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Reconstructing womanhood : a method and an account Cole, Cynthia 1979

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RECONSTRUCTING WOMANHOOD A Method and an Account  by Cynthia Cole B A . , Simon Fraser University, 1974 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E REQUIREMENTS F O R T H E D E G R E E O F M A S T E R O F ARTS  T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E STUDIES Department of Anthropology & Sociology We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  T H E UNIVERSITY O F BRITISH COLUMBIA May, 1979  @  Cynthia Cole, 1979  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements f o r an  advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I  agree  that  the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department o r by his representatives.  It is understood that copying o r publication  o f this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department of  An\kij)0alO4tJ  £ ScCJoJOi  The University of British Columbia 2075  Wesbrook  Vancouver, V6T  Date  Place  Canada  1W5  becevHtoCi- l/,  H7<7  iii S"  ABSTRACT  This work explicates the social construction of womanhood by providing an instance of its reconstruction. I organise the body of the text into three chapters: a frame, a method and an account. In the frame I outline the context of my research, sketch the organisation of my inquiry and provide my location in relation to the discipline of sociology. The frame makes explicit the need for and view from my shift to women's perspective. The inquiry begins in the rupture I lived between experience grounded in my physical female being not yet mediated by words and the social forms of expression available to me. I extend the work of Dorothy E. Smith to account for the bifurcation between women's bodies / work in the body and ruling forms of mental production.  These forms exclude women and  constitute us as objects by building in and taking for granted as the source the consciousness of (ruling class) men. This construction annihilates women's subjectivity and is manifest as our inability to generate authoritative statements. The practical lack of ability to decide and to speak for ourselves is a consequence of a ruling relation in which women exist for men.  To enter the dominant forms of expression we must suspend our sex, cut off our  bodily power and attempt to stand outside ourselves. Sociology practices a ruling relation by working in the abstract-conceptual mode that excludes concrete, local and particular embodiments.  The female body discredits and disqualifies us for positions in the head  world of ruling.  However only by adopting the stance of insiders to ourselves can we  account for the practice of the ruling mode because our work in the body provides the conditions of the abstract-conceptual mode. This insiders' stance allows us to reclaim mental work by generating social forms of expression that make visible / speakable / knowable our bodies and bodily work upon which work in words depends. Writing from women's perspective is the means by which I reconstruct my knowledge of womanhood as sociology.  The chapter on method lays out the specific procedures I use in accomplishing an alternative construction of womanhood and provides the conditions of producing the account which reconstructs my past.  The focus is on performing a relocation of myself  from object to subject by starting from myself, my female body and my everyday experience as a woman and originating forms of expression from this centre. I create this shift through writing a journal.  nr  In the account I relate how I came to know myself as a woman in the process of growing up, uncover how family relations constructed the social meaning of womanhood and account for my experience of inferiority. I learned to practice bifurcated consciousness of head and body and a ruling relation to myself by internalising the split between my father as the agent of ruling class authority and my mother as the exemplar of woman's silenced embodiment work.  The thesis contributes to the body of knowledge explicating the split between public and private domains by presenting personal relations as social relations of corporate capitalism and linked to social relations of public production.  iv  CONTENTS  Abstract  ii  List of Illustrations  v  Acknowledgements  vi  Introduction  •  Chapter I. A Frame for Reconstructing Womanhood  Chapter II.  A Method of Writing from Woman's Perspective  Chapter III.  A n Account of How Family Relations Construct a Woman  1  9  27  49  Conclusion  61  Bibliography  66  LIST O F ILLUSTRATIONS  1.  "Daddy's good girl"  55  2.  "The Androgyne"  55  3.  "just a g i r l "  55  4.  "the g o o d little m o t h e r "  55  vi  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  T h e w r i t i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s is e m b e d d e d i n a w e b the  body  context  o f the text. of my  To  d r a w these o u t  life a n d t o a c k n o w l e d g e  over a p e r i o d o f three years. attention my  of you who  efforts  lest y o u  reconstruction The  power  is  in m y  adequately  I w o u l d n e e d to sketch the  b y name all m y want  to  co-workers, comrades and  do that.  A n d yet I do want  entire friends  to draw  the  r e a d this to the m a n y w h o s u p p o r t e d m e d i r e c t l y a n d i n d i r e c t l y i n  see m e  not  I don't  o f social relations not fully explicit in  falsely  a heroine's  w o r k , to  as a s s u m i n g t h e act  whatever  power  o f i n d i v i d u a l i s m that degree  you  find  o f a subject overcomes  in isolation. social  it, springs f r o m a social  My  oppression. movement  m a d e o f a n d f o r w o m e n i n w h i c h I t a k e m y p a r t . T h i s s t e p i n b u i l d i n g a n e w s o c i a l o r d e r is one in a very long m a r c h trod b y many.  It is i n j o i n i n g w o m e n m o v i n g f o r w a r d t h a t I f i n d  a strong voice.  I w i s h t o state m y a p p r e c i a t i o n t o the m e m b e r s o f m y thesis c o m m i t t e e : D r . H e l g a E . J a c o b s o n , m y advisor; D r . E l v i Whittaker a n d Professor Barbara Williamson.  They  showed  great p a t i e n c e d u r i n g m y struggle f o r w o r d s a n d never o n c e t o l d m e I c o u l d n o t d o this w o r k in a way  t h a t e x p r e s s e d t h e t r u t h as I u n d e r s t o o d i t .  T h e y h a v e u s e d t h e i r a b i l i t i e s as a c a -  d e m i c s a n d feminists to clear g r o u n d f o r m e to s t a n d o n . T h e i r suggestions have b e e n useful and insightful.  I wish to  I have f o u n d their support invaluable.  express  appreciation to M a r y Schendlinger for her speed a n d skill in giving  this m a n u s c r i p t concrete e m b o d i m e n t my  energy  flagged.  as a t y p e d t e x t .  H e r g o o d h u m o u r stayed me when  O u r discussion o n journal writing aided me  in editing a n d her  own  j o u r n a l pieces e n c o u r a g e d m e i n this m e t h o d o f writing.  I wish to acknowledge m y family o f origin w h o slowly grew w i t h m e into new relations that h e a l over past p a i n .  I affirm m y b o n d w i t h m y father F r a n k whose d y i n g taught m e  uncover the social origins o f o u r divisions.  I affirm m y b o n d with m y mother K a t h y who I  a m learning to respect a n d n o longer take for granted. a m b e g i n n i n g t o l o v e as a b r o t h e r .  to  I affirm m y b o n d with David who I  I a f f i r m m y b o n d w i t h C l a i r e a n d K a t h y , m y sisters, t h a t  w e m a y c o n t i n u e to b r e a k t h r o u g h the silence that keeps o u r lives apart.  vii  I w i s h to t h a n k w i t h m y w o r d s a n d m y heart the c o m m u n i t y o f w o m e n w h o r e a d m y w o r k i n process a n d w i t h w h o m I kept going.  M y n e w f a m i l y o f sisters h a s b u i l t m y W o m e n ' s  P r o b l e m Solving G r o u p , the C o n s t r u c t i v e C r i t i c i s m Collective, the W o m e n ' s Studies A s s o c i a t i o n o f B . C . , the British C o l u m b i a F e d e r a t i o n o f W o m e n , E m o t i o n a l Self-Defense  Groups,  W o m e n Emerging, study  Makara,  the  Coalition Against  groups, radical therapy groups, F u l l Circle Coffeehouse,  Discrimination, Concerned  Vancouver International Women's D a y .  Citizens  for  Choice  T h e s e efforts have n o u r i s h e d m y  on  Abortion, and  work.  I wish to express a p p r e c i a t i o n for myself, for m y courage a n d persistence i n . m a k i n g a w o r k o f m y life.  I wish  to  thank  y o u , those  who  read m y  w o r k , f o r i n o p e n i n g this b o o k y o u  yourselves to m y words a n d allow me to t o u c h y o u .  \  open  1  INTRODUCTION  The  aim o f  this  work  is t o e x p l i c a t e  the social  construction  o f its r e c o n s t r u c t i o n .  I organise  the b o d y  providing  a n instance  chapters:  a frame, a m e t h o d  research,  sketch  the  the organisation  o f sociology.  In the frame  o f m y inquiry a n d provide  In  the m e t h o d  o f this text i n t o  I outline the context  by  three of my  m y location in relation to procedures  I use i n  accomplishing a reconstruction, detail h o w I fashion a w a y o f k n o w i n g a n d make  available  the  discipline  a n d an account.  of womanhood  conditions o f producing the account.  m y s e l f as a w o m a n structed  i n the process  I l a y o u t the specific  In the account  I relate  o f growing u p , uncover  h o w I came  to  know  h o w m y family relations c o n -  the social meaning o f w o m a n h o o d a n d account for m y experience  o f inferiority.  I i n t e n d t h e t e r m r e c o n s t r u c t i o n t o b e r e a d i n b o t h i t s c o m m o n sense a n d s o c i o l o gical meanings. events that  The common  sense n o t i o n o f a r e c o n s t r u c t i o n r e f e r s t o a v e r s i o n o f p a s t  is f a s h i o n e d r e t r o s p e c t i v e l y .  Womanhood  T h e s o c i o l o g i c a l usage u n d e r l y i n g  Reconstructing  refers t o t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g that s o c i a l m e a n i n g s are p r o d u c e d b y a p r a c t i c e o f  i n d i v i d u a l s i n o r g a n i s e d r e l a t i o n s , i n b o t h face t o face a n d m e d i a t e d i n t e r a c t i o n s . point  t o the significant  features  B o t h uses  o f t h e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n I u s e h e r e : 1) t h a t a n a c c o u n t , a n y  a c c o u n t , i n c l u d i n g o n e o f t h e p a s t is w o r k e d u p , i . e . c o n s t r u c t e d , a n d 2) t h a t t h e m e a n i n g o f womanhood  is p r o d u c e d  a n d displayed  by  observable  social  practices  o f individuals i n  relation to each other.  Accounts relevancies account  are  socially  at t h e t i m e  is s i t u a t e d  Their  versions  o f t h e past  o f p r o d u c i n g t h e m , b y the social context  i n a particular framework  purpose a n d o n what  occasion.  t h a t is t r u e a n d c o m p l e t e . feature  constructed.  are o r g a n i s e d  o f accounting for. A n  o f accounting for what, to w h o m , for what  T h e r e is n o t o n e p o s s i b l e a c c o u n t o f e v e n t s , n o t m e r e l y o n e  T h e r e are m a n y .  T h a t t h e r e a r e m a n y p o s s i b l e t r u e a c c o u n t s is a  o f t h e m a n y possible settings a n d o c c a s i o n s f o r w o r k i n g u p a n a c c o u n t .  accounts  o f "the same"  ( G a r f i n k e l 1 9 6 7 : 3-4)  by  events are r e q u i r e d a n d p r o v i d e d f o r different  Different  practical purposes.  T h e a c c o u n t I p r o v i d e i n C h a p t e r III is a p a r t i c u l a r p o s s i b l e t r u e o n e .  It r e n d e r s t h e sense I f o u n d i n b e c o m i n g a w o m a n i n m y f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s a t t h e t i m e o f i t s writing. account. know  Particular historical a n d material c o n d i t i o n s organise the practical p u r p o s e o f m y I m a k e t h e s e a v a i l a b l e i n C h a p t e r II, t h e m e t h o d .  what  I included in the account  T h e r e I. e x p l i c a t e h o w I c a m e t o  a n d show h o w the actual organisation o f m y w o r k  appears i n the organisation o f the a c c o u n t .  2  Womanhood  is s o c i a l l y  constructed,  as a r e o t h e r  aspects  o f social reality,  organised practices o f individuals. (Berger a n d L u c k m a n n 1 9 6 6 , G . R u b i n 1 9 7 5 ) organisation accomplishes respects.  These  a reality  of womanhood  varying constructions  given i n h u m a n organisms.  focus o n h o w b o d i l y experience a n d expression.  made  femaleness  I d o n o t address debates o f " b i o l o g i c a l  W h a t m y i n q u i r y d o e s is d i s c l o s e h o w t h e s o c i a l  o f femaleness  must  sense o f . " ( M i c h a l k o  i n one instance.  I  is t r a n s l a t e d a n d a r t i c u l a t e d b y s o c i a l f o r m s  T h e physiological  menstruation a n d pregnancy, wise  i n b i o l o g i c a l realities o f  o f w o m e n is c o n s t r u c t e d o n t h e b a s i s o f b i o l o g i c a l f e m a l e n e s s  thought  E a c h social  M y c o n c e r n w i t h t h e s o c i a l p r o d u c t i o n o f w o m a n h o o d is n o t a  d e t e r m i n i s m " vs. " c u l t u r a l c o n d i t i o n i n g . "  of  the  a n d these realities differ i n significant  are e m b e d d e d  refutation o f sexual differentiation i n h u m a n beings.  category  by  events  that  mark  womanhood,  such  as  be "discovered, recognized, n a m e d , treated a n d other-  1977:  9)  W e take these events a n d their m e a n i n g s f o r  granted o n l y b y presupposing a socially organised w o r l d i n w h i c h discovering, recognizing, n a m i n g , t r e a t i n g a n d m a k i n g sense o f w o m a n h o o d a r e r o u t i n e s o c i a l p r a c t i c e s a n d a c t i v i t i e s . * In  this  work  I explicate  this  taken  for granted  social organisation f r o m  a n d about  my  l o c a t i o n as a w o m a n i n c o n t e m p o r a r y N o r t h A m e r i c a n s o c i e t y .  I stand i n the place framing  o f m y experience  womanhood  from  of women.  T h e view from  in women's  within.  I move  experiential writings o f w o m e n ' s writing f r o m w o m e n ' s perspective  perspective  back  h e r e is w o m e n ' s  allows  This  m e to focus o n the meaning o f  a n d forth weaving  perspective  perspective.  together the theoretical a n d  w i t h m y o w n life h i s t o r y .  T h e focus o f m u c h  has b e e n a split b e t w e e n p u b l i c a n d private d o m a i n s , also  c a l l e d d o m e s t i c a n d n o n - d o m e s t i c , p e r s o n a l a n d p o l i t i c a l (e.g. S m i t h 1 9 7 3 , J a c o b s o n 1 9 7 8 , Freeman  1972, R o w b o t h a m  1973)  Such works  point  out h o w the d o m a i n o f personal,  p r i v a t e , d o m e s t i c h a s b e e n a s s i g n e d t o w o m e n , u n e x a m i n e d a n d t a k e n f o r g r a n t e d as i n c o n sequential a n d invisible f r o m the p u b l i c p o i n t o f view. These w o r k s challenge the exclusion of women  from  separation  o f spheres  My  w o r k begins  social study  from  a n d social expression.  They  is c o n s t r u c t e d a n d / o r f o r w o m e n ' s these c o n c e r n s .  call for a n account  o f h o w this  accounts f r o m the private realm.  M y f r a m e w o r k acts t o reveal instances o f p e r s o n a l  r e l a t i o n s , t h r o u g h w h i c h t h e m e a n i n g o f w o m a n h o o d is c o n s t r u c t e d , as r e l a t i o n s o f p o w e r and authority, what Millett  (1971)  terms  "sexual politics."  I demonstrate  h o w these are  * M i c h a l k o (1977) explicates the social m e a n i n g o f blindness i n giving a n account o f h o w b l i n d persons a c c o m p l i s h the sighted w o r l d .  I d r a w parallels b e t w e e n blindness a n d  w o m a n h o o d as e m b o d i e d a n d s o c i a l l y c o n s t r u c t e d p h e n o m e n a .  3  social relations o f d o m i n a t i o n e m b e d d e d i n a b r o a d social organisation w h i c h generates b o t h domestic work and public production.  The  f r a m i n g o f m y w o r k i n C h a p t e r I organises the field o f viewing s o m e w h a t  w i n d o w frame. The  frame  T h e frame acts i n the m a n n e r o f a " v i e w f i n d e r " i n c o n s t r u c t i n g a n image.  selects w h a t w e  c a n see b y  setting  it o f f f r o m  the s u r r o u n d i n g c o n t e x t .  frame points o u r attention to a particular area b y drawing b o u n d s a r o u n d it. choose  is o n e a v a i l a b l e f r o m w h e r e I s t a n d .  a particular perspective.  that organises  the  structing w o m a n h o o d  produces  picture  you  do  I n C h a p t e r I, I a i m t o d r a w y o u r a t t e n t i o n t o t h e  I p r e s e n t so t h a t i n l o o k i n g t h r o u g h t h i s f r a m e t o r e c o n -  not  wholly  lose awareness  o f it.  In the frame I sketch  them.  The  understanding  o f the  is t h e r e v e r s e o f m y  social construction o f w o m a n h o o d  present i n the frame s h a p e d m y m e t h o d o f w o r k a n d m y a c c o u n t o f m y past t h r o u g h o u t w r i t i n g o f this thesis. m y assumptions.  the  follow.  T h e order o f the chapters o f this w o r k (frame, m e t h o d , account) in writing  T h e frame I  L o o k i n g t h r o u g h this frame further  o u t l i n e s so as t o suggest t h e s h a p e o f t h e p i e c e s w h i c h  order  The  A s w i t h w i n d o w s , w e a r e p r a c t i c e d a t l o s i n g sight o f t h e f r a m e a n d  seeing o n l y the v i e w available t h r o u g h it. frame  like a  I  the  H o w e v e r , I d i d n o t begin w i t h a clear a n d w e l l d e v e l o p e d statement o f  I s a w t h r o u g h t h e f r a m e t h o u g h it w a s n o t c l e a r l y v i s i b l e t o m e .  In w r i t i n g  t h e f r a m e a f t e r d r a f t i n g C h a p t e r s II a n d III I l a b o u r e d at m a k i n g e x p l i c i t t h e i d e a s a n d c o n cepts that h a d already  organised m y  work.  drawing out the implicit connections.  T h e p r o c e d u r e I f o l l o w e d at e v e r y p o i n t  R e c o n s t r u c t i n g w o m a n h o o d has b e e n for m e a w o r k  o f d i s c o v e r i n g w h a t w a s a l r e a d y t h e r e , s e e i n g it d i f f e r e n t l y , a l l o w i n g t h e e x i s t i n g p i e c e s shift i n t o a n e w p a t t e r n . women's  was  to  T h e d y n a m i c f o r y o u w i l l b e r e a d i n g a n o u t l i n e o f t h e m e s I use i n  perspective, seeing the o u t l i n e filled w i t h descriptive a c c o u n t s  of my method and  life h i s t o r y , a n d re-viewing the assertions o f the f r a m e w i t h this s u b s t a n t i a t i o n .  The  experience  of  womanhood,  the  practice  of  i t , is  not  separable,  discontinuous from knowing, interpreting and understanding w o m a n h o o d .  distinct  Our  experience  is a l w a y s s h a p e d b y t h e s o c i a l f o r m s o f e x p r e s s i o n t h a t a r t i c u l a t e it t o a s o c i a l o r d e r . work  I  cover  ground  commonly  bounded  as s e x  role socialization a n d the  knowledge.  I transverse  womanhood  a n d learning the meaning o f w o m a n h o o d .  /  these b o t h because I c a n n o t  or  In this  sociology  take apart learning the behavior  of of  H o w I c o m e t o k n o w m y s e l f as a  4  w o m a n is i n e x t r i c a b l y b o u n d u p w i t h h o w I c o m e t o p r a c t i c e m y s e l f as o n e .  T h u s i n giving  a n e x p l i c a t i o n o f t h e p r a c t i c e o f k n o w i n g as a w o m a n I b u i l d i n t o m y f r a m e a d e s c r i p t i o n a n d an instance o f social organisation o f the p r o d u c t i o n o f knowledge the k n o w e r to the object o f her  What  I a m explicating  a n d the relation o f  knowledge.  goes b e y o n d the n o t i o n o f " s o c i a l i z a t i o n " w h e n that  concept  means a p e r i o d o f time d u r i n g w h i c h a n individual does n o t yet k n o w h o w to practice behavior appropriate to her social category. n o t exist. k o 1977:  T h e t i m e p e r i o d " b e f o r e " w e are s o c i a l i z e d d o e s  " S o c i a l interaction does n o t wait for socialization to be a c c o m p l i s h e d . " ( M i c h a l 8 ) . W e l e a r n w o m a n h o o d b y p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n s i t u a t i o n s w h e r e w e are e x p e c t e d  k n o w t h e v e r y t h i n g s w e are s i m u l t a n e o u s l y b e i n g t a u g h t . 1974)  (Garfinkel 1967:  147)  to  (MacKay  F o r m e t o t a k e s o m e a c t i o n o r s t a t e m e n t as a n e x p r e s s i o n o f a n u n d e r l y i n g m e a n i n g  o f w o m a n h o o d depends o n m y k n o w i n g some o f the particulars o f that u n d e r l y i n g m e a n i n g to begin w i t h . (Wieder 1974: schema o f interpretation.  161)  W i e d e r r e f e r s t o t h i s as t h e s e l f - e l a b o r a t i n g n a t u r e o f a  W h a t c o u n t s as a n i n s t a n c e o f w h a t , t h e p a t t e r n o f b e h a v i o r a n d  the evidences o f i t , are u s e d t o e l a b o r a t e e a c h o t h e r .  H o w I c o m e t o k n o w m y s e l f as a w o m a n h a p p e n s c o n t i n u o u s l y . receive m y femaleness  a n d h o w o t h e r s r e c e i v e it is b e i n g a c t e d o u t .  A t every p o i n t h o w I  T h e sense o f o u r o r i e n -  t a t i o n t o t h e f a c t o f m y w o m a n h o o d is a p r o d u c t o f t h e c o n t i n u a l a p p l i c a t i o n o f o u r i n t e r pretive  methods.  appropriate  to  Wieder  ( 1 9 7 4 : 161)  t h i n k o f the  code  says  of  the  as a c o n t i n u o u s  convict  code:  "...it  is  much  more  o n g o i n g p r o c e s s r a t h e r t h a n as a set  stable elements o f c u l t u r e w h i c h e n d u r e t h r o u g h t i m e . "  of  T h i s q u a l i t y o f a l w a y s u n f o l d i n g is  t h e case n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g d e f i n a b l e s h i f t s i n m y i n t e r p r e t a t i o n a n d p r a c t i c e o f w o m a n h o o d . I n f a c t , it is a b a s i s f o r s u c h r e c o n s t r u c t i o n s .  T h a t e a c h n e x t t h i n g c a n c h a n g e t h e sense o f  t h e t h i n g b e f o r e it arises f r o m o u r m e t h o d o f c o n s t a n t l y i n t e r p r e t i n g . w a y I d i d n ' t see b e f o r e ]  provide for the came  to  be.  W e are e v e r r e c o n s t r u c t i n g . ( G a r f i n k e l 1 9 6 7 :  this w o r k  I stand o n the  c o n d i t i o n s o f its e x i s t e n c e .  (Smith  (1964) and in lay  I see" [in a  c a n b e s a i d b e c a u s e o f o u r c o n t i n u o u s sense m a k i n g w h i c h  events w i t h previous events.  Throughout  " O h now  1977a)  following  that  a  work  e x p l i c a t i o n makes visible h o w  Silverman (1975) reads i n Castenada  usage i n o u r s o c i e t y  3)  criterion o f adequacy:  A n adequate  connects  it  (1968), in D u r k h e i m  a b e l i e f i n a n d p r a c t i c e o f " m e t h o d " as t h e  route  5  to truth. be out  T r u t h is d e f i n e d as c o n f o r m i t y t o r u l e .  method-ical.  T o f o l l o w a set f o r m o f p r o c e d u r e s is t o  I m a k e available i n this w o r k m y p r o c e d u r e s i n p r o d u c i n g it.  in detail in C h a p t e r  II e n t i t l e d  " A M e t h o d o f Writing from Women's Perspective."  m a k e v i s i b l e h o w I a r r i v e at t h e t r u t h o f t h e a c c o u n t i n C h a p t e r  . . . U n d e r s t a n d i n g is n e v e r p a s s i v e . I produce  sense  by  my  b o t h mine a n d not mine alone.  that  Not  m i n e alone because  always already  precedes  sense — as  S o m y w r i t i n g a n d r e a d i n g are  s o c i e t i e s , o f selves.  M i n e because T  text.  A n d t h a t p r o d u c t i o n is  i n m y acts o f p r o d u c t i o n I r e - m e m b e r  exist i n a n d t h r o u g h a dialogue w i t h a t r a d i t i o n  m e , a n d w i t h a n emerging social order that w i l l be  readings o f m y text. (Silverman 1975:  I  III.  It is a l w a y s M e , h e r e , n o w , producing  reading o f Castenada's  always acts o f p r o d u c t i o n — o f possible  my-self.  I lay these  the  42)  T h e sense I p r o d u c e b y r e a d i n g m y p a s t e n t e r s a t r a d i t i o n a l c o n s t r u c t i o n o f w o m a n h o o d a n d an emerging social order. B y reading m y text we together make something o f reconstructing womanhood.  We make new meanings to each other a n d grow a new social order.  M y m e t h o d o f w o r k is a n a p p l i c a t i o n o f t h e l i f e h i s t o r y m e t h o d as p r a c t i c e d b y graphers.  Langness  describing the  ( 1 9 6 5 ) gives p r o c e d u r e s  interactional situation o f  for p r o d u c i n g life histories.  "taking"  the life h i s t o r y , i.e. the  s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t t o t h e i n f o r m a n t . ( 1 9 6 5 : 3 8 - 4 2 , 53) relation  to  myself,  because  i n this w o r k  I act  ethno-  O n e o f t h e s e is relation o f  the  I f o l l o w this practice b y d e s c r i b i n g m y  both  as s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t  a n d as  informant.  L a n g n e s s asserts l i f e h i s t o r i e s a r e e s s e n t i a l r e s o u r c e s i n s e e i n g c u l t u r e as s o m e t h i n g l i v e d o u t b y actual individuals.  H e c o u n t e r s B o a s ' p o s i t i o n against u s i n g b i o g r a p h i e s w h i c h B o a s des-  c r i b e s as m e m o r i e s t h a t s e l e c t , d i s t o r t a n d c o l o u r t h e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e p a s t . 1965:  50)  (Langness  L a n g n e s s d o e s so b y c a l l i n g o n e t h n o g r a p h e r s t o a c c o u n t f o r t h e h u m a n a c t i o n s  o f remembering and interpreting.  I a d d r e s s t h i s issue b y a c c o u n t i n g f o r h o w I a c c o m p l i s h  the selected m e m o r i e s that interpret m y experience o f w o m a n h o o d , b y s h o w i n g h o w I w o r k a reconstruction.  The  k i n d o f theorizing I d o i n this text using m y  l i f e as t h e s o u r c e e x p r e s s e s  B l u m ( 1 9 7 1 ) calls " a f o r m o f l i f e " a n d w h a t S i l v e r m a n ( 1 9 7 5 ) t e r m s " a w a y o f I "call to m i n d " what  I already k n o w  ( B l u m 1971)  a n d " r e - c o l l e c t " the society I a m part of. (Silverman  knowledge."  a n d i n so d o i n g I " r e - m e m b e r 1975)  what  my-self"  6 This  "calling to m i n d "  is a w a y  o f r e c o v e r i n g w h a t o n e h a s a l l a l o n g , it is a w a y  s e e i n g a n d as s u c h is i n e x t r i c a b l y t i e d t o a w a y o f l i v i n g .  of  M o r e t h a n t h i s , i t is t o r e -  c o n s t i t u t e o r re-create o u t o f o n e ' s life a n d h i s t o r y o f a society a n o t h e r p o s s i b i l i t y for seeing. The  new  T o t h e o r i z e is t o r e - f o r m u l a t e o n e ' s self. ( B l u m 1 9 7 1 :  form  305)  I e x p r e s s m y - s e l f i n is e m b o d i e d c o n c r e t e l y b y m y w o r d s i n t h i s t e x t .  s e l f is p u b l i c a n d s o c i a l l y a v a i l a b l e  as m y  My  f o r m s o f e x p r e s s i o n a r e , as t h i s m a n u s c r i p t i s .  A l l s t a y o r i e n t e d t o a s o c i a l r e a l i t y w h i c h is a j o i n t e n d e a v o r .  I assert t h a t t h e m e t h o d I l a y o u t i n C h a p t e r II w o r k s a n u n d o i n g o f t h e m e a n i n g a n d practice o f w o m a n h o o d w o m a n h o o d i n the and from  constructed b y  predominant mode  my  family relations.  in which women  These relations constructed  are e x c l u d e d  expression o f our experience in authoritative forms.  an exclusively  male attribute.  W o m e n a p p e a r o n l y as o b j e c t s .  I learned to  be a w o m a n  practices that w o r k differently. and authors.  "  authority  I n t h i s m o d e , a u t h o r i t y is T h e work o f reconstructing  m y past reshapes t h e m e a n i n g o f b e i n g a w o m a n i n t h e p r e s e n t . w o r k e d that  from  I n a c c o u n t i n g f o r " h o w it  as a s o c i a l s u b o r d i n a t e " I use a m e t h o d b a s e d o n  T h i s a l t e r n a t i v e m e t h o d b e g i n s w i t h w o m e n as t h e s u b j e c t s  I n it w e present the w o r l d t h r o u g h o u r eyes a n d i n so d o i n g c o n s t i t u t e  e x p e r i e n c e , b o d i l y w o r k a n d b o d i l y a c t i v i t y as t h e g r o u n d f r o m w h i c h t o b e g i n . t h e p e r i p h e r y as a w o m a n b u t r a t h e r at t h e c e n t r e .  our  I am not in  T h e place f r o m w h i c h I b e g i n i n this n e w  w a y is a j o u r n a l t h a t d o c u m e n t s m y e v e r y d a y e m b o d i e d p r a c t i c e s .  M y shift t o w r i t i n g f r o m  w o m e n ' s perspective involves procedures that counteract m y previous forms o f s u b o r d i n a t i o n . B y u s i n g this m e t h o d I take steps i n c h a n g i n g the s o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n o f w o m a n h o o d . steps m u s t f o l l o w . gress.  T h e a l t e r n a t i v e m e t h o d is o n l y s t a r t i n g t o u n f o l d .  I struggle t o m a k e h e a d w a y .  unawares.  More  It is a w o r k i n p r o -  I m a y i n s o m e passages r e s u m e / r e - a s s u m e t h e o l d m o d e  B e a r i n m i n d t h a t I s p e a k o f t h e r u l i n g m o d e as " n o w e x i s t i n g " a n d t h e a l t e r n a t i v e  o f w o m e n ' s p e r s p e c t i v e as " b e i n g b o r n . "  In the a c c o u n t  i n C h a p t e r III  I d o n o t claim to speak to "what  f r o m a l o c a t i o n outside o f these events.  actually  happened"  I d o n o t c l a i m to present a " b i r d ' s eye v i e w "  portrays a c o n s t r u c t i o n o f w o m a n h o o d i n d e p e n d e n t l y o f m y p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n it. c l a i m to present " w h a t  I do  actually h a p p e n e d " f r o m the location/point o f view o f m y  b r o t h e r , m o t h e r o r sisters.  that not  father,  I d o a c c o u n t for myself, for h o w I received m y femaleness  in  relation to t h e m a n d for m y interpretations o f h o w they received it. W h e t h e r m y interpret a t i o n s m a t c h t h e i r s is n o t at issue i n t h i s w o r k .  M y c o n c e r n r a t h e r is w i t h t h e  in practice o f m y construction o f w o m a n h o o d in relation to t h e m .  consequences  7  I presented conference.*  a n earlier v e r s i o n o f the  account  in Chapter  T h i s v e r s i o n h a s b e e n p u b l i s h e d as w e l l . * *  III  to  fifty  colleagues  at a  T h e responses I received provide  v e r i f i c a t i o n t h a t t h i s a c c o u n t is r e c o g n i z a b l e a n d r e a s o n a b l e t o m e m b e r s as o n e i n s t a n c e o f the experience  of womanhood.  M y sister s a i d u p o n r e a d i n g " A n A c c o u n t o f H o w  R e l a t i o n s C o n s t r u c t a W o m a n , " " Y e s , t h a t is t h e s a m e f a m i l y I g r e w u p i n . " M y at t h e c o n f e r e n c e r e c o g n i z e d w h a t differences silence  i n their o w n  as t h e m e s  reconstructions using what fication  not  Schutz  that  my  by  understanding m y  account  any w o m a n in m y  A l l credited the relevance  social construction o f w o m a n h o o d .  (1962: 310)  experience  the bridge  to  o f authority  and  These w o m e n validated  as i d e n t i c a l t o  a n intersubjective  my  theirs b u t rather  terms "the reciprocity o f perspectives."  makes  colleagues  I was talking a b o u t a n d r e s p o n d e d w i t h similarities a n d  h i s t o r i e s as w o m e n .  in the  Family  by  T h e y provide veri-  world by  crediting  c i r c u m s t a n c e s c o u l d h a v e s e e n a n d d o n e as I d i d . T o g e t h e r w e  that  construct  m y a c c o u n t o f p r a c t i c i n g w o m a n h o o d as r e a s o n a b l e .  T h e correspondence between not  originate  in m y  mere stuffing.  ability  to  m y discoveries a n d the experience  box  them  up  i n m y categories  o f other w o m e n  does  treating their experience  as  It d o e s n o t o r i g i n a t e i n b e g i n n i n g f r o m " u n i v e r s a l s " t h a t d i s a l l o w t h e a p p e a r -  ance o f differences n o r i n a m a n u f a c t u r i n g o f t h e o r y f r o m t h i n air. T h e similarities b e t w e e n m y a c c o u n t o f m y s e l f a n d t h e lives o f o t h e r w o m e n c o m e f r o m the s i m i l a r s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s we  encounter.  I d o n o t p r e s e n t m y c o n s t r u c t i o n o f w o m a n h o o d i n t h e a c c o u n t as " t y p i c a l . " "type:  4.  a thing or person that  represents  category; m o d e l " ( R a n d o m H o u s e  perfectly  or i n the  best w a y  a class  or  1968)  M y e x p e r i e n c e s are n o t t y p i c a l i n t h e sense o f r e p r e s e n t i n g p e r f e c t l y t h e c a t e g o r y o f w o m a n hood.  I d o n o t c l a i m that m y life h i s t o r y c a n " s t a n d f o r " that o f o t h e r w o m e n , e v e n  other w o m e n  of my  u n c h a n g i n g , stable  s o c i a l class.  or universal.  I do  not  overgeneralize  b o d y o f writings f r o m w o m e n ' s perspective. experience  lies a h e a d .  that  women's  I d o n o t assume o u r differences  m a k e this a s s u m p t i o n w o u l d be to vastly  of women's  assume  experience  is r e l a t i v e l y  are i n c o n s e q u e n t i a l .  o n t h e b a s i s o f as y e t  for  To  a very small  O u r ability to piece together a b r o a d tapestry  A t present we have o n l y fragments. T h e f r a m i n g o f m y  * C o n f e r e n c e o f the W o m e n ' s Studies A s s o c i a t i o n o f British C o l u m b i a , M a r c h * * " B r e a k i n g T h r o u g h t h e S i l e n c e , " Makara,  V o l . 3 N o . 3, Fall  1978.  1978.  8 e x p e r i e n c e i n t h i s w o r k suggests t o m e t h a t w o m e n w h o s e s o c i a l l o c a t i o n s b r i n g t h e m i n t o less d i r e c t a n d p e r s o n a l c o n t a c t w i t h m e n i n a u t h o r i t a t i v e p o s i t i o n s m a y h a v e s u b s t a n t i a l l y different e x p e r i e n c e o f the p u b l i c - d o m e s t i c split a n d thus differing relations to a n available bifurcated  consciousness.  The  testing  of  this  possibility  awaits  consideration  of  other  women's personal accounts.  T h e v a l i d i t y a n d i m p a c t o f m y r e c o n s t r u c t i o n d o n o t rest o n a c l a i m t o  universality.  T h e y rest i n s t e a d o n this w o r k ' s success at m a k i n g a v a i l a b l e , a c c o u n t a b l e a n d o b s e r v a b l e  my  concrete  the  l o c a t i o n i n social relations a n d o n the  possibility o f seeing f r o m there h o w  differing locations o f others organise their experience differently. drafts a m a p o f socially c o n s t i t u t e d space.  T h e f r a m i n g o f this w o r k  T h e existence o f b o t h similarities a n d differences  f o r o t h e r s is a c c o u n t e d f o r b y t h e i r l o c a t i o n s w i t h i n t h i s s p a c e .  O u r v a r y i n g locations relate  u s t o e a c h o t h e r a n d f o r m o n e s o c i a l o r g a n i s a t i o n . It is o n e w e s h a r e .  9  CHAPTER I  A FRAME FOR RECONSTRUCTING WOMANHOOD  M y p r o j e c t i n t h i s c h a p t e r is t o l o c a t e m y w o r k i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e d i s c i p l i n e o f s o c i o l o g y a n d to the academic discourse. an i n q u i r y that terrain.  takes m e  T h i s r e l a t i o n is p r o b l e m a t i c , a q u e s t i o n t o b e l o o k e d i n t o ,  on. a journey.  I use the a n a l o g y o f e x p l o r i n g a n d c h a r t i n g n e w  L o c a t i n g m y w o r k o n the m a p requires that I trace the frame a n d sketch the out-  lines o f the territory.  A t first t h e c o n t o u r s a r e o n l y s u g g e s t e d . T h e l a t e r c h a p t e r s f i l l t h e m  in.  m a p gives y o u v i t a l i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t  How  I d r a w the  p u t s it i n c o n t e x t , r e v e a l s t h e b a c k d r o p .  where  I a m going, literally  A n d w h e r e I a m h e a d e d is t o n e w g r o u n d ; I w r i t e  f r o m a n e w l o c a t i o n , the standpoint o f w o m e n .  H e r e is w h e r e I b e g i n .  M y w o r k originates i n the c o n d i t i o n s o f m y life i n a f r a m e w o r k  given b y m y experience a n d n o t i n the c o n c e p t u a l organisation o f the discipline.  I do not  b e g i n w i t h t h e t o p i c s a n d t h e m e s as t h e y a r e a l r e a d y l a i d o u t i n t h e b o d y o f t e x t s t h a t a r e c o n s t i t u t e d as t h e d i s c o u r s e o f s o c i o l o g y .  I begin w i t h the r u p t u r e o f t w o parts o f myself,  10  o f t w o ways t o be. I begin w i t h t w o o p p o s i n g forces. rending.  I begin w i t h the m o m e n t o f their  O n l y as t h e y c o m e a p a r t c a n I see t h e p i e c e s .  