Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/15765
Hélène Cixous is perhaps best known for her paper, ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’ (1976) and her literary contributions outside academia. In this paper, we pick up a lesser known Cixous text, ‘Le Sexe ou la tête?’ that offers an interesting and provocative perspective on the traps associated with being feminine in a masculine environment. As we converse with Cixous, weaving our own words and experiences with hers, we link her work more closely with the feminine in modern-day academia. We suggest that Cixous’s remarks on decapitation and voice offer a way forward for academic women to be; to speak; to recognise the double jeopardy of decapitation in the university; and to use laughter as a strategic, powerful, political act of resistance and subversion against oppressive masculine power structures. We draw on and seek to enact Cixous’s notion of écriture feminine—a disruptive style of writing that provides a mode of being, speaking, and writing that subverts the power of masculine norms in order to be heard and to bring possibilities for change.
© 2023. This work is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licence.
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