Female Identity

I found this in a word document from my third year poetry portfolio. I think I might sit down and write on each topic. Watch this space, as they say…


Woman as Subject

“The hierachy of erotic art is clear: “the male image is one of power, possession and domination, the female of submission, passivity, and availability”

“The conventional female nude is an icon of womb-worship”

Measurement and worth of the nude body – in terms of beauty, ideals of beauty likened to men: “the ‘best’ breasts are like the phallus: high, hard, and pointy”

Women are seen as “potential women”

“Woman is a natural territory”

Cosmetic surgeons show the imperfection of woman; the “problem area” – is cosmetic surgery mutilation?

Woman as Woman

“femininity is misogyny’s attempt to sanitize the female body”

“not to communicate rapeability with one’s body, to hold one’s body for uses and meanings other than that can transform what being a woman means” (Sexuality)

“Women have traditionally regarded […] their bodies […] as a locus of power”

Women’s bodies are a source of anxiety – lack of confidence stems from the body

Woman seeks approval from the Other, the dominant culture “which is male-supremacist, racist, ageist, heterosexist, anti-Semetic […] and class-based”

“Femininity involves sensitivity, emotionality, selflessness, and interrelationships”

Woman as Creator

“So what is a woman to do, setting out to write about women? She can imitate men in her writing or strive for an impersonality beyond sex, but finally she must write as a woman: what other way is there?”

Does a female writer have to acknowledge her gender? Does acknowledging her gender undermine her as a writer? Does analysing her according to her gender undermine her? “Benvenste distinguishes between the author […] and the ‘I’ of the text”

Female writing, feminine writing and feminist writing are all different – but is there a “sexually specific signature”?

“a text cannot be an expression of an individual’s interior” – writing is always an act “the material manipulation of signs”

What is there to say that woman are an “homogenous group who share a number of experiences and perspectives” “patriarchal subordination (no others count), is to impose a preset limit on women’s writing”

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