File spoon-archives/french-feminism.archive/french-feminism_2000/french-feminism.0008, message 8

Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2000 09:31:36 -0400
Subject: Re: talking about Irigaray

Dear Michael--and others I enjoyed your play with Andrea's intro.  I don't
know Heidegger well at all--but from my sense of Irigaray your fancy moves
far afield in the final paragraphs of your commentary.

You write:
Dissemination through, by way of, the free movement and vibration of air;
the womb-tomb, the place of settling of other's accounts; mastery of air is
a second virginity, a second birth...

>But everything pulls her out of herself. From the very beginning, she starts
>to measure herself against masculine performance, as though that represented
>the most noble duty. She knows for all that woman and man are not really
>two, are still two parts of a whole,

The neutral not-yet-sexed but the powerhouse of bestrewel, dissemination,
dispersal of geschlect, of sex, of race, of generation in a multiplicity
held in the originary one of dasein... that, a woman knows...

>but she identifies herself none the
>less with half of humanity and above that not her own half. Under the
>pretext of liberation, isn't she doubly betrayed by herself, she does not
>find herself (one) she leaves herself to search for herself where she is
>not. She effaces the traces of femininity, already so hidden, so much that
>they are no longer visible.

The female subject, the subjected sex, is one half, but the dasein is
neither subject nor subjected and neither one nor two but many-in-one...
the effaced traces of femininity are writings, tracts born and borne of/on
air, on invisible whispers... readable perhaps but not audible

I find you here getting all tangled in a mix of language, imagery, and
ideas. My reading of Irigaray that for her there is no "neutral
not-yet-sexed..dissemination etc" nor do I think she finds the effaced
traces of femininity inaudible--the sacrificed bodies are real even when
they remain hidden; just as the existential cries really touch the
air--even when they are declared hysterical or remain unheard.

Perhaps I read "transfuge" not so much as self betrayal--but as woman finds
herself doubly renegade--and she is not guilty!  There are so many ways to
take these texts and ideas.    I have been enjoyin gthe discussion.  Phyllis

Phyllis H. Kaminski

Co-Ordinator of Women's Studies
Department of Religious Studies

Saint Mary's College			phone: 219-284-4702
Notre Dame, IN 46556-5001		fax:  219-284-4716

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