She Writes in White Ink

Submitted by Michele Polak:

Literary Tattoos: The Laugh of the Medusa Hélène Cixous

“In women’s speech, as in their writing, that element which never stops resonating, which, once we’ve been permeated by it, profoundly and imperceptibly touched but it, retains the power of moving us—that element is the song: the first music from the first voice of love which is alive in every woman. Why this privileged relationship with the voice? Because no woman stockpiles as many defenses for countering the drives as does a man. You don’t build walls around yourself, you don’t forego pleasure as “wisely” as he. Even if phallic mystification has generally contaminated good relationships, a woman is never far from “mother” (I mean outside her role functions: the “mother as noname and as source of goods). There is always within her at least a little of that good mother’s milk. She writes in white ink.

- Hélène Cixous, “The Laugh of the Medusa”

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