The feminine ecriture- A feminist literary theory that examines the Patriarchal Control Of Language, by Hélène Cixous


The feminine ecriture -A feminist literary theory that examines the Patriarchal Control Of Language, by Hélène Cixous

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Hélène Cixous, a French feminist writer, released an essay in 1975 titled Le Rire de la Méduse, which has subsequently been recognized as a significant contribution to feminist literary theory. The translation was made by Paula Cohen and Keith Cohen in 1976, and it was given the name The Laugh of the Medusa. Because of Cixous' usage of the term "feminine writing," or l'ecriture feminine, in the article, it gained notoriety.

A new wave of feminist movements emerged in France in the 1970s as a result of women's alleged exclusion from political institutions. This was even referred to as the "new french feminism" in the United States. Many feminists at the time believed that language is a key factor in why developing female discourses get buried beneath the sea of pre-existing masculine discourses.

Because of her work, the writer and feminist critic Hélène Cixous gained notoriety at this time. By writing in a whole new style she named the Ecriture Feminine, she encouraged women to utilize the emerging consciousness within them to find their own voices.

The Female Criture

The overwhelming patriarchal dominance in the language system that we employ daily is addressed by Hélène Cixous in her essay "The Laugh of the Medusa." Her research has its roots in the theories of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan, psychoanalysts who came to the conclusion that the phallus controls language structure. The patriarchal language framework that is operated by a single, "phallic" voice is what Cixous is challenging.

According to Freud's theory, women have a "lack" since they lack a penis. This psychoanalytic idea was utilized by Hélène Cixous to argue that the "lack" has placed women in a position of "otherness." To express the complex experience of her "otherness" as a Jew in society, she also elided the term "juifemme," which means Jewoman.

Hélène Cixous discovered a way to communicate this otherness and depart from the phallocentric vocabulary by coining the phrase "l'ecriture feminine." She participated in the French feminist movement and what some critics referred to as "essentialist" feminism. She advocated for the articulation of the female experience in ways that were superior to those at the time and theorized its significance.

The expression of female sexuality through writing and speaking, which may finally result in a change in the linguistic structure, is the fundamental idea behind ecriture feminine. It is a style of writing that has a particular sense of "fluidity" and breaks free from the constraints of western phallogocentric rationalism. Only women, in Cixous' opinion, could achieve this linguistic mobility. She emphasized that because women are less centered than men, they are freer to create, drawing on Jacques Derrida's beliefs.

Though male sexuality gravitates toward the penis, Cixous claims that women do not contribute to the same regionalization that benefits the couple's head and genitalia and that is inscribed solely inside borders. She has a cosmic libido. The term "cosmic" describes an aspect of female sexuality that is preferable to "phallic single-mindedness" depictions. She thinks that while men and women both repress libido, women should start thinking about their relationship with their bodies and with sexuality. Women should serve as the foundation of a new conversation.

This "cosmic" libido in women is to be expressed through "an ecstatic torrent of words," according to the ecriture feminine. The term is written in a style with illogical punctuation, gaps, silences, and wordplay, as well as ideas and pictures that are difficult to understand.

Her idea also emphasizes reclaiming the feminine voice, which has been lost and forced women to adopt a "borrowed language" of speech. According to Hélène Cixous, women should write "with mother's milk," which takes root during the early stages of a mother-child bond just before the youngster is exposed to "male-centric spoken language." Writings that eliminate repressions and defy established logic reflect this mother-child interaction in the prelinguistic stage.

In addition to using the metaphor of milk, Cixous also utilizes the metaphors of honey, orgasm, and the ocean to discuss the ecriture feminine. It dismantles and dramatically upends the established stability of the phallogocentric symbolic order and introduces possibilities for a more adaptable writing play area.

Other literary works' treatment of the ecstatic feminine

According to the discussion on ecriture feminine, women's writing is not only separate from the phallic icon but also the result of their own varied sexual experiences. Julia Kristeva, a critic of French literature, developed the theory of "chora," which refers to a mother-centered process of signification.

She refers to this as the "semiotic," which is suppressed as a result of the father's father-controlled language. She refers to this systemized, prevailing language that is father-centered as "symbolic." This totalitarian linguistic system's base could be shaken to its very core by the semiotic at any time. The idea of ecriture feminine accomplishes just this. Due to its semiotic nature, this language distorts both symbols and the linguistic framework that creates them.

Whether intentionally or unintentionally, Emily Dickinson, a well-known American poet of the 19th century, uses the idea of ecriture feminine in her unusual writing style. The punctuation in her poems is haphazardly used, with many unexpected pauses and breaks between the lines. Her poems generally conjure up strange and unexpected images. Similar to Dickens, Kristeva has seen creative experimentation of the feminine in many other avant-gardes and modernist writers' works.

Eventually, Hélène Cixous's perspective shifted toward history and autobiography. As a result, for the majority of us, her work on the ecriture feminine remained a profoundly influential but illusive idea. Several literary critics have written on this intriguing idea and even identified instances of it in the works of well-known writers and poets.

If anything, the literary theory can be correctly described as a presage of the current gender diversity and studies on gender identities. L'écriture féminine continues to be an everlasting literary philosophy, evolving daily with newer female notions and writings.

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