2 or 3 things I don’t know about her

“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman” – Simone de Beauvoir, 1946

“The eternal feminine” is a vague and hackneyed phrase, conveniently used in an attempt to define . . . what or whom exactly? Sufficiently broad to include, out of order, the predispositions and qualities which are supposed to be inherent in the female gender, this fluid notion covers stereotypes and other cultural constructions which, from the most “tender childhood,” contribute to the formation of identities and roles.

Several years of feminist demands have hardly begun changing the status quo and have barely made a dent in self-righteous certitudes.

The notion of gender, which distinguishes biological identity (male or female) from social identity (feminine or masculine traits of character) has slowly begun to replace the current definition of sexual difference.

In English, “gender” designates a social experience and refers to a set of rules which govern the relations between men and women and contribute to the assignment of distinct roles, values, responsibilities, and obligations in public and private life.

And so one starts to desire to sow gender trouble,1 to imagine ways of subverting indetermination. Provocative gestures (Natalia LL, Ewa Partum, Cristina Lucas) and ambiguous attitudes (Jo Spence) undermine the “eternal feminine” (Ingrid Wildi) and begin to deconstruct an identity based on appearances and gender classification.

“The personal is political” proclaimed the American feminists in the 1960s (Martha Rosler). This statement rings more true than ever!

1 Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and Subversion of Identity, Routledge, 1990 (French translation appeared only in 2005).

Enter parcour