Women’s literature has often been defined by publishers as a category of writing done by women. Though obviously this is true, many scholars find such a definition reductive. What makes the history of women’s writing so interesting is that in many ways it is a new area of study.
What does it mean to study women’s literature (or even to write it)? Well, consider the fact that it wasn’t unheard of to see women dominating literary and history programs in college and university, both back in the day and even still to this day. It’s the study of a marginalized group, in this case, women, and their roll in their group history. Everything from archeology to current affairs.
You can further that by breaking down the group into the sub-groups that are marginalized further as women. What do I mean? African American, Latin-X (sic Latina), etc. In other words, in titles like To Kill a Mocking Bird, The Hate You Give, Fever Dream (I’ve heard Fever Dream is a force to be reckoned with currently, quite the book for Latin-X culture), At Night We Walk in Circles to name a few.
It is the women of both past and present (and hopefully future) that have carved and shaped the path of women’s literature that has created a multifaceted subject of study for the rest of the world. It is the women of suffrage bearing witness to the ability to finally be able to vote, the women of color refusing to stand and give up their seats, the Latinas demanding the label Latin-X and claiming it as their own. The bra burners, the feminists (not the feminazis), the writers of the women’s world showing to all what is dominantly female and their roll in fiction and non-fictional history for many generations to come.