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Towards Definitions of Feminist writing

Defining Feminist Imaginative Writing : What is feminist imaginative writing? Is it a bunch of texts written by women? Or a bunch of text read by women? Is it what those who call themselves feminists write? Is a female writing referring to the experiences and thoughts of women????? So what spots a painting, an idea, a sculpture as feminist? ( so what on earth is this feminist writing? Who cares to know lol) According to Michele Barrett and Rosalind Coward (yes yes coward), feminist writings are political thats why they are more limited in scope than womens writings because womens writings are personal (they focus on the person rather than the gender). However, while Coward is radical about the lack of connection between feminist writings and women writings, Barrett suggests that a total rejection of women experiences as NEVER being feminist is a doubtful conclusion. (so coward doesnt like feminism at all while barrett thinks it can be acceptable). For instance, there is a controversy about the extent to which the writings of Virginia Woolf are related to feminism. ( her novels are concentrated on gender role and her nonfiction writings focus on feminist matters ) Feminist Criticism and Womens Writings: Feminist criticism is a political practice that investigates patriarchy relations in a given situation. The objectives of feminists changes according to which social practice they are concerned with. For instance, the priorities of liberal feminism are different of the socialist one or the radical feminism. Feminist literary criticism has started in 1960 and its objective has developed since then to allow women to break free from their oppression and to write freely and to have a space for her, a space that was always denied by misogynists. From Images of Women to Psychoanalysis and the Discursive Construction of Gender: In works such as Thinkign about women (1979) by Mary Ellmann, women are analyzed in a way to demonstrate how they are male-made in fiction or media. They are brainwashed in the sense that they are given a way to be, a way that is mainly constructed by men. for instance, women are seen as masochist, passive, irrational and so on. During the last ten years, feminists were concerned with how readers were affected with the way this representation manipulates them. Psychoanalysis and postructuralism were needed since they give, respectively, a psychoanalysis reading which construct a certain meaning about feminity vs masculinity and multiplicity of meaning making feminity, masculinity and the unconscious gain diverse meanings (hadakchi dial language is not transparent and is not trustworthy o dak ze3t dial poststrcuturalism zadoh hena tani). So women in novels are no longer real images of women but just possible construction of what the individual wants to read about them. Feminists psychoanalysis criticism use Freudian, post-freudian and Lacanian theories to analyze the way male dominance is exercised on women. ( freud and lacan concentrated on the desires of men and kind of denied women subjecthood, a voice to speak and all that sht). For instance, to be able to understand better how mens dominant unconscious works, using psychoanalysis in a madia context (movies) is helpful. (page 149). However, these movies (as seen from a psychoanalysis point of view) still are patriarchal and capitalist, they picture women as mens objects ((Indeed, in a freudian context, capitalist patriarchal countries sell more movies that assert mans power, mens desires etc. )) Both psychoanalysis and postructuralism reject the humanistic view of a central subjectivity. (page 151). However, psychoanalysis considers subjectivity in relation to the conscious vs unconscious and how it affects psycho-sexual structure, while feminist structuralism use subjectivity as a terrain where

different conflicts take place. It doesnt investigate only the unconscious but it also investigates conflicts that take place within different discourses. In her book Female Desire, Rosalind Coward makes use of psychoanalysis in a poststructuralist book because it strengthens her point. In this way, psychoanalysis is a useful tool to analyze, for instance, how gendered subjectivity is constructed within certain practices similarly to how (within a structural context) how cultural context affects womens pleasure more negatively than positively. Because female desires do not only exist within a patriarchal society, females desires have their own existence that is not supposed to reinforce male dominance (lol I get the impression that this is a documentary about the jungle lolol). Unfortunately, popular culture and media representations were given importance in a time when psychoanalysis and poststructuralism were young disciplines thats why it was difficult to destroy their rigidity (their concentration on patriarchal society). Fiction as an Experience of Womens Experience: In fiction, there was a lack of interest in what women think. Their personalities were wrongly constructed, were unreal, were distorted. The most obvious reason was the limited presence of women in the production of writings; differently put, the governing presence of men in representing women in a certain way in their novels etc resulted in connecting women with family life, home, and the like. As a result, This domesticity and these personal relations were central theme in the books of feminist writers such as Lisa Alther and Marge Piercy. They were very interested in investigating womens relationship with men, with their kids, with their family with sex and so on rather than interested in considering women and their public life (as if they had any public life lol) The style that women writers used can be depicted from an essentialist or a poststruturalist perspective. While essentialists give more importance to the female experience and her, she as an individual functions, poststructuralists were more flexible and allowed meaning of texts to be diverse/uncertain which opened a gate to historical inversigation in order to understand the text. The most important concern of feminist critics of womes writings has been to assert a voice that does not belong to men but to women (black, white, lesbian whatever and it is an essentialist perspective). Female aesthetics searches to emancipate itself from a patriarchal oppression. Female authorship becomes that way different from male-authored texts to make writing not exclusive to men but also reached by women. From instance, the definition of madness for women changed in the sense that it serves resisting patriarchy, hence showing that women are not mad or irrational but that they have their own way to express themselves, to think, to react to stuff etc. however, patriarchy should not disappear from feminist writings because it serves as web of modes (155) from which feminine voice rises, clashes, and transcends. A women centered writing gives rise to women centered criticism which was named gynocritic by Elaine Showalter. It concentrates on taking into consideration a female culture that is independent from the male one. Showalter investigates history to find female literary tradition and female voice (156). (this kind of a poststructuralist approach since it deals with specific period of times and how females relation with the external world was seen and all that. All women (black white with diff sexual orientation) are against being considered as inferior. This unity between women from different countries comforted them and made them realize that the political dominance of man can change if they start to question things and to reject a static situation that is not profitable to them. Hence, this rebellion helped women to go from writing in an anonymous way, using male pseudonyms, to a free way by speaking as women to women.

