach their lives. Therefore the women’s lives are not only limited by themselves, but the society as well.


”A Pair of Silk Stockings” was a short story which polished on 1896 by Kate Chopin. It was about a middle age’s mother, Mrs.Sommers, who was from the lower class found fifteen dollars accidentally, and she decided to use those money buy some clothes for her children. But, when she arrived at mall, she saw a pair of silk stockings she couldn’t help herself. After, she bought more things and spent a lot of money on dinner and theater. Lastly, when Mrs.Sommers walked out of theater and waiting for a trolley car, she back to reality again.