Against the Grain :Celebrating the HegemonicFemininityin the select poems of Adrienne Rich
Radical feminism seeks to explore the assumption that women constitute a sex class and recognizes the masculine dominance as a foundation for both social and sexual inequality against women. Adrienne Rich, the most influential American poet and radical feminist has given a great deal of individualism to women in her poems. She mainly concerns with the awakening of female consciousness and her quest for a unified self for women, based on a vision that goes beyond gender and psyche, is seen in her poetry. As a feminist poet Rich fosters the idea of having an â€œimaginative identification with all womenâ€ and devotes herself to the constitution of a female community seeking liberation from the clutches of patriarchal hegemony. Rich is of the view that women of modern age must be considered as an â€œeffective, dynamic and functional part of a culture and a society.â€ A woman should have command over her body, mind as well as her creative potentials. She should be capable of breaking the taboos and emerge as an autonomous, self-directing â€˜beingâ€™ of free will, rather than accepting oppression as destiny. Richâ€™s poetry explores the space in which the feminine concerns of restraint and liberation incorporate and gets transformed to the pervasiveness of a social re-construction of gender.