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Virginia Woolf and the F-Word: On the Difficulties of Defining Woolf's (Anti-)Feminism.


  • Ute Kathmann

Summary, in English

The following master's thesis discusses Virginia Woolf's essays A Room of One's Own and Three Guineas from contemporary feminist points of views in order to define the nature of Woolf's feminism. The two feminist theorists Rosi Braidotti and Judith Butler serve as the bases of the two most widely known branches in feminist theory today, the sexual difference theory on the one hand, and the theory rejecting compulsory heterosexuality and supporting the concept of change through performativity on the other hand. These modern theories are presented, discussed, and effectively applied to Woolf's work. In addition, the two feminist critics Elaine Showalter's and Toril Moi's opinions and debates on Woolf's feminism contribute to the attempt of defining the nature of Woolf's feminism with modern theories in mind. The paper concludes with a definition of Woolf's feminism as containing aspects of both theories presented, thus underlining the complexity and progressiveness of Woolf as a feminist writer in the early twentieth century. Her feminism cannot be strictly categorized, it is unique.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)


  • Languages and Literatures


  • gender studies
  • feminism
  • A Room of One's Own
  • Three Guineas
  • Toril Moi
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Rosi Braidotti
  • Judith Butler
  • Elaine Showalter
  • gender theory
  • feminist theory


  • Elisabeth Friis