Jean Cixous 's ' Le Deuxieme Sexe ' And Helen Cixous

2162 Words Apr 20th, 2015 9 Pages
‘French feminist writing seeks to return women to the bodies from which patriarchal culture has alienated them’. This assignment aims to discuss this statement using two primary texts, Beauvoir ‘Le Deuxième Sexe’ and ‘Helen Cixous ‘Le rire de la méduse’

The patriarchal society has taken women away from their bodies as in it has created women as objects rather than subjects of desire. As we gain from Beauvoir, patriarchal society benefits the male perspective and viewpoint on the world. Subsequently, men are developed as subjects, whereas women discover how to see themselves as objects. Thus women learn to see their bodies and themselves through men’s eyes. This explains that women are alienated from their own bodies, and see themselves as objects for others pleasure. For feminists like Cixous, Beauvoir and other activists this can be very tricky as it implies that women’s personal subjective understanding of their bodies, joys and desires, are written out of equation. In the patriarchal society women’s body is regarded as fanatically however Cixous refers these images as la ‘femme fausse’, this means that female body is seen as an object of male desires. Just like Leclerc, Cixous uses the ‘écriture féminine’ to discover new methods of representation that allows women to discover themselves and their bodies.

Helen Cixous ‘Le rire de la méduse’ translated as ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’ was published in 1975, a well known poststructuralist French feminist essay which…
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