O n l y b y explicating the contradic-  tion I lived between w o m a n a n d sociologist c a n I articulate m y relationship to the discipline. T h i s r u p t u r e is b e t w e e n  t h e i m m e d i a c i e s o f m y life p r i o r t o e x p r e s s i o n a n d t h e s o c i a l f o r m s  o f expression available t o m e ; b e t w e e n experience g r o u n d e d i n m y p h y s i c a l female being n o t yet  m e d i a t e d b y w o r d s a n d a language  o f w o r d s a n d images p r o v i d e d f o r m e b y others.  I  a s k h o w t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f t h i s r u p t u r e is p r o d u c e d . T h i s l e a d s m e t h r o u g h a c r i t i q u e o f t h e m e t h o d s o f intellectual w o r k that a c c o m p l i s h it t o a n alternative based o n i n t e g r a t i o n rather than bifurcation.  I want  to show  h o w this cutting i n t w o happens, lay bare the w a y o f  w o r k i n g t h a t p r o d u c e s it a n d a r r i v e at a n e w w a y o f p r o c e e d i n g t h a t b r i n g s t o g e t h e r r a t h e r than breaking apart.  W h a t I d o i n t h e f r a m e is l a y o u t t h e b a s e s o f w o m e n ' s p e r s p e c t i v e . give h o w I w o r k e d o n t h e basis o f these a s s u m p t i o n s . r e c o n s t r u c t i o n f r a m e d i n these t e r m s . the frame o f w o m e n ' s perspective.  I give a p i e c e o f  M y d e s c r i p t i v e w o r k , C h a p t e r s II a n d III, f i l l s i n  I used this frame i m p l i c i t l y i n w r i t i n g o f m y experience.  T h e frame a n d experience m u t u a l l y interrelate. interpretation.  In the account  In the m e t h o d I  T h e y e l a b o r a t e e a c h o t h e r as a s c h e m a o f  I give t h e t e r m s a n d c o n c e p t s s k e t c h e d i n this c h a p t e r fuller, m o r e p a r t i c u l a r  expression i n the chapters that  follow.  W o r k s w h i c h present w o m e n ' s perspective e m b o d y a n e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l shift. not  merely  a d d the topic  "women"  to the agenda  o f existing approaches.  They do  They  act to  redraw what forms an agenda (Smith 1977a) b y constructing knowledge f r o m a n e w place. W o m e n ' s p e r s p e c t i v e is n o t m o r e k n o w l e d g e  a b o u t w o m e n s e e n as o b j e c t s .  R a t h e r i t is t h e  k n o w i n g f r o m t h e s t a n d p o i n t o f w o m e n a n d p r e s e n t s t h e e n t i r e w o r l d as i t a p p e a r s t h r o u g h our eyes. ( S m i t h 1 9 7 7 a , 1 9 7 7 b , 1 9 7 5 a , 1974a) (Jacobson 1 9 7 8 , 1977) alternative. imagine what  W o m e n ' s perspective women's  perspective  is n o t y e t r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e . is a n d w h a t ' s h a p e  A n d t h i s is a r a d i c a l  W e are just b e g i n n i n g t o  social relations appear i n f r o m  this  standpoint.  T h i s w o r k spins o u t certain threads o f w o m e n ' s perspective. explicating o u r exclusion from  I begin b y recognising a n d  developing the f o r m s o f social expression, the language  of  c o n c e p t s w i t h w h i c h w e k n o w a n d s p e a k t h e w o r l d . I c o n s i d e r h o w t h i s e x c l u s i o n is a c c o m plished a n d obscured.  I f o c u s o n a u t h o r i t y r e l a t i o n s as r u l i n g r e l a t i o n s i n w h i c h a u t h o r i t a t i v e  11  versions o f reality exercise d o m i n a t i o n over concrete e m b o d i m e n t w o r k . between  I l o o k at r e l a t i o n s  m e n w h o w o r k i n w o r d s a n d w o m e n w h o search f o r m e a n s t o give e x p r e s s i o n t o  our bodily work.  I focus  on women  i n " m i d d l e class" circumstances: m y m o t h e r doing  unpaid housework  o n the i n c o m e o f m y managerial father; a n d w o m e n struggling o n the  b o u n d a r y o f universities to r e c l a i m a n d t r a n s f o r m the m o d e o f m e n t a l p r o d u c t i o n .  M y ability t o name a n d focus o n this rupture between the social forms o f thought a n d experience d e p e n d s o n m y use o f w o m e n writers, p a r t i c u l a r l y D o r o t h y S m i t h ( 1 9 7 7 a ) . T h e rupture between  o u r e x p e r i e n c e s as w o m e n a n d h o w w e c a n t h i n k a n d e x p r e s s t h e m is t h e  focus o f major works o f the women's m o v e m e n t 1964,  Rowbotham  1977, Wittig 1975, 1971).  (de B e a u v o i r 1 9 7 0 , M i l l e t t 1 9 7 1 , F r i e d a n  W h a t e m e r g e s f o r m e as I t a k e i n t h e i r i d e a s  is a n a w a r e n e s s o f h o w t h e s o c i a l f o r m s o f t h o u g h t e x c l u d e m e as a w o m a n , e x c l u d e m y e x p e r i e n c e as w o m a n ' s e x p e r i e n c e a n d c o n s t i t u t e m e as a n o b j e c t .  I a m o n the outside o f the  language a n d images readily available to m e .  I u s e d i c t i o n a r y d e f i n i t i o n s as a u t h o r i t a t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n s o f h o w w e u s e l a n g u a g e o n a n o r d i n a r y e v e r y d a y basis. ticed.  D i c t i o n a r i e s c o m p i l e d e s c r i p t i o n s o f h o w w o r d s are s o c i a l l y p r a c -  These descriptions construct certain meanings o f w o m a n h o o d .  T h e y represent a n d  u p h o l d t h e t a k e n f o r g r a n t e d s t a n d a r d s o f s t a n d a r d usage w h i c h , o n c e e x p o s e d , m a k e v i s i b l e m y exclusion. (Miller a n d Swift  1977)  T h e ' I ' [ J e ] w h o w r i t e s is a l i e n t o h e r o w n w r i t i n g at e v e r y w o r d b e c a u s e t h i s ' I ' [ J e ] uses a l a n g u a g e a l i e n t o h e r , t h e ' I ' [ J e ] e x p e r i e n c e s w h a t is a l i e n t o h e r s i n c e t h i s ' I ' [Je] so.  cannot be " u n ecrivain".  If i n w r i t i n g j e , I a d o p t this language, this je c a n n o t d o  J / e is t h e s y m b o l o f t h e l i v e d r e n d i n g e x p e r i e n c e  w h i c h is m / y w r i t i n g , o f t h i s  c u t t i n g i n t w o w h i c h t h r o u g h o u t l i t e r a t u r e is t h e e x e r c i s e o f a l a n g u a g e w h i c h d o e s n o t c o n s t i t u t e m / e as a s u b j e c t . ( W i t t i g 1 9 7 5 : The  10-14)  o n e w h o w r i t e s " I " is t h e a u t h o r , d e f i n e d as " t h e m a k e r o f a n y t h i n g . "  T h i s creator,  maker o f words, does not include m e . I a m n o t a n author b u t rather "referring to a w o m a n , authoress." him.  (Random House  1968)  I a m defined i n terms o f the male, w i t h reference  to  T h e m a l e is n o t d e f i n e d b y r e f e r e n c e t o m e . I f i n d n o p a r a l l e l o r a l t e r n a t i v e d e f i n i t i o n  o f a u t h o r e s s as " t h e m a k e r o f a n y t h i n g . . . r e f e r r i n g t o a m a n , a u t h o r . " even a separate listing f o r authoress. male into general.  I n f a c t , t h e r e is n o t  It is s u b s u m e d u n d e r t h e m a l e t e r m b e c a u s e w e m a k e  M a n is s p e c i e s , w o m a n is s u b - s p e c i e s . ( S w i f t a n d M i l l e r 1 9 7 7 : 1 4 4 ) " M a n  can think o f himself without w o m a n .  She cannot think o f herself without m a n . " (Benda  R a p p o r t d ' U r i e l i n de Beauvoir 1 9 7 0 : xvi)  T h e p o i n t o f o r i g i n , t h e O n e , t h e self, t h e e g o is  12  assumed to be  male.  In o u r language  w o m a n , I a m constituted  the  tacit  subject  o f sentences  as a n o b j e c t , as O t h e r i n r e l a t i o n t o m e n as s u b j e c t s .  o b j e c t i n s e n t e n c e s is o p t i o n a l . O n l y t h e s u b j e c t a n d v e r b a r e e s s e n t i a l . alone.  is " o n e , h e . "  I m a y a d d , " H e w r i t e s a b o u t w o m e n , " if I  As a  A n d the  " O n e w r i t e s " stands  wish.  T h e d u a l i t y o f s u b j e c t a n d o b j e c t , o f s e l f a n d o t h e r is n o t s y m m e t r i c a l . I n a c t u a l i t y t h e r e l a t i o n o f t h e t w o s e x e s is n o t q u i t e l i k e t h a t o f t w o e l e c t r i c a l p o l e s , f o r m a n r e p r e s e n t s b o t h t h e p o s i t i v e a n d t h e n e u t r a l , as is i n d i c a t e d b y t h e u s e o f man negative,  common  to designate h u m a n beings i n general; whereas w o m a n represents o n l y the defined  by  limiting criteria, without  reciprocity,  (de  Beauvoir 1970:  xv)  T h e n e u t r a l i t y o f g e n e r a l t e r m s t h a t a s s u m e w h i l e h i d i n g m a l e n e s s is e x e m p l i f i e d i n o u r t a l k o f doctors.  A w o m a n d o c t o r ' s p e c u l i a r i t y is r e v e a l e d b y o u r u s e o f t h e l i m i t i n g d e s c r i p t i v e  criterion " w o m a n . "  N o s u c h r e s t r i c t i o n is n e c e s s a r y w h e n r e f e r r i n g t o a m a n d o c t o r .  m a l e n e s s o f d o c t o r s is a s s u m e d u n l e s s e x p l i c i t l y c o u n t e r i n d i c a t e d . dant.  D o c t o r s (in g e n e r a l , u n m o d i f i e d ) are i m p l i c i t l y m e n .  w o m e n as n e g a t i v e not  The  " M a n d o c t o r " is r e d u n -  This slippery representation o f  neutral appears again i n " a c t o r , " the " p e r s o n w h o does s o m e t h i n g . "  " A c t o r " is a l s o d e f i n e d as " a p e r s o n , u s u a l l y m a l e . . . " female a c t o r . " ( R a n d o m H o u s e 1968) that analyses " t h e social a c t o r . "  A s a w o m a n I a m a n actress,  "a  In w r i t i n g the sociology I enter a d i s c i p l i n e d language  In d o i n g so I leave b e h i n d the strange n o t i o n o f i n c l u d i n g  myself, "the social actress."  A l l i n a l l m y a b i l i t y t o w r i t e o f m y s e l f as a " p e r s o n w h o d o e s s o m e t h i n g " is t e n u o u s at best.  M y c l a i m t o p e r s o n h o o d is o n l y r e c e n t l y e s t a b l i s h e d .  It t o o k a n a p p e a l t o t h e P r i v y  C o u n c i l i n 1929 to overturn the 1928 decision o f the Regent S u p r e m e C o u r t o f C a n a d a that women  were  n o t i n c l u d e d i n t h e t e r m " p e r s o n s " i n s o f a r as r i g h t s a n d p r i v i l e g e s w e r e  c e r n e d . (Bassett 1 9 7 5 :  165-8)  W e c a n see w i t h t h i s e x p l i c a t i o n t h a t g e n e r a l i t y o r u n i v e r s a l i t y  is o v e r t l y n e u t r a l a n d c o v e r t l y m a s c u l i n e . ( S m i t h 1 9 7 7 a : 5) ( S w i f t a n d M i l l e r 1 9 7 7 ) ing to P o l a n y i ( 1 9 6 9 : 134) thought  con-  Accord-  " A l l t h o u g h t is i n c a r n a t e , it lives b y t h e b o d y . . . . B u t i t is n o t  u n l e s s i t s t r i v e s f o r t r u t h , a s t r i v i n g . . . w i t h u n i v e r s a l i n t e n t . " (his e m p h a s i s )  " w o m a n " is. l i m i t e d a n d p a r t i c u l a r i n a w a y i n m y f e m a l e b o d y gets t r e a t e d as s o m e h o w  That  " m a n " is n o t s h o w s t h a t t h e t h o u g h t i n c a r n a t e defective.  I n t h e m i d s t o f a n a b s t r a c t d i s c u s s i o n i t is v e x i n g t o h e a r a m a n s a y : " Y o u t h i n k t h u s a n d so because  y o u are a w o m a n " ; b u t I k n o w t h a t m y o n l y d e f e n s e is t o r e p l y :  t h i n k thus a n d so because argument.  It w o u l d b e  i t is t r u e , " t h e r e b y r e m o v i n g m y s u b j e c t i v e  out  o f the  self f r o m  q u e s t i o n to r e p l y , " A n d y o u t h i n k the  "I the  contrary  b e c a u s e y o u are a m a n , " f o r it is u n d e r s t o o d t h a t t h e f a c t o f b e i n g a m a n is n o p e c u l i a r i t y , (de B e a u v o i r 1 9 7 0 :  xvii)  13  M a l e s u b j e c t i v i t y , t h o u g h h i d d e n , it a s s u m e d t o b e c o n g r u e n t w i t h t r u t h . F e m a l e tivity invalidates "universal i n t e n t . " a n d w o r k to language  change  subjec-  T h a t I d o n o t like these definitions, that I o p p o s e t h e m  t h e m , t h a t o t h e r s d o l i k e w i s e d o e s n o t erase t h e s o c i a l r e a l i t y o f t h e  I inherit a n d must  enter i n order to speak m y experience.  It is a l a n g u a g e  that  p o s e s m e as i n c a p a b l e o f u n i v e r s a l t h o u g h t .  T h i s c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the w o r l d that annihilates w o m e n ' s subjectivity as  the  oppression o f w o m e n , m y  womanhood:  the  lack  a u t h o r o r generate  of  oppression.  authority,  statements.  the  T h i s is t h e  silence  of  core o f m y  women  we  reconstruction  manifest  as  inability  our experience  a p p e a r as o b j e c t s .  to  subject.  f o r m s o f t h o u g h t , t h e m e a n s o f e x p r e s s i o n , w h i c h w e h a d a v a i l a b l e t o us t o  mulate  of.  