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张在新

John Zaixin Zhang

 
 
 

日志

 
 

Feminism  

2010-05-19 22:47:07|  分类: 女性主义 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Feminism

References

l  Blyth, Ian and Susan Sellers. Helene Cixous: Live Theory.

l  Eagleton, Terry. Literary Theory: An Introduction

l  Frith, Gill. “Women, Writing and Language: Making the Silences Speak.” Eds. Victoria Robinson and Diane Richardson. Introducing Women’s Studies: Feminist Theory and Practice. 2nd ed. Houndmills: Macmillan, 1997.

l  Grosz, Elizabeth. Jacques Lacan: A Feminist Introduction.

l  Ruthven, K. K. Feminist Literary Studies: An Introduction.

l  Selden, Raman. A Reader’s Guide to Contemporary Literary Theory.

l  ---. Practising Theory and Reading Literature.

l  Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. The Spivak Reader: Selected Works of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.

Lacan and Feminism

l  A binary logic in language:

      active/passive

      masculine/feminine

      sun/moon

      father/mother

      head/heart

      son/daughter

      intelligent/sensitive

      reason/emotion

Masculinity: active, strong, rational - phallocentric structure of language: it privileges masculinity by associating them with the values that are more appreciated by the (masculine-dominated) culture.

Sex, Gender, and Signifiers

l  gets away from biological determinism and puts Freudian psychoanalysis in touch with the social system (through language)

l  arbitrariness of sexual roles: The signifiers “ladies” and “gentlemen” are attached to identical doors

l  “woman” is a signifier, not a biological female (sex)

l  no simple correspondence between a specific body and the signifier “woman”

l  any feminist resistance to phallocentrism must come from within the signifying process

Linguistic Construction of a Gendered Self

l  the phallus as a signifier for full presence and power, unobtainable

l  both sexes lack the wholeness of sexuality symbolized in the phallus

       The child arrives at a sense of identity only by entering the “symbolic” order of language, which is made up of relations of similarity and difference. Only by accepting the exclusions (if this, then not that) imposed by the Law of the Father can the child enter the gendered space assigned to it by the linguistic order…. Only by accepting the necessity of sexual difference (either/or) and regulated desire can a child become ‘socialized.’ (Selden, Guide 142)

 S. de Beauvoir. The Second Sex (1949).

K. Millett. Sexual Politics, 1970. (Sexual politics)

H. Cixous. “The Laugh of the Medusa” (1975). (Write your body) (Sortie)

J. Kristeva. “Signifying Practice and Mode of Production” in Edinburgh Review 1 (1976). (The semiotic)

L. Irigaray. “This Sex which is Not One” (1977). (Multiplicity)

G. Spivak. “Feminism and Critical Theory” (1978). (Womb envy)

Reading as a Woman

Political Feminism (Kate Millett)

l  “Patriarchy” (rule of the father) - cause of women’s oppression

l  Sex determined biologically - “gender,” culturally acquired sexual identity.

l  “Sexual politics” - the acting out of the roles in the unequal relation of domination and subordination (maintained by patriarchal ideology)

l  Literary values and conventions shaped by men

l  Conventions of adventure and romantic pursuit - a “male” impetus

l  As if male readers only - The woman reader reading as a man.

From John Updike, “Unstuck”

       … The woman in the driver’s seat eased out the clutch. The tires revolved, and the slippery ton of the automobile’s rear end threatened to slide farther sideways; but he fought it, and she fed more gas, and they seemed to gain an inch forward. Doing what she had told him, she rocked the car back, and at the peak of its backwards swing gunned it forward again, and he felt their forward margin expand. Good girl. He heaved; they paused; the car rocked back and then forward again and he heaved so hard the flat muscles straddling his groin ached. Mark seemed to feel, somewhere within the inertial masses they were striving to manage, his personal strength register a delicate response, a feminine flicker in the depths.

       … The car, stuttering blue exhaust smoke, perched safe in the center of the ash-striped width of Hillcrest Road. It was a 1960 Plymouth SonoRamic Commando V-8, with fins. Its driver, silhouetted with her nose tipped up, looked much too small to have managed so big a thing.

       … He walked to his car and opened the door and got in beside his wife. The heater had come on; the interior was warm. He repeated, “You were great.” He was still panting.

       She smiled and said, “So were you.”

Writing as a Woman

Luce Irigaray (Speculum of the Other Woman)

l  The Lacanian mirror of male self-representation - woman in the position of man’s specular double

l  Alice, to pass through the looking glass into the “wonderland” of women’s own self-representations “on the other side”

l  Her mirror represents the “other woman,” not woman as man’s other, but another woman, altogether different from man’s other.

l  Phallocentrism - the two sexes as one

l  Two discourses, two speaking positions, and perspectives are collapsed into one.

l  Discourses as universal and neutral, appropriate to all - produced and maintained according to male interests. Men - philosophers, psychoanalysts, scientists, writers, - have spoken for women for too long.

Fleur Adcok’s “The Ex-Queen among the Astronomers” (From Selected Poems. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1983)

       They serve revolving saucer eyes,

       dishes of stars; they wait upon

       huge lenses hung aloft to frame

       the slow procession of the skies.

