Women's Literature by Elizabeth Janeway

According to Elizabethan Janeway, women’s literature has its own identity. This literature basically represents a different point of view towards life and experience which is not accessible to men. They explore such areas of experience that are regarded as non existent and unimportant by men.

So Elizabethan Janeway is of the view that women’s literature is not a subcategory, rather it is a different mainstream having its own identity. Janeway further defines women literature to be a literature that uses male language and creates a space for itself.

Janeway also support the crisis of today who have revealed that the traditional canon of literary works judged as excellent and significant is very masculine. Therefore now when the boundaries are being redrawn, such works which are dropped out of the main stream should also be included in women’s literature, and even those works which were first considered as a marginal should be moved towards the center. Hence in simple terms, Elizabeth Janeway defines Women literature as equally significant as masculine writings. When observed with a male perspective, it may seem that women’s literature does not deal with a universal subject; rather it is concerned only about women’s experience. But actually , as highlighted by Janeway, women’s literature by fusing on feminist area particularly deals with the universality it tries to complete the universe by adding to it what has been excluded in the past i.e. women’s experience that is now regarded to be universally valuable.

Women’s literature mainly includes such women writers who deal with women experience. Not all writing of women, about women, can be called women’s literature. For example, Lillian Hellman’s Plays and McCarthy fiction cannot be included in women’s literature because it is entirely based on the standard set by male through these works include women’s need and desires. On the other hand, the woks of Susan Sontag and Hannah Ardent came under women’s literature because they sensed that women’s lives are different from that of men and those differences are investigated by them.

So, Elizabeth Janeway is of the view that by drawing the attention towards the differences of women’s world, women’s literature attempts to determine a new value for women. But this does not mean that they are rejecting the established values; they are just questioning them.