I n w r i t i n g " I a m , I d o , I see, I t h i n k , I f e e l , I k n o w , " I a m  s i m u l t a n e o u s l y r e v e a l i n g m y e x c l u s i o n a n d r e c l a i m i n g m y p o w e r as t h e The  is w h a t I a d d r e s s  were  made  or controlled b y  men.  F r o m that centre  for-  women  I n r e l a t i o n t o m e n ( o f t h e r u l i n g class) w o m e n ' s c o n s c i o u s n e s s d i d  n o t a n d m o s t p r o b a b l y s t i l l d o e s n o t a p p e a r as a n a u t o n o m o u s s o u r c e o f experience, relevance  and imagination.  Women's experience  knowledge,  d o e s n o t a p p e a r as t h e  s o u r c e o f a n a u t h o r i t a t i v e g e n e r a l e x p r e s s i o n o f t h e w o r l d . ( S m i t h 1 9 7 7 a : 3) What  is  clear  my womanhood. male.  These  already  is  that  how  I  am  excluded  is r e l a t e d  to  my  femaleness,  T h e c e n t r e f r o m w h i c h a u t h o r i t a t i v e s t a t e m e n t s o r i g i n a t e is a s s u m e d t o b e  statements  present men's perspective  i n the guise o f general t h o u g h t .  take for granted a f o r m o f e x p r e s s i o n suited to that p u r p o s e . as a n o b j e c t , I e x i s t f o r t h e m .  They  F r o m this s t a n d p o i n t I appear  Last night I h e a r d lines o n the r a d i o that went r o u g h l y like  t h i s : I ' m w o r k i n g s o h a r d o u t o n t h e r a n g e / w h i l e h e ' s at h o m e w i t h a l l t h e w o m e n . . . I get o n l y a d o l l a r a n h o u r w h i l e / h e gets a w i f e a n d r a n c h a n d f a m i l y . folk song. for granted.  I d o n o t n e e d to tell y o u the " T s " voice was m a l e .  It w a s a n o r d i n a r y s o r t o f  Y o u have already taken that  I p o i n t o u t t h a t i n b o t h cases, t h e " I " w h o h a s n o t a n d t h e " h e " w h o h a s , t h e  w o m e n exist f o r m e n , the object o f their desires (along w i t h m o n e y , r a n c h e s a n d c h i l d r e n ) . As  a  woman  I  can  author/per former b y  enter  this  song  only  his relevancies, n o t b y  as my  an  object.  own.  I become  T h a t we  present  for  the  are n o t subjects i n these  f o r m s o f e x p r e s s i o n a n d t h a t m e n are r e q u i r e s t h a t o u r v i s i b i l i t y t e o n t h e i r t e r m s .  T h a t the subject  o f s e n t e n c e s is m a l e a n d t h a t I a p p e a r as a n o b j e c t i n t h a t  t i o n is n o t a l l t h a t I d i s c o v e r a b o u t h o w m y e x c l u s i o n is a c c o m p l i s h e d . assumed, this source that  generates  a version o f the  w o r l d , is n o t  construc-  T h i s " o n e " t h a t is  " m e n in general," not  m e n f l o a t i n g i n s p a c e u n l o c a t e d i n t h e s o c i a l o r g a n i s a t i o n . T h i s O n e t h a t p o s e s m e as O t h e r  14  is p a r t i c u l a r m e n o c c u p y i n g p a r t i c u l a r p o s i t i o n s o f p o w e r i n c e r t a i n d e f i n i t e Military  institutions.  officers; legislators; judges; corporate b o a r d m e m b e r s ; administrators o f hospitals,  universities a n d government  agencies; managers; business executives; d o c t o r s o f m e d i c i n e ,  p s y c h i a t r y , p h i l o s o p h y a n d l a w ; e s t a b l i s h e d a u t h o r s ; r e c o g n i z e d artists — these are t h e m e n w h o m u t u a l l y o r i e n t t o e a c h o t h e r ' s w o r d s , w h o c o n s t i t u t e t h e m s e l v e s as a c i r c l e b y a t t e n d ing to a n d n a m i n g the significance o f each other's expressions, w h o define the forms m a k e sense a n d d i s c a r d a n d d i s m i s s o n e s t h e y d e c i d e t o b e i n s i g n i f i c a n t .  that  T h e i r authority to  d e f i n e t h e w o r l d , t o d e c i d e f o r o t h e r s a n d issue o r d e r s s p r i n g s n o t m e r e l y f r o m t h e i r m a n hood. a  T h e y c l a i m t h i s a u t h o r i t y b y v i r t u e o f t h e i r o f f i c e s . ( W e b e r 1 9 6 4 ) T h e i r m a n h o o d is  necessary  a n d n o t sufficient  c o n d i t i o n o f this e n t i t l e m e n t .  T h e i r legitimate  p o w e r is  vested i n the institutions f r o m w h i c h they rule. (Smith 1 9 7 3 , 1977a)  M a l e a u t h o r i t i e s a c t as a g e n t s o f c o r p o r a t i o n s a n d c o r p o r a t e a r m s o f t h e s t a t e . organisations have as e n t i t i e s  a n abstract transpersonal life.  through complete  changes  These  E x x o n a n d the U . S . m i l i t a r y c a n survive  o f personnel.  T h o u g h they  exist o n l y b y virtue o f  the r e a l acts o f specific i n d i v i d u a l s , t h e p o s i t i o n s o r offices are m o r e lasting t h a n t h e i n d i viduals.  T h e authority  o f r u l i n g is a p p r o p r i a t e d b y t h e o r g a n i s a t i o n . ( W e b e r 1 9 6 4 )  This  a u t h o r i t y is m a n i f e s t t h r o u g h p e r s o n s o n l y i n s o f a r as t h e y a c t as a g e n t s o f t h e c o r p o r a t e bodies.  T h e s e agents o f r u l i n g are m e n . W o m e n d o i n d e e d w o r k f o r r u l i n g organisations b u t  w e d o n o t represent its a u t h o r i t y .  W e are disentitled b y sex f r o m f u l l y entering t h e offices  that generate authorizations. T h e s e ruling institutions o f corporate capitalism together a ruling apparatus.  form  It is a l o o s e s t r u c t u r e t h a t d o e s h a n g t o g e t h e r e v e n w i t h i t s v a r i o u s p a r t s ,  segments, specialised practices a n d jurisdictions. ( S m i t h 1 9 7 3 , 1977a)  The  source  that  is b u i l t i n t o t h e f o r m s o f e x p r e s s i o n a v a i l a b l e  w o m e n is t h e c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f r u l i n g class m e n .  t o m e a n d t o u s as  A p i e c e o f t h i s c o n s t r u c t i o n is t h a t  women  e x i s t f o r m e n . T h e s o c i a l r e l a t i o n o f t h i s s e t u p is a r u l i n g r e l a t i o n . T h e e x p r e s s i o n s f r o m a male  centre are n o t m e r e l y  m a l e o u t l o o k is the  " a " perspective,  n o t s i m p l y o n e o f the m a n y available.  This  dominant one.  T h e i d e a s o f t h e r u l i n g class a r e i n e v e r y e p o c h t h e r u l i n g i d e a s , i . e . t h e class w h i c h is the ruling The  material  force  o f society,  is a t t h e s a m e  t i m e its r u l i n g  intellectual  force.  class w h i c h h a s t h e m e a n s o f m a t e r i a l p r o d u c t i o n at its d i s p o s a l , h a s c o n t r o l at  the same t i m e over t h e m e a n s o f m e n t a l p r o d u c t i o n , so that t h e r e b y , generally i n g , t h e ideas o f those  w h o l a c k t h e m e a n s o f m e n t a l p r o d u c t i o n are subject  (Marx a n d Engels 1974: 64)  speakto it.  15  Their hegemony but rather b y  is e s t a b l i s h e d  practical means  not  by  some  mysterious  o f c o n t r o l l i n g the  means  o f possessing the  language  p r o d u c t i o n a n d d i s t r i b u t i o n o f ideas  w o r d s a n d images, i n the m e d i a o f p r i n t , television, r a d i o , f i l m , etc. ( T u c h m a n 1974) instance o f this I cite m y b i b l i o g r a p h y . small i n scale, n o t published.  distributors.  A  n u m b e r o f m y s o u r c e s are u n -  T h e u n p u b l i s h e d articles are a l m o s t e x c l u s i v e l y b y w o m e n .  t i o n o f r u l i n g ideas a n d the  T h e works I rely o n  t o b e h e a r d as a n a l t e r n a t i v e v o i c e a g a i n s t t h e d o m i n a -  m a t e r i a l m e a n s o f p r o m o t i n g these ideas.  Relations  between  m e n i n p o s i t i o n s o f a u t h o r i t y a n d w o m e n are n o t s y m m e t r i c a l , n o t r e c i p r o c a l l y M e n ' s perspective  F o r an  T h e p u b l i s h e r s o f m a n y o f t h e w o r k s I r e f e r t o are  well k n o w n , nor wide  to r e c o n s t r u c t w o m a n h o o d struggle  a n d w o m e n ' s perspective  are n o t e q u a l l y available.  exclusive.  T h e m a l e exists " i n  g e n e r a l , " as t h e g e n e r a l , g e n e r i c , p u r p o r t e d l y u n i v e r s a l , c e r t a i n l y t h e d o m i n a n t f o r m . authorities rule n o t merely i n q u a n t i t y o f space. take m y silence for granted. ( S m i t h 1977a) for myself.  in  T h e y r u l e over  me.  Male  T h e y speak for me a n d  T h e y do not even consider asking me to  speak  S u f f r a g i s t s w e r e t o l d t h a t w o m e n a l r e a d y h a d a v o i c e i n t h e state — t h e i r f a t h e r s  or husbands v o t e d for t h e m . (Cleverdon 1974)  T h e practical lack o f ability to decide  for  o u r s e l v e s a n d t o s p e a k f o r o u r s e l v e s is a c o n s e q u e n c e o f a r u l i n g r e l a t i o n .  Throughout  this  work  when  I use  managing, governing a n d administering.  the w o r d  " r u l i n g " I refer to  practices  of  ruling,  T h i s i n c l u d e s w h a t is n o r m a l l y c a l l e d b u r e a u c r a c y ,  accounting, and planning. rule:  verb  transitive;  to  control  or influence over; govern. ruling:  or  direct; exercise  dominating  power  authority  S y n . administer, c o m m a n d , govern, manage  adjective; governing o r d o m i n a t i n g , c o n t r o l l i n g , p r e d o m i n a t i n g (Random House  1968)  T h e s e p r a c t i c e s i n v o l v e i s s u i n g d i r e c t i v e s f o r o t h e r s t o f o l l o w as w e l l as c r e a t i n g i m a g e s f o r others to think w i t h . them.  T h e n o t i o n implies ruling over someone/something a n d i m p o s i n g u p o n  I n the c o n t e x t o f this w o r k it refers e x p l i c i t l y t o r u l i n g over w o m e n .  capitalist society  t h e r u l i n g class h a s t h e a u t h o r i t y t o d i s p e n s e t h e e x i s t i n g o r d e r b y e x p l a i n -  i n g i t , t r a n s m i t t i n g it a n d t r a i n i n g o t h e r s a g e n t s o f t h i s o r d e r assert morally  In corporate  correct.  that the w a y  for it.  The  r u l i n g o r d e r is a m o r a l o r d e r .  The  t h i n g s are ( b y t h e i r d e f i n i t i o n ) is r i g h t / r i g h t e o u s /  B u i l t i n t o t h e r u l i n g c o n s t r u c t i o n o f w o m a n h o o d is t h e a s s u m p t i o n t h a t  t h i s m e a n i n g is r i g h t , n a t u r a l , i n e v i t a b l e , d e s i r a b l e , p r e f e r a b l e , h e a l t h y , p r o p e r , e t c .  (Smith  1973)  That  I speak  o f r u l i n g as a r e l a t i o n d e s e r v e s e m p h a s i s .  x  M y d e s c r i p t i o n o f the  ruling  16  class o r a g e n t s o f r u l i n g o n t h e o n e h a n d a n d w o m e n o n t h e o t h e r * d o e s n o t s u g g e s t t h e s e t o be  two  classes  or groups o f like k i n d .  T h e y d o n o t at t h i s t i m e e x i s t s e p a r a t e l y o r i n d e -  p e n d e n t l y f r o m e a c h o t h e r [ t h o u g h it is p o s s i b l e t o i m a g i n e a w o r l d w i t h o u t r u l e r s a n d / o r one  without  men  (e.g. W i t t i g 1 9 7 5 ) ] .  relations construct a w o m a n .  Social relations construct  s o c i a l class.  Family  T h e silence o f w o m a n h o o d o n l y appears i n r e l a t i o n to  the  a u t h o r i t y to express a p p r o p r i a t e d b y the rulers. O n l y i n relation to a glorious m a n h o o d c a n w o m a n h o o d b e c o n s t r u c t e d as i n f e r i o r .  The My  work  of  and  from  women's  perspective  initiates a r e d e f i n i t i o n ' o f social  t h e s i s t a k e s p a r t i n t h i s d i s c o v e r y o f class as a p r a c t i c e o f r e l a t i o n s .  b e g i n n i n g a d e s c r i p t i o n o f class i n t h i s w a y . (1977a,  1977b,  a potentially I use it h e r e .  1973)  Do  not  W e are o n l y j u s t  I d r a w heavily o n the w o r k o f D o r o t h y S m i t h  in recognising a n d participating in this project.  useful term.  I d o not assume  I a s s u m e "class is  it is y e t f u r t h e r d e f i n e d t h a n b y t h e m a n n e r  p r e s u m e t h a t m y use o f " r u l i n g c l a s s " a n d r e f e r e n c e s t o M a r x a n d  E n g e l s place m y w o r k u n c r i t i c a l l y i n an established b o d y o f "class analysis." relations  appear  relations  are  (Barling 1975,  not  class.  differently taken  for  from  women's  granted  Firestone 1970,  perspective,  how  class  looks  J u s t h o w class once  women's  a n d r e n d e r e d i n v i s i b l e is o n l y b e g i n n i n g t o  Rowbotham  relations in m y experience from women's  1973,  Ziegler 1978)  emerge.  