Moreover, Betty Friedan's main inspiration and focus when writing The Femenine Mystique were American housewives who belonged to the middle-class in the 1950s, a prosperous decade, when people had comfortable lives and economic stability. She conducted a survey among students in order to get empirical information and the result showed that women were unhappy, in a sense of resignation
The Female Eunuch (1970) was very influenced by Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex and was very influential in femenist movements and one of its goals was to challenge what is considered “normal femeninity” and make women aware that they have a will.
By 1978, femeinism had established itself in women's writing. However, women's writing in the 1980s was focused on the sense of disappointment regarding women's achievements, because the changes that had occured were not good enough. There was a need for real change, destroying traditional notions, gender boundaries, gender roles and stereotypes. In other words, gender became more diffused and writers started portraying characters who were androgynous, and this form of writing was more explicitily women-centered.
In addition, Jeanette Winterson was another emblemetic author who wrote about lesbianism and androgyny. Some of her works are Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (1985) and Sexing the Cherry (1989).
Angela Carter is considered an emblemetic author. Among her works are The Passion of New Eve (1977), Nights at the Circus (1984),
Carter was born in Eastbourne, England, in 1940. Her father was a journalist and she wrote journalism as well, as we can see in the collection Shaking a Leg. Her mother was not a career-woman and used to try to control her very frequently. Therefore, they did not have a good relationship and Carter even blamed her mother for being one of the reasons she developed an eating disorder when younger. Besides, Carter was a lot closer to her grandmother, who she moved to Yorkshire with, during Second World War.
Moreover, Carter could have gotten a scholarship to study in Oxford, but she got married instead and started working as a journalist. After that, she studied English Literature in Bristol and published her first book in 1966, Shadow Dance. As for her romantic life, Carter married twice. First she left her husband and moved to Tokyo for two years, leaving her wedding wing in a ashtray at the Tokyo airport. Later on she said that it was in Japan where she became a femenist. Carter also married a handiman, with whom she had a child.
Angela Carter died in 1991 and she was actually writing a sequel to Jane Eyre at that time. When asked to be more explicit about being a femenist, she admitted having a connection with femenism as a woman and as a writer, but she wasn't an activist or an orthodox.
Furthermore, Angela Carter had a very strong connection with the world of fairy tales. She was able to speak French and German, so she translated The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault (1976) and The Bloody Chamber (1979), The Virago Book of Fairy Tales (1991).
Fairy tales normally perpetuate the myth of femeninity and are a representation of a very patriarchal society, so Carter was against how women were portrayed in them.
Therefore, Angela Carter created her own language as an unorthodox femenist, not using terms derived from de Beauvoir
The Werewolf, which is based on Charles Perrault's Little Red Riding Hood, and especially in folklore.
Carter saw literature as a repository of materials and gave it a new meaning in which the author was able to recycle them.
Angela Carter said that fairy tales have been denaturalized to the point of transformation. She introduced a femenist twist to Little Red Riding Hood, for example, since the protagonist was an active, independent character, not limited by any male characters. Besides, Cater went back to the roots of these stories and reasserted those latent elements of sexuality and bodily elements. She also did some “archeology” and found different versions. Therefore, some elements of these versions continue to be present in her stories.
The Bloody Chamber explores the idea of women marring powerful men as an outlet, since the protagonist marries a rich man. Her husband takes her to his castle and leaves for a while, warning her beforehand about a chamber in the castle, but she opens the door anyway and finds the corpses of her husband's ex-wives
This tale focuses on the idea of female disobedience as well, which is also represented in the figure of Eve. Besides, the original version of The Bloody Chamber transmits the message that women should not be curious and they will be punished. However, in Carter's version, the protagonist is able to run away and is rescued by her mother, and this only reinforces and demonstrates solidarity among women.