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Wife Of Bath Feminist Analysis

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While it may not be completely obvious as to exactly why or how Chaucer was a feminist through his Canterbury Tales, he had a way of showing his disapproval for the general and widespread anti-feminist mindset of the times, especially through The Wife of Bath’s prologue and tale, without shoving it in the faces of the people he was trying to prove wrong. Through this method of not making it completely obvious that he was a full-fledged feminist, he allowed for his average male readers to not be turned away from his stories and, instead, feel comfortable with their preconceived notions and allow themselves to take in everything the stories were about to say. From The Wife of Bath’s gap in her teeth, to her taking advantage of her many…show more content…
Instead of telling us that women were the same as men, he showed us, and it was not in the way that most would expect. Reading these stories proves that, while we haven’t moved backwards in society in terms of women's equality, the people currently making the arguments on behalf of women have lost sight of what is actually causing any disparities between the two genders.
Women do not have only 22 percent of the top positions in all job sectors simply because men think they are worse at using reason and therefore force them to be housewives. According to Chaucer’s use of the fictional Wife of Bath, it is the fact that certain women are able to take advantage of the so-called female trait of “sensuality” in their husbands. They use their own body and sexuality to lure the so-called intelligent men into being a slave to their own sexual desires. This exploitation of men may be the very thing that anti-feminists of that time (and now) use to prove their point against females. But, as Kenneth Oberembt puts it, “... what seems in her treatment of her husbands to be exploitation of or capitalization upon their debt to her is actually the imposition of justice upon five male impersonators whose outward Masculinity masks inward Femininity” (Oberembt 296-297). If, in this case, “femininity” is synonymous with putting sensuality over reason, which, in Chaucer’s day, it was, then Alison
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