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Through history, women have been part
of a patriarchal system that has prohibited us to express ourselves. We weren’t
allow to participate or express our feelings or thoughts. We have been
considered less than men and sometimes even our capacities and intelligence
were put into doubt. Cixous recriminates this differences that exist between
men and women and encourages women to openly express ourselves without any fear
or regret. Within her text, she introduces this idea of women’s need for
writing as a biological drive which intimately relies on us ceasing back and
mastering our own body that has been violently misused by male’s rhetoric. I
think Cixous discusses women’s body and their sexuality in connection with
writing because as women we have been driven away from our bodies, from our
sexualities and from any way of expressing their thoughts.

Something that really caught my
attention is the way she says that the language is mostly male centered and
that this hinders our ability to express ourselves as women. She talks about “phallocentrism”
which basically is a male-dominated, masculine-coded linguistic and philosophical
system that keeps women apart from writing their own histories. Men have
written about women, about the way they think we feel, think and behave;
however, the truth is that they have written about their own desires and about
their expectations creating stereotypes, basically they have written having in
mind an ideal woman (for them but not for us). Stereotypes that women have been
trying to follow just to fit and to satisfy men’s expectations. For that
reason, what Cixous wants to say is that women should express themselves and be
what they want to be and for that, we must start by knowing ourselves by discovering
our body, our pleasures and desires and not for the image the men have created
of us.

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Moreover, something that I found
interesting is the title. Why Cixous uses medusa?. I think, it is because she
is using it as a metaphor to portray women’s beauty and oppression at the same
time. Cixous uses Medusa to say that women have been treated badly by men as
Medusa was according to Greek mythology and also, she wants to represent women’s
jealousy of and hatred to other women under the influence of the masculine
worldview. Also, as we know, Medusa is a mythological female creature with
snakes on her head that turns people (especially men) into stone when they look
into her eyes. I think that’s also a reason why Cixous chose Medusa because
once she turns their victims into stones they cannot talk or harm anymore. Metaphorically,
we can see ourselves as Medusa, we cannot turn people into stone but we can ignore
comments and words that can harm us physically or intellectually.  

So, basically I think that Cixous with her text is claiming
equal rights for women, she is trying to end up with the patriarchal language
that hierarchizes women into inferior positions. She wants to motivate women to
write as a way of expression that shows women as we are. She believes with
this, we will be able to create radical changes not only on social structures
but also in topics like politics.

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I'm Erica!

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