Monique Wittig, French novelist, poet and social theorist. Born July 13,1935 in Alsace, France. Died January 3,2003 in Tucson, Arizona. As, a founding leader in the French feminist movement, Wittg’s literary and theoretical works were recognized as essential contributions to feminist thought in Europe and the U.S and to the emerging movement for lesbian and gay rights. Wittig work has had a fundamental impact upon feminist theory and lesbian and gay theory worldwide.
- Most feminist as Wittig, still believe that the basis of women’s oppression is biological as well as historical.
- But for Wittig, to refuse to be heterosexual means that she refuse to become
“man” or “women” when she says “lesbians are not women”.
“One is not born a women”:
-Reject biological explanations for inequalities and difference between the sexes.
Heterosexuality:(Difference between men and women)
-She redefines it, as tacit, unquestioned, and forced social contract.
>>Because lesbians are not dependent on men they cannot be “real” women, but because they lack economic, ideological, and political privilege, they cannot be men.
-She classifies lesbian as class of individuals who are” not-woman, not-man”.
Wittig and the Ideology:
-Her approach is to destroy the idea that women are a “natural group”.
- By its very existence, lesbian society destroys the artificial (social) fact constituting women as a “natural group”
- They have been ideologically rebuilt into” natural group”.
- For her, race is like sex, taken as physical feature”. They are seen as black, therefore they are black; they are seen as women, therefore they are a women
Related idea by Simone de Beauvior:
“One is not born, but becomes a women. No biological, psychological, or economic fate determines the figure that the human female present in society: it is civilization as a whole that produce this creature….”(2015).
Women liberation movement:
-They were accused of wanting to be men.
- To refuse to be a woman does not mean that one has to become a man.
- But even if she would like to with all her strength, she cannot become a man.
>>>Because becoming a man would demand from women not only a man’s external appearance but also his consciousness.
- Lesbian has to be something else not-women nor man, a product of society not product of nature, for there is no nature in society.
The refusal to become Heterosexual:
-The refusal to become or to remain heterosexual always means to refuse to become a man or a woman. That goes further, than refusal of the role “ women”. It is the refusal of the economic, ideological and political power of man.
-It prevents women from being aware that they are a class and therefore from constituting themselves as a class for a very long time. By leave the relation “women/man” out side of the social order.
- For Marxists women belong either to the bourgeois class or to the proletariat class in other words to the men of these classes.
- Marxist theory does not allow women to constitute themselves as historical subjects, because Marxism does not take into account the fact that a class also consists of individuals one by one.
Wittig is known of many other concepts but Lesbian is the famous of them which is beyond the categories of sex (women and men), because the design subject (lesbian) is not a women either economically or politically or ideologically. We must destroy the heterosexuality as social system in order to destroy the class of women within which men appropriate women.
By: Aisha AL-Qahtani