Wednesday, 31 December 2014

New Year Resolution: The Meaning of Life

I was challenged to write an article on 'the meaning of life from a feminist perspective'. That would be Cixous feminism, I hope. Here goes.

Meaning itself has been used as a patriarchal tool of oppression: insisting on the fixity and purpose of reality, it encourages thinkers to take an 'objective' position, and define events in terms of their meaning. Cixous, on the other hand, suggests the ecriture feminine - a multiplicity of approaches, which shake the event and consider it from different perspectives.

In this context, 'the meaning of life' can be deconstructed, then reconstructed, to be critiqued from all sides. The bluntest, most literal life (the meaning of life is the absence of death) can be developed with support from diverse disciplines but is not, unlike the patriarchal approach, limited to either biology or philosophy.

However, a more immediate reading would make the development of a comprehensive ecriture feminine not only the critical framework for the discussion but the object itself: the meaning of life is a process in which alternative viewpoints are welcomed and combine in a dialectic fission of concepts and methodologies. This might open up the meaning to a further capitalist assimilation, but that itself would be subject to the emerging model of discourse.

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