Woman unapologetic : 'something worth learning'
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This thesis includes a critical introduction on the writing of Anne Sexton and Alicia Ostriker, two women creators who write the woman’s experience and identity intimately and politically. I pose that close reading and analysis of Sexton and Ostriker’s literature will reveal the indispensable nature of such relentlessly honest expression to women’s broader personal and political wellbeing. I analyze the ways Sexton and Ostriker’s themes relate to the historical origins of feminism and the Women’s Liberation Movement, and I discuss how their literature interacts with modern struggles against sex-based discrimination. Using close-reading analysis and discussion of critical scholarship of the two writers, I make the argument that unapologetic women are invaluable to literature and life because they tell the unfiltered, uncontained truth about womanhood and expectations of femininity. This act of truth telling, I suggest, is key to women’s self-revelation and to prompting the woman-to-woman connection essential to raising women’s collective consciousness. In moving women’s honest experiences from their marginalized place in our private lives to the published page, women provide a model, a resource, and solidarity for other women, and an educational tool for the world. Following my critical introduction, I share creative fiction that centers themes of honoring women’s sexuality, advocating for their political and personal independence, and freely expressing emotion and feeling.