T h i s t h e s i s u n e a r t h s class  perspective.  I n the f o r m s o f e x p r e s s i o n t h a t are g e n e r a t e d f r o m t h e places o f r u l i n g , w o m e n a p p e a r as O t h e r , as o b j e c t s .  S m i t h (1977a)  c a l l s us s t r a n g e r s i n t h e t e r r i t o r y o f m a l e d i s c o u r s e .  W i t t i g ' s ' j / e " is a n a l i e n . ( W i t t i g 1 9 7 5 ) from  the  positions that  truths a n d authoritative outside.  legitimately expressions.  The  f o r m s o f e x p r e s s i o n I i n h e r i t see m e f r o m  We smile for t h e m .  someone  ( 1 9 7 3 ) calls a n i h i l i s t i c r e l a t i o n t o o u r o w n c o n s c i o u s n e s s .  else's e y e s .  images  T h i s external v i e w i n g o f ourselves  i t c a n m e a n I a m i n v i s i b l e u n l e s s s o m e o n e else is v i e w i n g m e . through  the  W o m e n are i n s t r u c t e d t o v i e w o u r -  W e stand i n front o f the cameras they wield to construct  T h e y choose the frame.  our part R o w b o t h a m  A s w o m e n w e are e x c l u d e d  o r i g i n a t e , t h a t serve as t h e s o u r c e p o i n t f o r u n i v e r s a l  A n d I learn to practice this r e l a t i o n to myself.  selves t h r o u g h m e n ' s e y e s . o f us.  W e are o n the o u t s i d e .  on  In practice  I d o n o t see m y s e l f e x c e p t  I display this standing outside  myself by  using the  third  person to speak o f m y s e l f — "the sociologist, h e " or "the author, s h e " or " w o m e n , t h e y , " I  * T h e d o m i n a n t class r u l e s o v e r m o r e p e o p l e t h a n u s as w o m e n .  T h e y also rule over w o r k i n g  class m e n . T h a t s o c i a l r e l a t i o n , h o w e v e r , is n o t t h e t o p i c o f t h i s w o r k .  17  e x c l u d e m y s e l f b y eliminating f r o m m y writing the inclusive " w e , w o m e n , " a n d " I , a u t h o r . " I p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s f o r m i n p r e s e n t i n g m y s e l f as a n o b j e c t f o r o t h e r s . t h e passive v o i c e .  T h i n g s are d o n e u n t o m e b y o t h e r s ; I d o n o t d o t h e m m y s e l f .  the author or actor.  leave b e h i n d m y  body,  female  m y s e l f is c o n t r a d i c t o r y .  body  that cannot  be n a m e d .  I attempt to think from somewhere  I a m d o o m e d to failure. of my  body.  I think with m y head only.  M y b r a i n is a p a r t o f m y b o d y . My  I  feelings  outside  my  I cut m y s e l f  off  I t h i n k against  my  myself, to b e c o m e a pseudo m a n .  f r o m m y g r o u n d i n g , I r e n d m y life i n t w o .  stand o n outside  I n a t t e m p t i n g it I s u s p e n d m y s e x .  w h i c h discredits m e , w h i c h " l i m i t s " m e , w h i c h has  to t h i n k like a m a n , to neuter  body.  I am not  I a m the acted u p o n , the w r i t t e n a b o u t .  This standing outside  and experiences  I write sentences i n  I o w n n o f e e t I c a n use t o  h e a d is s u p p o r t e d b y m y s k e l e t o n b e n e a t h .  With  no  grounding, a n d n o e m b o d i m e n t , I a m literally no-where, a n d n o - b o d o y .  Y e t , i t is o n l y w i t h i n t h i s s u s p e n s i o n o f m y s e x , o f m y e x p e r i e n c e as w o m e n ' s ience, o f m y subjectivity  as a w o m a n ' s s u b j e c t i v i t y  t h e h e a d w o r l d t h a t is m a n n e d f r o m development squeeze  o f the  myself  into  breasts, s t o p p i n g m y male by  terms, speak  science "man"  I cannot participate in the  progress o f m a n k i n d unless a n d u n t i l I  "mankind" by  cutting  out  menstruation a n d denying m y fertility.  in modes  they  define  general  my  womb,  can  cutting off  my  I participate i n seminars o n  a n d perpetuate, proving m y s e l f " e q u a l " to  them  b e c o m i n g l i k e t h e m , p r o v i n g I w i l l s h e d m y s e x so as n o t t o b e " h a n d i c a p p e d " b y  A  few  women  have entered positions i n the ruling apparatus.  a u t h o r i t y o f its o f f i c e s .  the rule(ing m o d e ) . women as  and to "them"  exceptions. unchanged. women.  A  few speak w i t h  A n d t h e y d o so o n l y b y s p e c i a l l i c e n c e , n e v e r as t h e  o f their sex. ( S m i t h 1 9 7 5 a )  us  and  that I can enter the "life o f the m i n d , "  ruling positions.  o f m a n , in the  exper-  the  spokeswomen  T h e y are the e x c e p t i o n a l w o m e n — the e x c e p t i o n s t h a t p r o v e  T o b e a n e x c e p t i o n is t o a c c e p t t h e i n f e r i o r i t y , t h e l a c k o f a u t h o r i t y o f  e x e m p t m y s e l f f r o m this, to stand outside o f " w o m e n i n general" to not  it.  "us."  This  procedure  Claiming exemptional  can  even  be  used  with  growing  numbers  of  status m e a n s the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f w o m a n h o o d r e m a i n s  T h e t y p i f i c a t i o n s go u n c h a l l e n g e d .  W o m e n e x e c u t i v e s a r e n o t " t y p i c a l " (real)  E a c h w o m a n i n a r u l i n g p o s i t i o n d o e s n o t o r d i n a r i l y c o u n t h e r s e l f o r get  as " o n e o f u s . " ( C o l e 1 9 7 6 )  treat  counted  T o t a k e t h i s o p t i o n is t o s u s p e n d m y s e x , sever m y i d e n t i f i c a -  t i o n w i t h o t h e r w o m e n a n d t h u s s t a n d d i v i d e d against  1  myself.  18  S o far I have d e t a i l e d t h e fissure b e t w e e n w o m e n ' s  experience a n d the social forms  g i v e n t o us f o r e x p r e s s i n g it that are n o t m a d e b y o r f o r w o m e n .  N o w I intend to explicate  this m o r e specifically i n terms o f the r u p t u r e b e t w e e n m y experience a n d sociological m o d e s o f thought. Sociology  rests  on a happy  irony.  It  seeks t o  E q u a l l y , i t i t s e l f is a s o c i a l l y o r g a n i z e d p r a c t i c e .  study  socially organized  practices.  Sociological descriptions, methods  a n d c l a i m s t o t r u t h are b r o u g h t o f f a n d r e c o g n i z e d . . . b y a n d f o r m e m b e r s o f a c e r t a i n community. they w o u l d  . . . Necessarily, then, sociological accounts  describe.  exemplify  the very  practices  (Silverman 1975: ix)  I follow S m i t h (1977a) i n calling the d o m i n a n t m o d e o f sociological practice the abstractconceptual mode.  Its d e s c r i p t i o n s , m e t h o d s a n d c l a i m s t o t r u t h a r e b r o u g h t o f f a n d r e c o g i -  n i z e d b y a n d f o r m e m b e r s o f a c o m m u n i t y t h a t I r e m a i n o u t s i d e o f e x c e p t i n s o f a r as I leave m y s e l f b e h i n d b y s u s p e n d i n g m y sex.  M y d e s c r i p t i o n o f this r u l i n g m o d e begins i n a  critique o f h o w I a m e x c l u d e d i n m y concrete e m b o d i m e n t f r o m entering it. In u n c o v e r i n g this r e l a t i o n I e x e m p l i f y  a n alternative m o d e .  f r o m w o m e n ' s perspective. body  I n this alternative m o d e I b e g i n f r o m inside m y s e l f , m y female  a n d m y s o c i a l l o c a t i o n as a w o m a n .  a different how-to-do  place a n d taking some t w o different  I d e s c r i b e t h i s m o d e as a m e t h o d o f w r i t i n g  methods  different  T h r o u g h m y critique I find m y s e l f starting i n steps.  T h e n , i n this w o r k I c l a i m t o describe  o f sociological knowing.  A l l the while I exemplify one  o f t h e s e m o d e s as I w r i t e .  In the abstract-conceptual everyday  w o r l d o f experience.  m o d e ideas a n d images c o m e f r o m a place e x t e r n a l t o t h e T h i s place  outside  o f the everyday  is t h e p l a c e o f r u l i n g .  M e n t a l p r o d u c t i o n is t h e p r i v i l e g e o f t h e d o m i n a n t class. ( M a r x a n d E n g e l s 1 9 7 0 )  They  m a k e ideas a n d images f o r us t o use f o r their p u r p o s e s , n o t f o r o u r o w n . T h e s e ideas articulate  o u r needs, aims a n d interests t o their c o n c e r n s i n r u l i n g , n o t t o o u r c o n c e r n s o f  daily living.  T h e r u l i n g m o d e t a k e s f o r g r a n t e d t h e c o n d i t i o n s o f r u l i n g class e x p e r i e n c e a n d  it t a k e s f o r g r a n t e d t h e s i l e n c e o f t h o s e w h o d o n o t p a r t i c i p a t e i n r u l i n g , w h o a r e o u t s i d e . ( S m i t h 1 9 7 7 a : 10)  A l l t h i s is t r u e o f s o c i o l o g y .  S o c i o l o g y is n o t a The  tool o f  university socializes people  depends.  t h e r u l i n g class.  S o c i o l o g y is  apart o f t h e r u l i n g  apparatus.  t o t h e i d e o l o g i c a l f o r m s u p o n w h i c h its o w n o r g a n i s a t i o n  It is n o t t h e o n l y i n s t i t u t i o n t h a t d o e s t h i s s o c i a l i z i n g . N o r is i t t h e o n l y o n e t h a t  d e p e n d s o n t h e f o r m s o f o r g a n i s a t i o n i t t e a c h e s . T h e f a m i l y is a n o t h e r o n e . T h i s is b e c a u s e t h e y a r e p i e c e s o f a n e t w o r k , a n d t h e r u l i n g a p p a r a t u s is n o t h o m o g e n e o u s . i s e d set o f s o c i a l p r a c t i c e s o f d i f f e r e n t p o s i t i o n s a n d p r a c t i c e s . ( S m i t h 1 9 7 7 a )  It is a n o r g a n -  19  W o r k is a c c o m p l i s h e d as s o c o i o l o g y c e r t a i n classes,  b y b e i n g p r e s e n t e d i n s e t t i n g s d e f i n e d as s u c h —  c o n f e r e n c e s , j o u r n a l s , presses e t c .  T o be recognizable  as s o c i o l o g y ,  work  m u s t f o l l o w a f o r m set o u t i n t h e s e o r g a n s o f t h e d i s c i p l i n e a n d s t a y o r i e n t e d t o i t s c o n c e r n s . I n t h e past w o m e n have n o t b e e n i n p o s i t i o n s f r o m w h i c h t h e y c o u l d give t h e m e s a n d t o p i c s to the " a g e n d a " that  o f sociology.  comprise the agenda  experience activities  as w o m e n  we  1977a)  T h e domains o f specialization i n sociology  c a r v e u p t h e w o r l d as i t is s e e n f r o m  doesn't  d o cross  (Smith  cuts  fit i n t o these b o x e s .  "occupations,"  F o r example  "leisure,"  the places o f m e n .  Our  " h o u s e w o r k " as t h e r e a l  "socialization," and "the family."  S t a r t i n g f r o m o u r p l a c e s as w o m e n w e w o u l d n o t g e n e r a t e  the distinct topics " w o r k " a n d  "leisure."  W h e n w e s p e a k as w o m e n w e b e g i n t o m a k e o b s e r v a b l e s o m e o f t h e a s s u m p t i o n s b u i l t into sociology.  T h e "social a c t o r " excludes m e not merely b y "forgetting" I a m called a n  actress b u t also b y t a k i n g f o r g r a n t e d that " a c t o r " m e a n s o n e w i t h r a t i o n a l c o n t r o l over t h e w o r l d a n d o n e w i t h the m e a n s to effect his projects. t i o n a l m o d e o f a c t i n g is a f o r m o f r u l i n g . so  doing  feelings.  excludes  women  as t h o s e  (Schutz  1967, S m i t h 1977a)  This ra-  It e x c l u d e s e m o t i o n ( a m o n g o t h e r t h i n g s ) a n d i n  responsible for preserving a place  A n d w e d o n o t exercise r a t i o n a l c o n t r o l over o u r schedules.  f o r t a k i n g care o f W e ordinarily adapt  o u r w o r k tasks a r o u n d t h e needs o f o t h e r s , e.g. t h e b o s s ' l u n c h t i m e , t h e k i d s ' s c h o o l h o u r s , the husband's others.  overtime.  We don't  o r g a n i s e o u r t i m e f o r o u r s e l v e s b u t i n o r d e r t o serve  O n e w a y we lack the social means o f effecting  dent incomes.  o u r p r o j e c t s is b y l a c k i n g i n d e p e n -  W e c a n scarcely carry o u t projects o f o u r o w n w h e n we have n o m o n e y o f  our o w n .  T h e w a y i n w h i c h s o c i o l o g i c a l k n o w i n g h a s p l a c e d m e as a w o m a n o n t h e o u t s i d e a n d t h e n t a k e n t h i s f o r g r a n t e d is n o t e a s i l y u n d o n e . mode  o f thinking.  description  T h i s c o n s t r u c t i o n is b u i l t i n t o a n e n t i r e  T h i s m o d e is c a l l e d b o t h " o b j e c t i v e "  and "scientific."  o f a n d instructions for accomplishing "objective-scientific  procedures involve  detaching myself from  the everyday  S c h u t z gives a  knowing."  These  w o r l d o f activity, a n d suspending  m y s e l f f r o m the p a r a m o u n t reality organised a r o u n d m y centre.  This means standing out-  side o f o r a b o v e m y subjectivity, b o d i l y existence, p a r t i c u l a r l o c a t i o n i n t i m e a n d space a n d the p r a c t i c a l c o n c e r n s I have f r o m this place. "detachment" presupposes  a n d "disinterestedness"  I can find  I c a n t h e n a d o p t the stance o f " i m p a r t i a l i t y , "  that constitutes  "objectivity."  (Schutz  1962)  This  a n " A r c h i m e d i a n p o i n t " outside o f m y social l o c a t i o n a n d that i n  t h e r e l a t i o n o f k n o w e r t o k n o w n I c a n c a n c e l o u t m y s e l f a n d m y c o n c e r n s as t h e k n o w e r .  20  From  this  object.of  "bird's eye view" knowledge  the k n o w e r  appears.  is a n o n y m o u s  (Smith 1977a)  t h a t o b j e c t is h u m a n " i t " h a s n o s u b j e c t i v i t y . or possible k n o w e r . feature o f the  a n d rendered invisible, only the  In abstract sociological knowledge  although  " I t " is n o t p o r t r a y e d as a r e c i p r o c a l k n o w e r  " I t " m a y b e a h e o r a s h e b u t s e x is " m e r e l y " a n o t h e r  "objective"  data/object.  A l t h o u g h these p r o c e d u r e s o f s u s p e n d i n g subjectivities  that p r o d u c e d e t a c h m e n t  serve  t o m a k e t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n the a u t h o r a n d the subjects disappear, t h e y d o n o t dissolve the relation.  Detachment  is, i n fact,  a social relationship.  S o c i o l o g y is t h e p r a c t i c e o f a  relation t o those o f w h o m we speak a n d write, w h o m we study a n d explain. ( S m i t h 1 9 7 7 a : 28)  I l e a r n e d this objectifying  r e l a t i o n t o t h o s e I s t u d i e d as a p r a c t i t i o n e r o f s o c i o l o g y .  I  l e a r n e d t o t r e a t " t h e s u b j e c t s " as o b j e c t s w h o d o n ' t l o o k b a c k o r s p e a k b a c k , t o p r e s e n t m y p r e s e n c e as n o t a f f e c t i n g  t h e m , t o d o a w a y w i t h t h e i r b e i n g as a c t o r s b y m a k i n g w h a t  they  do into "role," " n o r m , " a n d "behavior."  I l e a r n e d t h i s m o d e b e c a u s e i t is t h e p r e d o m i n a n t  mode  I l i v e d a n d live i n . I l e a r n e d it i n m y f a m i l y , i n  o f the c o r p o r a t e capitalist  society  school a n d particularly i n university.  I learned the "abstract-conceptual"  mode  because  that's w h a t s o c i o l o g y has b e e n a n d t o a large e x t e n t still is. I l e a r n e d this m o d e even t h o u g h I  sought  "alternative  methodology  methods,"  and Marxism.  "radical social science,"  even  though  I studied  ethno-  I b r o u g h t this practice w i t h m e t o t h e s t u d y o f w o m a n h o o d .  O n l y b y a slow u n c o v e r i n g o f the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s i n this a b s t r a c t - c o n c e p t u a l m o d e , o n l y b y g r o p i n g towards a n alternative m e t h o d have I c o m e to r e c o n s t r u c t i n g w o m a n h o o d .  And I  a m still i n the process o f w o r k i n g m y w a y o u t o f this prevailing m o d e .  Practicing the abstract with other w o m e n  mode  as o b j e c t s .  i n relation to w o m a n h o o d meant treating myself along  M y journey  u n c o v e r s that this abstract m o d e teaches p r e -  cisely h o w t o relate t o m y s e l f a n d others f r o m outside m y s e l f . m y s t i f i c a t i o n o n t h i s , is n o t f o r a l l . n e u t r a l a n d sexless. be me.  (Smith 1977a)  T h e abstract H e is a m a l e .  knower  A n d this m o d e , despite its  is i n f a c t  located.  H e is n o t  H e is n o t f e m a l e , h e is n o t a n d c a n n o t  H i s a b s t r a c t m o d e is n o t f o r w o m e n , w e a r e o u t s i d e o f i t . I c a n n o t s t u d y w o m a n -  h o o d f r o m his s u p p o s e d l y u n l o c a t e d p l a c e , n o r c a n I s t u d y it f r o m t h e a c t u a l r u l i n g p o s i t i o n s w h i c h he occupies a n d w h i c h I don't.  I can only k n o w w o m a n h o o d f r o m inside, f r o m m y  l o c a t i o n as a w o m a n . A n d a l l m e n c a n o n l y k n o w w o m a n h o o d f r o m t h e o u t s i d e , f r o m t h e i r l o c a t i o n as m e n . S o i n t h i s w o r k I d r o p t h e s e l f - d e f e a t i n g  attempt  to do sociology i n the  r u l i n g m o d e a n d cease c r a n i n g m y n e c k t r y i n g h o p e l e s s l y t o p e e k a t m y s e l f f r o m t h e o u t s i d e .  21  Dorothy emergence  Smith  ( 1 9 7 7 a ) relates  o f corporate  the  practice  o f the  abstract-conceptual  mode  to  capitalist organisation. T h i s organisation w h i c h the abstract  the  mode  is a p a r t o f is a p a r t i c u l a r f o r m o f r u l i n g , o n e w h i c h is d e t a c h e d f r o m t h e l o c a l a n d p a r t i c u l a r . C o r p o r a t i o n s exist i n abstract space. facts r e m o v e d f r o m the subjective  D e c i s i o n m a k i n g is b a s e d o n a c c o u n t s a n d d o c u m e n t e d  intuition o f particular individuals.  P l a n n i n g is s e p a r a t e d  f r o m t h e c o n c r e t e a c t i v i t i e s t h e " f a c t s " are a b o u t o r f r o m t h o s e t h a t c a r r y o u t t h e d e c i s i o n s . (Braverman medium  1974)  T h i s f o r m o f r u l i n g is e x p r e s s e d ,  of symbols,  o f events.  primarily in written  Documentation  establishes  the  U n d o c u m e n t e d a c t i o n s are o f d o u b t f u l r e a l i t y . ( Z i m m e r m a n 1 9 7 4 )  tion o f "information" removed from necessary  form.  practiced and accomplished  basis  for the  "what  people  trans-personal existence  agents o f r u l i n g p r o d u c e a n d enact a k n o w l e d g e them and yet not anywhere without  think" and  of corporations.  "people  in  the  facticity  This produc-  who  t h i n k " is a  T h e local a n d particular  that, like the c o r p o r a t i o n s , exists  beyond  them.  T h e conceptual m o d e removes k n o w i n g f r o m knowers to produce d i s e m b o d i e d thought. It a b s t r a c t s i d e a s a w a y f r o m f l e s h l y p e r s o n s w h o t h i n k t h e m . think.  S m i t h ( 1 9 7 7 a : 35) claims Parsons' e x o r c i s m o f the actor's b o d y  h i s m o d e l o f t h e s o c i a l a c t o r is a p t i n c o n s t r u c t i n g t h i s m o d e . u p into the h e a d w o r l d where the abstract the m i n d .  o f the  body,  only by  40-42)  Sociology becomes  gathered  " o n e " ( w h o is l i t e r a l l y n o - b o d y ) l i v e s t h e l i f e o f  the  H e authors words.  h a n d — o f material work.  disattending  his b o d i l y  existence  H e remains a b s o r b e d i n the a n d "passing b e y o n d "  conceptual  it. ( S m i t h  1977a:  H e passes b e y o n d t h e m a t e r i a l t e x t t o t h e i d e a s it e x p r e s s e s u n t i l h e h a p p e n s u p o n  The  abstract-conceptual  thinking and doing.  doing.  He  A s a sociologist, he does n o t engage i n p r a c -  a t o r n p a g e o r a b l u r r e d c o p y w h e n its e m b o d i m e n t as m a r k s o n p a p e r e r u p t s i n t o  two  from  T h e p e r s o n is s e v e r e d at t h e n e c k , g u i l l o t i n e d , c u t o f f f r o m p h y s i c a l p o w e r .  speaks, reads, a n d writes.  mode  who  " A t t i t u d e s , " " n o r m s " a n d " v a l u e s " acquire a life o f their o w n quite apart f r o m w h a t  p e o p l e say, feel or d o .  tices  " M i n d " replaces people  mode  Yet,  W e always live i n the  we  constructs cannot  a bifurcated  consciousness,  by  cutting  ever leave b e h i n d m a t e r i a l r e a l i t y , c a n n o t  b o d y in the local a n d particular.  focus.  in  stop  A l l mental work must  be  g i v e n m a t e r i a l f o r m (as s o u n d s i n air o r o n t a p e , as l i n e s o n p a p e r , as e l e c t r o n i c i m p u l s e s i n a c o m p u t e r ) t o e x i s t at a l l .  T o sever t h i s e m b o d i m e n t , t o r e n d e r i t b a c k g r o u n d , t o t a k e it f o r  g r a n t e d requires o u r active w o r k . A  A g r e a t d e a l o f t h i s w o r k is p r o v i d e d f o r m e n b y  women.  sociologist w h o notices the illegible text m a y direct his secretary to p r o d u c e a n e w  copy.  22 A  man  w h o s e w r i t i n g is i n t e r r u p t e d b y  appear before  him.  M y mother bought  hunger pangs m a y  o r d e r his wife  to  make  food  m y f a t h e r ' s ties a n d t y p e d h i s m e n u s so h e c o u l d  s t a y a b s o r b e d i n t h e h e a d w o r l d as a f o o d m a n a g e r .  For  us as w o m e n  this passing b e y o n d the  conceptual mode  is a c o n t i n u a l p r o b l e m .  W e are l i m i t e d i n a r r a n g i n g f o r t h e m a t e r i a l c o n d i t i o n s t h a t a l l o w f o r d i s a t t e n t i o n t o bodiment.  W e are b l o c k e d b y t h e o b s t a c l e o f o u r w o r k .  for our chores, our duties, our responsibilities. the  kids, h o w  the  em-  T h e b o d i l y m o d e remains a focus  W e c a n n o t t a k e f o r g r a n t e d w h o is m i n d i n g  d i r t y c l o t h e s are g e t t i n g c l e a n a n d h o w t o arrange for meals.  We  must  a t t e n d to t h e m a n d organise t h e m even i f a n d w h e n we hire others to carry out this w o r k . A n d s i n c e t h e f e m a l e b o d y d i s c r e d i t s a n d d i s q u a l i f i e s us f o r p o s i t i o n s i n t h e h e a d w o r l d o f r u l i n g , w e m u s t c a r e f u l l y m a n a g e o u r f e m a l e f u n c t i o n s (e.g. m e n s t r u a t i o n , m e n o p a u s e ) so as to render t h e m invisible.  I used to wear dull m o n o c h r o m a t i c clothes i n a n a r r o w range o f  b r o w n s i n an attempt to neutralize m y intellectual.  " f e m i n i n i t y " and to  a p p e a r m o r e c r e d i b l e as  an  I needed to hide m y b o d y to display m y claim to mental w o r k .  A s a w o m a n , I c a n n o t sustain p r o l o n g e d a b s o r p t i o n i n the abstract c o n c e p t u a l  mode.  T h e concrete a n d particular e m b o d i e d w o r l d erupted in m y experience o f u n p l a n n e d pregn a n c y a n d i n m y r e c k o n i n g w i t h m y father's d y i n g .  M y father's l o n g struggle w i t h  cancer  f o c u s e d his a t t e n t i o n o n his b o d y a n d c a n c e l l e d his a b i l i t y to stay a b s o r b e d i n the practices o f ruling.  I s a w i n t h i s c h a n g e a d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n h i s e m b o d i m e n t as a p e r s o n a n d h i s  p o s i t i o n as a n o f f i c e r  or manager.  I n o t i c e d his difference  v i s i t h e sat p a t i e n t l y w o r k i n g s a d d l e s o a p i n t o m y b o o t s . us far d i f f e r e n t l y  than when  I w o r k e d as h i s r e c e p t i o n i s t  in practice.  D u r i n g o u r last  O u r social relations constructed a n d he d i r e c t e d m y  work.  In  discovering m y p r e g n a n c y I h a d to d e c i d e i m m e d i a t e l y w h e t h e r to a l l o w this process or to stop it.  D o c t o r ' s appointments a n d attention to m y b o d y d e m a n d e d the foreground.  ses a n d e s s a y w r i t i n g h a d t o r e c e d e .  Clas-  T h e b o d y c o m e s first as t h e g r o u n d o f m y e x i s t e n c e , as  t h e s u p p o r t f o r m y h e a d , as t h e p l a c e t o t h i n k f r o m .  T h e vividness o f these b o d i l y events  p r o d u c e d a r u p t u r e along the line o f fault b e t w e e n everyday  embodied experience and m y  entry into abstract e m b o d i e d r u l i n g i n w o r d s .  M y a b i l i t y t o see a n d d e s c r i b e t h e a b s t r a c t m o d e a n d t o c o n t r a s t it w i t h t h e e m b o d i e d m o d e is a f e a t u r e o f m y s o c i a l l o c a t i o n . A s a w o m a n I a m a s s i g n e d t o w o r k i n t h e e m b o d i e d m o d e a n d e x c l u d e d f r o m fully entering the abstract m o d e o f ruling.  A s a s o c i o l o g i s t , as a  s t u d e n t , as a c h i l d i n a m i d d l e class f a m i l y I l e a r n e d t o s u s p e n d m y s e x a n d e n t e r t h e r u l i n g  23  conceptual mode. as w o m e n ' s  M y experience  o f b i f u r c a t e d c o n s c i o u s n e s s is n o t t h e s a m e as m e n ' s n o r  f r o m o t h e r s o c i a l classes.  T h e p o t e n t i a l for r u p t u r e i n m y life c a m e f r o m  my  l o c a t i o n a t t e m p t i n g t o b r i d g e the great divide b e t w e e n m y w o m a n ' s w o r k i n the b o d y a n d my  intellectual w o r k  i n the  a c c o u n t f o r its f a u l t y  head world.  