 

       They calculate, adjust, record,

       watch transits, measure distances.

       They carry pocket telescopes

       to spy through when they walk abroad.

 

       Spectra possess their eyes; they face

       upwards, alert for meteorites,

       cherishing little glassy worlds:

       receptacles for outer space.

 

       But she, exiled, expelled, ex-queen,

       swishes among the men of science

       waiting for cloudy skies, for nights

       when constellations can’t be seen.

 

       She wears the rings he let her keep;

       she walks as she was taught to walk

       for his approval, years ago.

       His bitter features taunt her sleep.

 

       And so when these have laid aside

       their telescopes, when lids are closed

       between machine and sky, she seeks

       terrestrial bodies to bestride.

 

       She plucks this one or that among

       the astronomers, and is become

       his canopy, his occultation;

       she sucks at earlobe, penis, tongue

 

       mouthing the tubes of flesh; her hair

       crackles, her eyes are comet-sparks.

       She brings the distant briefly close

       Above his dreamy abstract stare.

 

Women’s writing and gynocritics

Elaine Showalter, A Literature of Their Own, 1977

l  a whole tradition of writing neglected by male critics

l  feminine phase, 1840-80 - Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot - imitated and internalized the dominant male aesthetic standards - their immediate domestic and social circle

l  feminist phase, 1880-1920 - Elizabeth Robins and Olive Schreiner - protested against the masculine tradition

l  female phase, 1920 onwards - Katherine Mansfield, Dorothy Richardson, Virginia Woolf, Doris Lessing - advocated their own autonomous, female perspective

Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic, 1979

l  Pen as a metaphorical penis

l  Bertha as Jane’s “truest and darkest double” (unconscious)

Women’s experience and woman writer’s experience

Feminist discourse

l  Female sexuality to disrupt the tyranny of unitary meaning and logocentric (phallogocentric) discourse

l  Helene Cixous and Luce Irigaray

Hélène Cixous

l  “The Laugh of the Medusa”

l  women to put their “bodies” into their writing

l  “to invent for herself a language to get inside of”

Luce Irigaray

l  “This Sex Which Is Not One”

l  women’s sexual pleasure (jouissance) cannot be expressed by the dominant, ordered, “logical”, masculine language

l  women’s jouissance is multiple (“woman has sex organs just about everywhere”)

l  bisexuality – concentric/cunt-centric (Ruthven, Chapter 4  “Gynocritics”)

l  men’s unitary, phallic pleasure - phallocentric

l   “feminine” language more diffusive than its “masculine” counterpart

l  goes off in all directions and...he is unable to discern

l  Patriarchal societies are blind to sexual difference and take male sexuality as the only standard. In particular, “the tempo of male sexuality, a model of tension and release, structures the technology that we build in our projects of taming the unruliness of nature and forces our bodies to endure the stress of endless workdays, high-speed transportation, noise pollution, and so on with the reward of orgasmic release once work is over” (Hansen 204). [Hansen, Jennifer (2000) “Introduction”, in Kelly Oliver (ed.) (2000), French Feminism Reader, New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., pp. 201-205.]

l  emphasis on feminine writing as an expression of the female body

l  reduces “the feminine” to a biological essence

l  elevates it in a way that shifts the valuation of masculine and feminine but retains the binary categories

Julia Kristeva

l  a polarity between “closed” rational systems (the symbolic) and “open” disruptive “irrational” systems (the semiotic, or the semiotic chora)

l  “…the semiotic is a state of disintegration in which patterns appear but which do not have any stable identity: they are blurred and fluctuating.”

l  preverbal experience in the pre-Oedipal phase - like a language but not yet ordered into one

l  “semiotic” material to become “symbolic”

l  involves repression of the flowing and rhythmic drives

l  associated with the body of the mother (breast)

l  the Law of the Father which censors and represses in order for the symbolic to come into being

l  the “unconscious” which precedes the symbolic

l  the force of the pre-oedipal – repressed and thus permanently preserved – unconscious

l  the “Other”, which threatens to disrupt the conscious (rational) order of speech

l  rhythmic bodily forces – pleasures, sounds, colors or movements experienced in the child’s body  - the repressed condition of symbolically regulated, grammatically governed language

l  to enter the Body-of-the-Mother and resists the Name-of-the-Father

l  Mallarme subverting the laws of syntax

l  identifies with the mother through his recovery of the “maternal” semiotic flux

Gayatri Spivak

l  Freud and Marx ignored the womb as the site of production

l  reinterpret reproduction (as production)

l  man’s property right to the child, over the product of woman’s body

l  man “produces” the child

l  Marx’s idea of alienation of labor that undermines the agency of the subject in his work and his property

l  reading Marx beyond Marx – women’s work and childbirth alienated

l  Freud – genital stage is phallic not clitoral or vaginal

l  Spivak to make a womb envy interact with penis envy to “determine human sexuality and the production of society”

l  “the discourse of the clitoris” – In Other Worlds, 1987 - criticism of Freud’s “little penis”, still phallic

l  “a shorthand for women’s excess in all areas of production and practice, an excess which must be brought under control to keep business going as usual”

l  discourse of the clitoris – discourse of the repressed (woman being excluded from the cycle of production) – return of the repressed

 

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