Friday, September 7, 2007

French Feminism - Casey Page

French feminism is the work of a group of feminist in France from the 1970's to the early 1990's. They are however distingused from the anglo-saxon feminist because they take a different approach. Their approach which is once more philosophical and more literary. Its writings are effusive, metaphorical and conceptually rich, rather than pragmatic. They are not concerned about getting an immediate political doctrine out or a "materialism" which is not of the body. Some of their themes would include anti-essentialism, ecriture feminine and a critque of phallogocentrism. The ecriture feminine is basically gendered women writing. It places the experience befor language. It started in the 1970's by man french female writers and later european women writers.

Luce Irigaray was a famous french feminist. Her work exposed the masculine ideology underlying language and gestures toward the "new" feminine language that would allow women to express themselves. She also challenged the idea of the two gender categories being one which was male. She wanted there to be two separate sexes and them to be equal.

Helene Cixous was also a famous french feminist. She was a professor at the University of Paris VIII, which she helped found and also this university housed the women's studies program. The progam was the first in all of Europe.

Any of these ladies, their goal was just to get the women ideologies out there and not try get something done about it. I think I rather be a french feminist because I think knowledge is power and in America, the feminist are about getting things done. Just getting the word out can do a lot, the french had a good idea with that.

Chantal Chawaf
Catherine Clément
Hélène Cixous
Luce Irigaray

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