Issue: is the essentialist femaleness what feminists want? Is it the key perspective to challenge patriarchal dominance? How will we deal with minorities (for instance lesbian writings). What are lesbian writings? Is it the experience of two women have particular emotions for each other ? Or having sexual relationship (a3odobilah, had nass merad awdi x_x) so here constructing a lesbian tradition is kinda complex. But its meaning changes with time. (160) and it depends on what are our objectives since a text by a lesbian or a person talking about lesbianism is open to different interpretations. Black feminist criticism and lesbian feminist criticism can make use of the political reactions throughout time hence creating a mode of discourse that enables a critical perspective upon the past, present and sometimes future (162). Forms of Postructuralist Criticism: Definition of deconstruction (164 165) 1) opposite binaries. 2) rejectionof logocentrism. 3) diffrance. Deconstruction is useful for feminism because it rejects the centrality, undoes hierarchical oppositions and encourages new theories to emerge. Theory of textuality changes the perspective by which male or female writings are considered. They are more neutral. Power/knowledge notion changes because the state of female writings is not static. (166)

Poststructuralist feminism: (167) 1) Takes into consideration literature that is not concerned reflection over essentiaist womanhood, rather, it concerns itself with constructing natural features of women or men. 2) Insists that with each reading a new meaning emerges. 3) Refuses centrality. It also refuses to attribute biological and feminine psyche as defining women. Strategies for Change: Feminism tries to change power/knowledge relations. So the questions are how power is excersed, whose interest are silenced/marginalized, how to change all that crap. The educational system served as a crucial tool. Since limited students have access to literary education, they are supposed to find THE truth in the texts they are given to analyze. Their answers are kind of taken for granted, thats the problem! They have POWER to do so. However, in texts, there are stff untold, there are references, there are implied meaning thats why its easy to misinterpret a work or give it a different meaning than the author intended. Thus, the reader explores texts in his own way and not in an universal united way. (here when he is given power and when he may not say the full truth you can see that this power can be wrongly used, I think thats what the writer of this essay tries to say). Power is exercised by: 1- publishing work that encourage certain discourses, usually patriarchal ones. 2- In a capitalist world, certain products (films, books etc) widely circulate. For instance, pornography (for men), and romance (for women). They represent gender differences in the

sense that they are forms of subjectivity (and mens form is favored because it had more attention over time).

- Nowadays, there is an attempt to recover past written produced by women to gain an identity. Change doesnt start by only dealing with the present but also by exploring and understand and accepting the past. - Womens writings and popular fiction transcend literature. However, literature is a useful tool for them. - Women are given basic instruction and then they are free to speak for themselves. Literature is useful for them in the sense that it provides them with a space to support them so that they can come out of their marginality and construct subjecthood. Womens Liberation movement is divided into: Humanist forms of feminism: they use realist fiction, explore aesthetic femininity, women language, and construct theories from it. However, realism failure is that it is contradictory because it expresses womens experience (authentically) BUT it still supports patriarchy and it fails to give social and historical theories. ((Thats where deconstruction comes into view. It over a social and a historical context. (because you know, knowing why and when the text was written is important))). Feminist poststructuralism: investigates the way discourse makes use of power in different contexts (political social etc). it makes use of deconstruction since (unlike humanism) it considers the subject as having a partial and not a total control over their thoughts, situations etc. but remember that subjectivity is still important to define social practices: exercising thus power. dont be fooled about what subjectivity really is because modes of subjectivity vary with time, making truth deferred. (but nowadays we live in chaos and everything is doubtful and nothing is sure. Now even men have to defend themselves and to question their history and to question themselves along with women who are so screwed up and try to find a meaning for their miserable life. Oops ! im defending men?? jail me jail me. So everyone is investigating and searching for something still untold because of that deference and stil power makes fool of the world taking side with this or that. Bt it still remains the most powerful Luuul: this is in page 173).

Here she goes back to liberal humanism here: decentering liberal humanism helped to decenter the full control that men had of his thoughts and speech. So when its hegemonic readings and knowledge was destroyed, their perspective of this things was no longer the container of ultimate truth. Change starts decentering everything and giving the benefit of the doubt. In other words, change comes with the freedom acquired by rejecting traditional liberal humanist disciplinary boundaries. Change also is realized when women speak for themselves and still keep in mind the wider feminist movement. Formal but also informal ways of resisting also helps. Using media and all kind of communication tools is necessary. Adult education should investigate oppression and help women prosper. Always searching for new audiences to brainwash I mean to address . (so yeah lets all work for change and all that: page 175)

The problem with this derogative essay is that the writer keeps jumping from idea to idea, imo, in an incoherent way. She just talks about poststructuralist then jumps to humanism as crappy then goes back to psychoanalysis. The way the essay is constructed is meh. I hate it. She mentions something then comes back to it later repeating over and over again stuff so it becomes confusing pfft