What Does a Non-Feminist Feminism Mean? What Does Feminine Writing Mean?June 27, 2021
For Cixous, the literary field has a non-hierarchical nature and is a special field in terms of showing bisexuality.
Cixous mentions the names of writers such as James Joyce, Kleist, Hoffmann, Edgar Allan Poe, Genet, Shakespeare, Freud as examples of this type of writing. Such writers produce texts that undermine basic, established categories. Based on them, he develops reflections on subjects such as subjectivity, textuality and sexual difference. In particular, Cixous, who finds the concept of fixed and static subjectivity unacceptable, attaches great importance to writing styles aimed at eroding and disrupting it. The writer he admires is Poe in this respect.
In a more specific sense, Cixous tends to produce a writing style that will both express androgynous and express the feminine position of women. At this point, Cixous moves from the thesis that the relationship of woman with her body is culturally predetermined, therefore, she defends the idea that writing is important for women as it has the potential to reshape the cultural. The act of writing should be the defining act of the woman, but it is a feminine act of writing. This writing practice, besides being polyphonic, does not refrain from creating different subjects. But basically, there can be no reducible definition of feminine writing, according to Cixous. One can only say that the feminine script is too sonorous or close to sound. That is, its resemblance to speech activity is characteristic of feminine writing. Here, sound or speech is considered important in terms of its proximity to the unconscious.
Cixous states that the woman pushes the limits in speech and obtains a space that allows transformation in writing. The relationship established between femininity and writing depends on the interest in the close relationship between language and body, and this interest brings Cixous to the problem of the unconscious. At this point, Cixous tries to resist illusions of subjective autonomy and conscious control.
Cixous himself has produced impressive literary texts as well as his theoretical work. These fictional texts have expanded the field of literature. Elements of polyphony, instability, ambiguity, and non-linear temporality of the kind he put forward were applied in his own narratives. In addition, subjects such as subjectivity, corporeality of language, femininity and the other are handled in these texts. There is also a woman writer who is in line with the theoretical propositions she has developed; Clarice Lispector.
Cixous’s attempt aims to focus on writing based on a political strategy. There is also a biographical source for this, as Cixous, both as a woman and as a Jew, was subjected to practices of double exclusion. In this sense, he became associated with a kind of political psychoanalysis group (Psychoanalyse et Politique) that tried to make the practice for women clear by making use of psychoanalytic theories. The main purpose here is to struggle with the unconscious structures of patriarchy. These are structures that are deeper and invisible, constantly suppressed and ignored. The main thing and the important thing is to be in a constant effort to transform these structures. This community or group does not get along well with groups and circles that are generally defined as feminist, on the contrary, it considers these circles as groups trying to get a share of masculine power structures.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook