Book reviews: An Introduction to Feminism by Lorna Finlayson

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    In this engaging and galvanising text, Lorna Finlayson provides a critical introduction to feminist theory as well as applying a special emphasis on the practice and activism of feminism as a movement. She presents a refreshing account of the history of feminism, which stretches centuries prior to, and denounces, the conventional ‘story’ told in introductory texts. She decisively condemns John Stuart Mill (too often, for Finlayson, credited as the founding father of feminism), the overly represented white middle-class liberal feminists, and the classification and limitations of the ‘waves’ of feminism, which tend to neglect the fluid and continual work of feminists by reducing feminism down to a few exceptional spurts of action and influence. Instead, she points out that twelfth-century Islamic scholars endorsed gender equality; the first female published work of a praise and defence of women dated back to the fifteenth century; in the sixteenth century, British feminist Jane Anger produced pamphlets opposing the dominance of men over women; and she reminds us that Mary Wollstonecraft published A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in the eighteenth century.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages3
    JournalTransnational Literature
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016


    • Feminism
    • Feminist theory
    • Activism


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