Dissertation Idea: Ecriture Feminine

Ecriture feminine is a French term. It translates as “feminine writing”. This term was coined by Hélène Cixous, a French feminist writer and theorist, in her essay The laugh of Medusa (1976). The Feminist theorists of the 18th century believed that there was a need for a language that particularly relates to women’s life and experiences. They believed that the language that prevails the world is male-oriented. They define this patriarchal language as a normative and rational language. The need for the use of women’ language sprout out from this gender-based view of language.

Hélène Cixous, in her essay, defines that women must divorce herself from the man-made language and must embrace her own language. She, like many other feminists writers, valued the free play of meanings written within the language that has a loose grammatical structure. The concept of complicating the language is to find a new way of expressing women’s ideas, experiences, feelings, and lives by using a specific language that demonstrates the essence of womanhood.

Eciture Feminine is the language that can be defined as a language beyond logic; therefore, it cannot be theorized completely by using the logical language of the patriarchal system. For Hélène Cixous, a woman must adore her body rather than focusing on enhancing her rational ability. Rationality is related to man and physiology is related to women. The body is for women and the brain is for man. Therefore, women must write from their body. She further writes:

“We should write as we dream; we should even try and write, we should all do it for ourselves, it’s very healthy, because it’s the only place where we never lie”.

Her essay describes, as well as, demonstrates the language of a woman. Like dreams, Eciture Feminine has loose grammatical structure, lack of logical connection between different events, and too much punctuation. This kind of writing is totally different from the patriarchal writing, which clearly follows the logical rules of language. Many Feminist writers adopted this kind of language. Virginia Woolf adopted this kind of writing style almost in all of her works. Her novel, To the light House, is a perfect epitome of Ecriture feminine.

Ecriture feminine unpacks the importance of womanhood. Ecriture feminine is a language that is by nature rule transcending and rebellious. This kind of language rebel against the patriarchal authority and power in order to get freedom and to achieve an expression through which the true essence and nature of women can be demonstrated. “Writing from body” is a metaphorical expression, its literal meaning is to detach from rational and logical rules of language that have been made by men.

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