Writing the Body
Click for LA Times David Horsey on America's Double Standard for boobs
Women's bodies fill the western canon of poetry-- the beloved body, the erotic body, the sentimental body of the mother, the monstrous body, the body imprisoned by sadomasochistic gaze. But women's bodies, inhabited by women, are conspicuously absent, and when present, conspicuously political. To write about one's own body in the way that it functions for one's self--especially in a nonsexual way, is all kinds of taboo. It becomes a feminist endeavor to rewrite, to resignify women's bodies through women's own embodied experiences of them, for women to inhabit their own bodies rather than have cultural ideals inhabit them.
“Woman must writer her self: must write about women and bring
women to writing, from which they have been driven away as violently as from their bodies”
--Helene Cisoux, "The Laugh of the Medusa"
"In today's world, women have more power, legal recognition, and professional success than ever before. Alongside the evident progress of the women's movement, however, writer and journalist Naomi Wolf is troubled by a different kind of social control, which, she argues, may prove just as restrictive as the traditional image of homemaker and wife. It's the beauty myth, an obsession with physical perfection that traps the modern woman in an endless spiral of hope, self-consciousness, and self-hatred as she tries to fulfill society's impossible definition of "the flawless beauty."
--Review of The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
"I don’t get hurt when I look at the images. I feel like I am reversing the gaze back on to them to reveal their gaze."
--"Pictures of People Who Mock Me" by Haley Morris- Cafiero, where the writer explores how her photography reacts to and responds to the gaze in order to let her inhabit her own body more comfortably.
Women Writing the Body
"Miss July Gets Older" Margaret Atwood
"After Reading Mickey in the Night Kitchen for the Third Time before Bed" Rita Dove
"After Making Love in Winter" Sharon Olds
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