Archive for February 10th, 2007

Feminism studies: Compare and contrast two competing accounts of ‘sexual difference’ – between Luce Irigaray and Judith Butler

Saturday, February 10th, 2007

Part two – Why ‘culture over nature’

Both Irigaray and Butler agree that culture is ‘over’ nature. Similarly, both of them reject the ‘given truth’, and believe that humans are cultural beings. We engage in activities of transforming ourselves in the material world. However, the term ‘culture over nature’ was elaborated in different ways by these two thinkers.

For Irigaray, ‘culture’ indicates the notion of ‘man’ (the ‘only one sex’) who revalued ‘woman,’ which is therefore a culturally constructed idea (of what it is a woman should be) that appears ‘natural’. Irigaray claimed that, traditionally, the need for a representation of ‘nature’, was seen as good or bad depending on whether it is created by men or engendered by women (Irigaray, 1987, p.96). It seems that Irigaray was trying to describe the power relationship between culture and nature, and also self-awareness among ‘women’. In her book This Sex Which Is Not One, she claimed that ‘ “women” always remains several, but she is kept from dispersion because the other is already within her and is autocratically familiar to her, which is not to say that she appropriates the other for herself, that she reduces it to her own property.’ She focused on the female position in human society and emphasized that women should create their own systems in terms of language, discourses and sexuality.

Stone argued that Irigaray could be seen to use the concept of nature in two main senses. ‘Firstly, the ‘nature’ of something, for her, denotes its defining character or essence – in the sense men and women are said to have different natures.’ (Stone, 2006, p.5) Besides that, Irigaray denoted ‘nature’ as character and essence of human – she believes that men and women have different natures.

One could argue that by encouraging and also emphasizing female positions, ‘sexual difference’ for her is to distinguish male and female identities or positions.

However, Judith Butler questions the notion of natural, biological or true gender identity. She stepped further than Irigaray’s analysis by explaining the hidden ‘reason’ behind why ‘nature’ was understood as natural. She claims that culture is continuously changing and gender is a constructed idea. As Long stated,

Butler contends that culture requires gender to be inscribed upon the body…gendered bodies are created. Gender is a facet of identity created through a stylized repetition of acts. Gender performance and prescription is internalized as a form of self-discipline. (Long, 2006)

For instance, Butler also argues that ‘heterosexuality is a cultural artifact, which can be subverted and dismantled’. She explicated ‘Phenomenological theories of human embodiment have also been concerned to distinguish between the various physiological and biological causalities that structure bodily existence and the meanings that embodied existence assumes in the context of lived experience.’ (Butler, 1988, p.403) This explanation reflects what Stone stated about Judith Butler’s idea that bodies do have a natural character, but one of multiplicity (Stone, 2006, p.6).

Bibliography

Long, V. (2006). Subjectivity and Gender: Luce Irigaray’s, Judith Butler’s and Riot Girl’s Gender Challenge. Internet (last viewed 10 January 2007).

Butler, J. (1988). Performative Acts and Gender Constitution. In Conboy, K., Medina, N., Stanbury, S. eds. Writing on the Body: Female Movement and Feminist Theory. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.

Irigaray, L. (1987). Sexual Difference. Transl. Hand, S. In Whitford, M. ed. (1991). The Irigaray Reader. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

Stone, A. (2006). Luce Irigaray and the Philosophy of Sexual Difference. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

傲慢与偏见

Saturday, February 10th, 2007

傲慢与偏见

80年代的人常常讲,花花世界太多诱惑了。花花世界这个词,好像很土啊!到底花花世界是什么?在那里?难道就是资本主义国家和社会吗?花花世界对于每一个人,都有不同的定义和解释。

习惯了城市的喧嚣和吵闹,已不觉得有任何特别的人,反而喜欢郊外淡淡的微风和稻草的清香。但那可能只是一时‘城里人’对现实社会的逃避。每一个住在伦敦的城里人可能都有同感。因为伦敦的魅力已经不仅仅在与方便和时尚。 对于一些人,伦敦是一个让人觉得压抑却又具有推动力变态工厂。

