In her famous essay “One is not born a woman,” Monique Wittig argues that gender is not natural or innate, but rather something that is socially constructed. According to Wittig, women are not born, but rather they are made through the various ways that society tells them what it means to be a woman.
Wittig’s argument has been extremely influential in feminist thought. It has helped to challenge the idea that there are essential differences between men and women, and instead has emphasized the role of culture and society in shaping our sense of self and our place in the world.
Gender is often thought of as a fixed category, but Wittig’s work reminds us that it is always changing and always open to challenge. As our understanding of gender changes, so too does the way we live our lives and interact with others.
The works of Monique Wittig, The Lesbian Body (1975) and “One is Not Born a Woman” (1980), appear to be comparable to Cixous’s in that she attempts to establish a non-phallogocentric discourse. She adopts the term “lesbianization” instead of bisexuality for her political project. She suggests an alternative to the heterosexual language style that transcends categories of sex and gender, and she refers to it as “the lesbianization of language.”
This means that lesbians are not women, but rather a third sex that is neither male nor female. Wittig believes that the lesbian experience can be used as a tool to destroy the heterosexual matrix and create a new form of language, one that is not based on binary oppositions.
While Wittig’s project may seem radical, it is important to remember that she is working within the framework of French feminist thought, which privileges deconstruction and psychoanalysis. Her work should be read in light of her predecessors, such as Cixous, Irigaray, and Kristeva. Like them, she is engaged in a project of subverting the phallogocentric order through language. However, she takes a different approach than her predecessors, one that is based on the lesbian experience.
While Wittig’s work may be critiqued for its essentialism, it is important to remember the context in which she is writing. In the 1970s and 1980s, French feminist thought was dominated by psychoanalytic theories that posited women as abject beings, defined in opposition to men. Wittig was working against this dominant paradigm, and her work should be seen as part of a larger effort to create a new way of thinking about gender and sexuality.
She believes that the term ‘lesbian’ is the only one she’s aware of that goes beyond the categories of sex (20). For her, the ‘lesbianized language,’ as used by Bernard Shaw and others, allows men and women to participate in the same space. Bernard Shaw likewise makes use of ‘lesbianized language’ to free his females from their gender roles.
In Pygmalion, Higgins tries to ‘pass off’ a flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, as a duchess through teaching her how to speak with an upper-class accent. Although he is successful in making her sound like a duchess, Higgins never changes Eliza’s fundamental persona; she is still a working-class individual underneath it all.
In the end, it is Eliza who makes the decision to leave Higgins and return to her own social class. Witting argues that lesbianism has the potential break down the socially constructed barriers between men and women. In other words, lesbianism offers a way for women to exist outside of the oppressive gender binary system.
“One is not born a woman; one becomes one,” writes Simone de Beauvoir. According to Wittig, there is no such thing as a “natural woman,” and the concept of being female is manufactured by society. She also points out that since a lesbian society already exists, the notion of a “natural woman” is debunked. However, while acknowledging that many people still think gender inequality stems from “biological as well as historical” causes, Wittig says
In other words, women have always been oppressed and will continue to be oppressed because it is natural for them to be submissive. Wittig rejects this notion and instead argues that oppression is based on the economic power males have over females. She believes that once economic power is taken away from males, the patriarchal system will no longer exist and male domination will come to an end.
Simone de Beauvoir’s famous quote “One is not born, but becomes a woman” has been widely misinterpreted. Many people believe that Beauvoir was saying that there is no such thing as a “natural woman”. However, what Beauvoir actually meant was that the idea of femininity is something that is created by society. In other words, there is no inherent quality that makes someone a woman. Rather, it is the way that society expects women to behave that creates the idea of femininity.
Wittig takes this idea one step further and argues that not only is there no such thing as a “natural woman”, but also that the very concept of gender is a social construct. Wittig believes that the only reason women have been oppressed throughout history is because they have been economically dependent on men. Once economic power is taken away from men, the patriarchal system will no longer exist and male domination will come to an end.
While Wittig’s ideas may be controversial, she provides a compelling argument for why the oppression of women is not natural or inevitable. Her work is important in helping to create a more just and equal society.
This, according to Wittig, can never be a lesbian approach to women’s oppression since it is based on the notion that society begins with heterosexuality. Biology or the ability to procreate is insufficient in and of itself to describe Woman. In addition, gender isn’t solely defined by biological factors like as race.
However, she argues that sex is a social category like class. It is not natural, but rather constructed by society. Wittig concludes by saying that to truly be free, women must eradicate the notion of Woman.
One is not born a woman, one becomes one. This famous quote by Monique Wittig sums up her beliefs about gender and its construction. In her essay, “One is not born a woman,” Wittig argues that the category of Woman does not exist naturally, but is rather a product of socially constructed gender roles. She believes that feminism must focus on eradicating the idea of Woman altogether in order to achieve true equality.
Wittig begins by explaining that the notion of Woman is based on the idea of heterosexuality. This means that the very beginning of society is based on the idea that there are two sexes, male and female, and that they are opposite. This is what she calls the “heterosexual contract.”
However, Wittig argues that this contract is not natural, but rather a product of social constructs. For example, she points to the fact that in many cultures there are more than two genders. This shows that the idea of Woman is not based on biology or nature, but rather on socially constructed ideas about gender.