An in-depth look at Meg Wolitzer’s novel, 'The Female Persuasion'.

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The words ‘feminist’ or ‘feminism’ conjure a sort of radical view associated with protests, prominent voices for equality, and, without a doubt, controversy. This idea of feminism is explored by Meg Wolitzer in her novel, The Female Persuasion. Wolitzer’s novel goes beyond this stereotype and showcases the maneuvers of feminism. The fictional narrative follows five characters, three women and two men, over the course of their lives. The reader is granted access into their worlds, glimpsing into the influences of feminism or lack thereof. This novel carries an overall sense that there is no right or wrong, there is only your point of view. By the end of the book, it’s evident that all five were “persuaded” in their own ways. So, which character fits the radical definition of a feminist as described earlier? Only one of them, and she isn’t even the most genuine feminist. This character’s attitude conveys a more bold personality type, which often comes off as instigating and controversial. However, one of the male characters in The Female Persuasion, Cory Pinto is the real feminist in my opinion. His subtle actions throughout the book, that he receives no recognition for, demonstrate his view of equality. He doesn’t feel the need to take credit for being a feminist because to him it’s automatic. Perhaps he isn’t the most vocal, but he genuinely demonstrates support and respect for women. Especially today, this idea can be applied to issues not just regarding equality. Feminism shouldn’t be about the label, because with the label comes connotations, it should be about the opinion and the value that fabricates the attitude. That is what feminism is. It is an attitude, not a thing. It’s intangible. We only have the evidence that is left behind to prove that it took place at all. If we throw away what we believe is right to embody the ideal image, we have already become less genuine to whatever the case may be. Although, no attitude that demonstrates feminism is wrong. It can be displayed boisterous or quiet as long as you believe in the ideal that is feminism because, in the end, it is the way we are or aren’t persuaded that makes the difference.

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