The Wife of Bath vs. Feminism

Today I started thinking about The Wife of Bath and whether or not she could be considered feminist. A couple different opinions came up up. Some said she shouldn’t be considered a feminist because she got married five times, and that she is perpetuating all these sterotypes that men use to describe women. I think this is a very narrow minded view of feminism. Some feminists think that women are superior and some believe that men and women should be treated equally. I have a different idea about the Wife of Bath. I think that she got married both because she had to to survive and because she wanted to. She wasn’t trying to change peoples view of her just of women in general, and she used her story to do it.

I think both views have merit, by some people she would probably be considered a hindrance to the feminist movement, and other might consider her a spearhead in feminism. But someone brought up another idea that she is a woman telling a story but it was a man who wrote her. I think that the idea of feminism probably wasn’t very common in Chaucer’s time, so maybe he just wanted to tell a story with a good shock value to get his own ideas across about women. Because you have to admit there are few if any other characters in literature like the Wife of Bath in The Canterbury Tales.

See you next time, Lindsey


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