Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Women Rewriting

From: Jess Nevins (
Date: 27 May 2000

Words from the Monastery wrote:

> If you can't tell the difference between men and women there's nothing I can
> say that's going to help you.

This is a massive sidestepping of the issue.

Yes, there are obvious differences between men and women.

But to say that there's such a thing as a "female voice" or a
"female perspective" shall I put this?

If you say that there's a "female voice," then you say that all women are going to write and speak and feel in that way. You say that there is something essential and innate about a woman, and that it doesn't matter what culture she's from, or upbringing, or religion, that she's going to write and speak and feel in the same way.

This is nonsense, as far as I'm concerned. It flies in the face of centuries of literary efforts, philosophical writings, and artistic creation. How do Sue Grafton and Sojourner Truth both have the "female voice"? How do Virginia Woolf and Andrea Dworkin both share the "female perspective"? If there's such a thing as a "female voice," then it has to be shared by everyone, or it's not really the "female voice," is it?

I'm still waiting for you to tell me just what the "female voice" and "female perspective" is, by the way.


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