L’ecriture feminine


The term L’ecriture feminine is about the way in which a writer (female or male) writes (and speaks) the women’s body, uncensored, sharing a women’s beauty, vibrance, sexuality, pleasure, desire. Here is a quote from the French feminist, Helene Cixous, which encapsulates the essence of L’ecriture feminine.

“Time and again I, too, have felt so full of luminous torrents that I could burst-burst with forms much more beautiful than those which are put up in frames and sold for a stinking fortune. And I, too, said nothing, showed nothing; I didn’t open my mouth, I didn’t repaint my half of the world. I was ashamed. I was afraid, and I swallowed my shame and my fear. I said to myself: You are mad! What’s the meaning of these waves, these floods, these outbursts? Where is the ebullient, infinite woman who, immersed as she was in her naivete, kept in the dark about herself, led into self disdain by the great arm of parental-conjugal phallocentrism, hasn’t been ashamed of her strength? Who, surprised and horrified by the fantastic tumult of her drives (for she was made to believe that a well-adjusted normal woman has a … divine composure), hasn’t accused herself of being a monster?”

The Laugh of the Medusa: http://www.dwrl.utexas.edu/~davis/crs/e321/Cixous-Laugh.pdf

Such writing is meant to be subversive, transgressive, and rule-transcending. It is poetic, metaphoric, and liberating.

In my work with girls and their online roleplaying characters (and boys / men who have taken on female character roles) , I have explored aspects of how those role-players have engaged in writing the female body, and expressing desire, pleasure, and fantasies of being female. I too, as a female online role-player, have been at the same time both completely immersed in role-playing the female body of my character, yet also – impossibly and inextricably – sufficiently  distanced to watch myself, to read, re-read and analyse my words as they have flown across the screen and to laugh and feel thrilled as I’ve written a different (?) me (?) into existence.   I’ve also started a new project in which I plan to analyse girl’s poetry, art, fiction, and photography (including “selfies”) to investigate how they express aspects of embodiment, of growing up as a girl, and what I really want to investigate is how fiction and art-forms can provide a safe mediating space for girls (and women) to engage in L’ecriture feminine. One of my online characters wrote a lot of poetry, and I found I could speak volumes as literary feminine subject. So I am interested in agency, transference and transformation through creating female fictions / art, and the way that this might offer girls a space for empowerment.


Images from artists Monica Dengo, Marco Ambrosi and Tsering Wangmo Dhompa: http://www.monicadengo.com/bab.html


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