生活在这里的人,常常抱怨,常常愤怒,可与此同时,他们又以种种傲慢而沾沾自喜且心怀满足感。抱怨是因为,这里申请一个固定电话要等至少3个礼拜,开一个银行账户就需要你比等电话更有耐心。所以一些中文极为美妙的学子称’BT’(British Telephone line)为‘变态’。因为那是一种精神上的折磨。没有电话就意味着没有网络,那你就如人间蒸发了一样,会被以前的朋友骂到狗血喷头的。因为他们会说你到了london,人品也变得london了!意为you傲慢you偏见。因为你没有和他们及时联络啊!另一方面, 说道心怀满足感是因为,你常常被身边的小事而震惊。就好像当你发现原来一代宗师Freud竟在50年代的时候就读与与你现在同一间学校。那是一种欣喜,感觉完全不同与你在机场偶遇某个你早在少年时期为之疯狂的Super star。股子里,单纯的你变的虚伪了一点点儿。然后,更有可能告诉后来到伦敦又在为等点话线诉苦的人,说,‘嘿,这就是london啊!u should be proud!’

女人,感情来了,理智丢了。

Saturday, February 10th, 2007

情人节快到了,突然想到了自己以前曾经写过一些小故事关于情人。特搬来和大家一起分享。(注:这里的‘我’不是我,纯数第三人称)

情景一

我和他已经很久没见了。自从那次他认为我其实不是因为喜欢他才和他约会,而是因为日子寂寞难熬才找他‘填空’的。我其实不是那样的人,了解我的人都知道。我慌然大悟,因为他喜欢我但又不了解我,所以才误会了。有些时候是这样的,人一有了感情,理智就靠边站了。男人们更明显,他们若即若离。当然,并不是所有男人都是这样,而且他们可能认为女人也是这样的,于是才有了讲也讲不完的爱情故事。。。。。。我就这样想着,突然被微微颤动的书包带回了现实。原来我是在等电车,但为什么眼看着上一班徐徐开走了呢?哦,是电话震动!我来不及再回忆自己在做什么,急忙把书包翻过来任凭随身物品撒了一地。

‘喂!?’终于没错过他的电话,是的,是他,想曹操,曹操就打来电话了。
‘我,你在家吗?我在你家门口!’
‘哦,我。。在外面,不过马上就到,你等我啊,马上,马上。。。’
‘没关(系)。。。’

没来得及听他解释,我已经挂断了。像农田里拔稻草一样,我急忙把地上的零碎捋进背包。我没有再等下一班车,而是改道回俯了。鬼知道其实我想去那儿,可能只是家里以外的地方。第一次觉得地铁站的台阶竟然这么多,马路上的信号灯是不是被调过了,行人怎么走的这么悠闲,别挡着我。。。所有这些都在我脑海闪过。

‘嘿,啊,,呼,,呼,等,等了很久吧?’气还没喘齐,我差点儿撞到他。
‘没有,你不用跑的,我就是来看看你,不会离开的。’
‘,,,‘ ’我以为,,,你再也不会出现了呢!其实上次,,,’
‘没有,没有上次!’他打断了我,摇着头示意要我不提前贤。‘我知道,时间已经证明
一切了。我只想再和你聊天。我想知道你,了解你,,,行吗?’
我感到一阵暖意,并夹杂着淡淡古龙水的清香,右脸庞被微微的刺到了,又是那只大手抚
摸着我软而长的头发。我已经再他怀里了。‘为什么没刮胡子?’我开着蓄意的玩笑。
‘因为胡子也想你了,想你想的长长了!’

我们彼此望着笑了。



晚上回家整理背包时,偶然发现里面有一只烟蒂。怎么想也想不通,怎么会有烟蒂在我的背包里呢?难道是谁在和我开玩笑?望着那个只剩下躯干的碳素笔,我明白了。笔帽一定还在那个电车站台上,这个烟蒂也一定是从站台上来的。

女人,感情来了,理智丢了。
我摇着头笑了。