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Tradition In Women

            Tradition in writing has always played a key roll in the originality and success in the literary arts for both men and women. Tradition in this case refers to the heritage of struggle and triumph that has characterized men and women's lives and their writings throughout history. For centuries there has been a struggle between men and woman in the literary community and this struggle has manifested itself in the fact that prior to the twentieth century women did not have much of a tradition in the literary arts so as to form and articulate their ideas in writing. As women grew as literary writers by reading and responding to their contemporaries, their literary tradition grew with them. For instance, In North Carolina the number of published women writers in the whole of the 1800's totaled 11, from 1900 to 1929 - 10, from 1930 to 1959 - 47, from 1960 to 1979 - 100 and, from 1980 to 1992 - 114. (Statistics compiled by Ginny Daley. In conjunction with the North Carolina Women Writers Conference, March 1992.) As one can see from these statistics, as the tradition of women writers grew so as did the number of women writers. In Virginia Woolf's, A Room Of One's Own Woolf argues, the reasoning behind the struggle of aspiring women writers prior to the twentieth century was greatly due to the lack of build up of women in the literary arts thus the lack of women's tradition. .
             With the advent of feminism, the organized and self-conscious movement of the 1830's emphasized that women assume a stand against authority and attack the preconceived notion that they were the less of the two sexes. The literary pioneers of this women's movement included: Abigail Adams who had a genius for letter writing, Mercy Otis Warren who was known as the most productive "woman of the American revolution", with works that viewed history and politics as a struggle between liberty and power, and Sarah Moore Grimke who drove one of the first feminist spikes in her essay Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Woman.

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