In modern feminist literary criticism, there have been several apparent schools of thought. The treatment of women by men was the first wave of feminism. Critics considered it in this initial stage of feminist criticism that marginalization or treatment of female characters is demeaning by male novelists. The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer in 1970, the Sexual Politics by Kate Millet in 1969, and Thinking about Women by Marry Ellman in 1968 were some of the books that represented the first wave of feminist criticism. The critique of Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare for Katherina abuse by Petruchio was one of the prime examples of first wave feminist literary analysis.
Gynocriticism was the second-wave feminism. One of the pioneers of gynocriticism was Elaine Showalter, who in 1977 produced a book: A Literature of Their Own. The female writers are examined well in this book. In literary history, their place has also been well represented in the book. Second is the consideration of the treatment of female characters by both female and male writers in books.
Further, the exploration and discovery of a canon of literature written by women is the most important and third aspect of gynocriticism. A female literary tradition has been appropriately represented by gynocriticism. Moreover, the three phases of the writing of women have also been well represented in this book.
The first phase is the ‘feminine’ phase in which male values have been adhered to by female writers. Most of the female writers have written like men and have not entered into debate related to the place of women in society. During this period, male pseudonyms have been adopted by female writers. Next is the ‘feminist’ phase in which the criticism of the women’s role in society and oppression of women has been the key theme of works produced by female writers. The last phase is the ‘female’ phase in which women writers no longer proved the legitimacy of the perspective of women.