زمن النساء / Women's Time



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كرﻳﺴﺘﻴﭭﺎ, جوليا; Kristeva, Julia; السباعي, بشير; El-Sibaʿi, Bashir

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Research Article

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Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

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[Kristeva distinguishes between three waves of feminism and their respective conceptions of time. The first wave of egalitarian feminists in 1968 demanded equality with men along the axis of linear time, the time through which history and politics unfold. The socialism of these feminists analyzed the exploitation of women within relations of production while ignoring women's need for reproduction and their necessary capture within the symbolic order. The second generation of feminists (post-1968) sought to forgo the patriarchal constraints of linear time by emphasizing women's radical difference from the male order of symbolization and syntagmatic sequencing. They eschewed politics and refused all limitations imposed by history in favor of immersion in the woman's body as a dynamic of atemporal signs. These women proposed making of the second sex a "counter-society" apart from men that would avail itself of hysterical violence in order to reverse the violence implicit in the male socio-symbolic contract. Their hypostatized ideals of the isolate Woman and feminine writing (écriture féminine), Kristeva argues, are psychoses that lead them to lash out in impotent terrorism against men. The third wave of feminists, emerging in the late 1970s (Kristeva's article appeared in 1979), poses itself the task of reconciling multiple time frames, including maternal time under its two aspects, cyclical and monumental. Any neglect of maternal time results in the failure to recognize that both men and women are constituted as subjects and inserted into the order of language by the identical law of lack and castration regulated by the master signifier of the phallus. Kristeva argues for a plural and multivalent time that accepts sexual difference and the law of castration as the preconditions of human temporality and for a maternity that frees women from the psychotic fantasy of atemporal, narcissistic completeness into the experience in time of love for an other.]

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