Cixous’ extract is less a Woolf-esque call-to-arms, and more of a seance that calls woman back to her own body and the language that can be made to ring out from that place. Cixous’ compelling and original style kind of enacts a woman-body-language matrix.
No wonder our ‘sophisticated’ (male-dominated) society likes to belittle, scrutinise & patronise performers like Madonna, Gaga & Winehouse in the name of ‘taste’.
Part of ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’ (1976) below:
Let’s hurry: the continent is not impenetrably dark. I’ve been there often. I was overjoyed one day to run into Jean Genet. It was in Pompes funebres. He had come there led by his Jean. There are some men (all too few) who aren’t afraid of femininity.
Almost everything is yet to be written by women about femininity: about their sexuality, that is, its infinite and mobile complexity, about their eroticization, sudden turn-ons of a certain miniscule-immense area of their bodies; not about destiny, but about the adventure of such and such a drive, about trips, crossings, trudges, abrupt and gradual awakenings, discoveries of a zone at one time timorous and soon to be forthright. A woman’s body, with its thousand and one thresholds of ardor – once, by smashing yokes and censors, she lets it articulate the profusion of meanings that run through it in every direction – will make the old single-grooved mother tongue reverberate with more than one language.
We’ve been turned away from our bodies, shamefully taught to ignore them, to strike them with that stupid sexual modesty; we’ve been made victims of the old fool’s game: each one will love the other sex. I’ll give you your body and you’ll give me mine. But who are the men who give women the body that women blindly yield to them? Why so few texts? Because so few women have as yet won back their body. Women must write through their bodies, they must invent the impregnable language that will wreck partitions, classes, and rhetorics, regulations and codes, they must submerge, cut through, get beyond the ultimate reserve-discourse, including the one that laughs at the very idea of pronouncing the word “silence,” the one that, aiming for the impossible, stops short before the word “impossible” and writes it as “the end.”