W h e n the  bridge  collapsed I was challenged  to  c o n s t r u c t i o n a n d t o develop a m e t h o d o f constructing a n e w one that  w o u l d be able to h o l d m y weight.  Adequate By  cutting  explication  off  the  local  cannot provide adequate  is o n e  that provides  for the  conditions o f a thing's  a n d particular a n d suspending e m b o d i m e n t ,  "passing  w o m a n , to myself.  beyond," start  from  I can account  ensures the  the  connection  mode  the  g r o u n d is s e v e r e d .  In "rising a b o v e "  H o w e v e r , t o b e g i n as  abstract  a  a n d b o d i l y l o c a t e d k n o w e r means to r e g r o u n d  for m y s e l f a n d m y practice o f the abstract m o d e because m y  bodiment o f head work.  c o u l d n o t say  to  m y s e l f as a s o c i a l l y  conditions o f the  able/knowable.  abstract  e x p l i c a t i o n o f i t s e l f b e c a u s e t h e l i n k t o its o w n c o n d i t i o n s is l o s t  w h e n t h e k n o w e r is c a n c e l l e d i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e o b j e c t o f h e r k n o w l e d g e . or  the  existence.  mode.  work  M y w o r k as a w o m a n p r o v i d e s f o r t h e  em-  M y s i l e n c e is t h e s u p p r e s s i o n o f m y b o d i l y w o r k as v i s i b l e / s p e a k -  Reconstructing  womanhood  breaks  t h r o u g h this silence, I speak  what  I  before.  Starting w i t h m y s e l f involves r e g r o u n d i n g m y s e l f i n a social w o r l d , i n one I share w i t h others, a w o r l d we m u t u a l l y construct i n family relations a n d i n the social relations o f the university.  The  place  to  start  is m y  experience recorded i n m y journal. the  discrete  without  and self-contained  everyday  w o r l d , the  "trivia" of m y  life, the  H o w I start t h e r e is n o t b y t r e a t i n g it as a n o b j e c t , as  phenomenon  "everyday  life."  T o d o so w o u l d b e t o  g e t t i n g s t a r t e d , w o u l d b e t o sever t h e c o n n e c t i o n s o f m y d a i l y e x p e r i e n c e  b r o a d scale s o c i a l o r g a n i s a t i o n .  t o w r i t e o f m y f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s as " t h e " e v e r y d a y abstract-conceptual  particular concrete  families.  The  mode  a n d to  W h a t I d o i n t h i s w o r k is t o l o c a t e some  o f our concrete relations.  a  "the  F o r me  w o r l d o f " t h e " f a m i l y w o u l d be to slip miss the  t r u t h that there  exist o n l y real  o r g a n i s e d sets o f r e l a t i o n s a n d p r a c t i c e s t h a t  a family vary b y social location. ( L . R u b i n 1976,  stop  with  I a v o i d t h i s false s t a r t b y n o t d e s c r i b i n g m y f a m i l y as  f a m i l y " as i f t h e r e w e r e o n e a b s t r a c t a n d u n i v e r s a l f o r m o f i n t i m a t e s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s .  again i n t o the  daily  Smith  constitute  1973)  m y family in a social organisation a n d to describe  I d o b e l i e v e t h e m e t h o d I use t o u n c o v e r h o w t h e s e r e l a -  t i o n s are e m b e d d e d i n t h e w i d e r s o c i a l o r g a n i s a t i o n c a n b e u s e d t o d i s c l o s e o t h e r a s p e c t s o f  24  other family relations.* female  The  themes  o f silence, self-denial, management  i n f e r i o r i t y / s u b o r d i n a t i o n that emerge  construction  of  womanhood  that  in m y  is w i d e s p r e a d .  account How  o f the b o d y  are generalizable  these themes  and  to a social  are c o n c r e t e l y  ex-  p e r i e n c e d b y o t h e r w o m e n i n o t h e r f a m i l i e s is a m a t t e r f o r e m p i r i c a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n a n d g o e s b e y o n d the s c o p e o f this w o r k .  F a m i l i e s are places w h e r e s o c i a l m e a n i n g s a n d s o c i a l o r g a n i -  s a t i o n are i n t e r i o r i z e d , w h e r e w e t a k e i n s o c i a l r e a l i t y t h a t c o n s t r u c t s w h o w e a r e . ( F a m i l i e s are n o t  the  o n l y s u c h places.)  Different w o m e n take i n different pieces o f this reality.  a m confident further w o r k can account for such differences  I  b y using a n d elaborating u p o n  the f r a m e w o r k a n d m e t h o d I begin here.  The  feature  framing o f m y  o f the  account  f a m i l y relations I describe here that emerges most vividly i n the is t h e  difference  i n the locations o f m y father a n d m o t h e r .  As a  m i l i t a r y officer, m y father s t o o d inside the positions o f the ruling apparatus a n d c o u l d h i m s e l f a s s u m e t h e c o n d i t i o n s t a k e n f o r g r a n t e d i n its d o m i n a n t m o d e o f k n o w i n g .  He worked  as a n a g e n t o f c o r p o r a t e o r g a n i s a t i o n s i n t h e a b s t r a c t - c o n c e p t u a l m o d e a n d r e p r e s e n t e d t h e r u l i n g o r d e r t o m e , m y sisters, b r o t h e r a n d m o t h e r . o f r u l i n g a n d these practices.  Her dependence  organised her subordination to h i m . p e r s o n a l service t o h i m . something  M y m o t h e r s t o o d o u t s i d e o f the  places  o n m y father's i n c o m e f o r the m e a n s o f life  T h i s organisation o f relations turned her w o r k into a  T h i s is a c o n s e q u e n c e o f t h e s o c i a l o r g a n i s a t i o n o f p r o d u c t i o n ,  i n h e r e n t i n the " n a t u r e " o f h o u s e h o l d tasks. ( S m i t h 1973)  M y mother's  not  work  gave c o n c r e t e a n d p a r t i c u l a r f o r m t o m y f a t h e r ' s n e e d s , b o t h e m o t i o n a l a n d p h y s i c a l , s u c h as t o a l l o w h i m t o s t a y a b s o r b e d i n t h e a b s t r a c t m o d e o f r u l i n g . were part o f what he c o u l d take for granted.  H e r w o r k a n d her silence'  S h e was e x c l u d e d f r o m the a u t h o r i t y o f the  r u l i n g o r d e r e v e n as she t a u g h t m e t h e p r a c t i c e s o f w o m a n h o o d n e e d e d t o u p h o l d i t . stood  as a n e x a m p l e  to  me  o f the  w o m a n h o o d : use y o u r p o w e r against  She  central c o n t r a d i c t i o n o f the prevailing c o n s t r u c t i o n o f yourself.  * F o r a n i n s t a n c e o f t h i s see Z i e g l e r ( 1 9 7 8 ) o n h e r f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s w i t h a m i d d l e class f a t h e r , w o r k i n g class m o t h e r a n d o l d e r b r o t h e r s o n a n O n t a r i o f a r m .  Changing  I s t a r t o u t as a p l a t e o f n o o d l e s smooth with butter and  cheese.  F r o m t h e f o r k I see m y s e l f moving toward m y  mouth.  I begin laughing, gasping, trying to stop me f r o m choking o n  myself.  L a t e r I f l a s h b a c k as r a z o r b l a d e s dreaming I a m stuck in m y  throat.  M y k e e n edges m e n a c e m y soft tissues f r o m i n s i d e . I have n o t y e t d r a w n b l o o d . I will be all right i f I can just keep f r o m swallowing  myself.  I rescue m y s e l f b y b e c o m i n g a c o u g h d i s l o d g i n g m y s e l f i n piece after sharp piece. I p u t m y s e l f b a c k o n the plate disarming me o f m y  fragments.  N o w I b r e a t h e as a s t r e a m (dissolving m y s e l f f r o m a s w o r d to a neck unsevered. I converse m y o p e n e d passageways connecting m y s e l f b o d y to head.  A t last I c o m e  together  reclaiming m y s e l f f r o m hunger denied I speak m y  name.  I a m desire. I a m no longer a guillotine hiding i n a plate o f noodles.  26  Reconstructing means exposing the foundations a n d rebuilding f r o m the g r o u n d u p . F o r m e this involves revealing the r o o t s o f m y practice i n past social relations. T h i s j o u r n e y d i s c l o s e s t h e l a n d s c a p e o f s e x a n d class r e l a t i o n s f r o m m y l o c a t i o n i n t h e m . my  self I travel, o u t w a r d tracing the socially  Starting f r o m  organised practices that construct particular  meanings o f w o m a n h o o d .  In relocating m y s e l f f r o m T h i s shift  object to subject I r e c l a i m m y p o w e r t o k n o w f o r myself.  i n centre transforms the imagery o f the universe I inhabit.  A s a child I imaged  t h e r u l i n g o r d e r w i t h m y f a t h e r f i x e d at t h e c e n t r e as t h e s u n . F r o m t h a t i m m o b i l e p l a c e outside  m y s e l f I c h a r t e d m y m o t i o n s a n d t h o s e o f m y m o t h e r a n d sisters  a n d planets.  R e c l a i m i n g m y s e l f as c e n t r e , s o u r c e  as e a r t h , m o o n  o f i l l u m i n a t i o n , does n o t depose  male  a u t h o r i t y b y p o s i n g m y s e l f as t h e s u n o r m y f a t h e r ' s s o n . , I r e m a i n t h e e a r t h , g r o u n d e d i n myself,  n o t claiming that the heavens revolve  redraws the universe.  That  I begin f r o m m y centre  It e n t e r s m e i n t o a f i e l d o f r e l a t i o n s w i t h o t h e r m o v i n g b o d i e s , e a c h a  possible beginning point. positions a n d motions.  around me.  O u r c o u r s e s are i n t e l l i g i b l e t o e a c h o t h e r b y t h e differences i n o u r  T h e l o c a t i o n o f t h e m o v i n g o b s e r v e r is e s s e n t i a l t o a c c o u n t f o r t h e  m o v i n g pattern o f the heavens f r o m her or his place.  We b e c o m e t h e n , m a n y centres, all  m o v i n g , all i n relation to each other, m a n y worlds c o m p o s i n g the dance o f o n e universe.* F o r y o u , these centres l o c a t e d outside o f a n d i n r e l a t i o n t o me, I a i m this e x p l i c a t i o n . is t h e v i e w f r o m m y e a r t h .  H e r e is t h e l i g h t I c a n r e f l e c t .  Here  H e r e i n I m a k e m y s e l f visible to  you.  * D o r o t h y S m i t h ' s ( 1 9 7 7 a ) a n d A n n K e n t R u s h ' s ( 1 9 7 6 ) uses o f c o s m o l o g i c a l m e t a p h o r s h a v e enriched m y o w n .  27  CHAPTER  II  A M E T H O D O F WRITING F R O M WOMEN'S  . . .  as w o m e n , w e  thoritative place  place  a n d focus  are n o t  from o f the  PERSPECTIVE  t a u g h t t o see o u r l i v e s , o u r w o r k , o u r f e e l i n g s as t h e a u -  which to  begin.  discussion, we  In m a k i n g our o w n  experience  the w o r l d . T h i s c a n n o t be d o n e w i t h o u t difficulty. ( J a c o b s o n 1977:  T h i s e s s a y is a n e x p l i c a t i o n o f m y Family account.  Relations  Construct  the  starting  are c r e a t i n g a n e w a p p r o a c h t o u n d e r s t a n d i n g 11)  m e t h o d o f w o r k in writing ' A n A c c o u n t o f H o w  a W o m a n , ' given  i n C h a p t e r III.  I a m accounting for  C h a p t e r III o u t l i n e s p r a c t i c e s b y w h i c h I c a m e t o k n o w m y s e l f as a w o m a n .  that I n it  I d r a w o u t h o w I l e a r n e d i n r e l a t i o n to m y parents a n d siblings to d e n y the a u t h o r i t y o f m y o w n e x p e r i e n c e , t o k n o w m y s e l f as i n f e r i o r b e c a u s e f e m a l e , t o h i d e a n d d e s p i s e m y w o m a n l y b o d y a n d to cut o f f m y physical g r o u n d i n g f r o m m y articulate knowledge.  I n C h a p t e r III  I locate these f a m i l y relations i n the b r o a d e r social organisation a n d m a k e clear h o w these ways o f k n o w i n g m y s e l f were i n the ruling m o d e .  N o w I aim to e x p a n d o n h o w I came to  28  r e c o n s t r u c t this past. a  woman.  In  accounting  undoing of them. a n d different of work.  T h e w r i t i n g o f t h e a c c o u n t u n f o l d s f r o m a r e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f m y s e l f as earlier practices  knowing  I  accomplish  an  This new mode  H e r e i n I trace practices that a c c o m p l i s h authorising a n d v o i c i n g m y o w n  body,  and  that  Sense  female  reconnecting  subordination, reowning  a n d m a k i n g visible m y  physical g r o u n d i n g a n d articulate  womanly  A l l these  p r o d u c t i o n o f t h e a c c o u n t w h i c h serves as t h e r e f e r e n c e  over time.  E a c h n e x t t h i n g c a n c h a n g e t h e sense o f t h e t h i n g  o f o u r selves c h a n g e t h r o u g h t i m e , n o t m e r e l y b y e x p a n d i n g .  t h e p r e s e n t is b u i l t o n p u t t i n g t o g e t h e r  are  point  over time  as w e  before.  T h e sense  of  t h e p a s t i n t o h o w it l e d t o h e r e , h o w it t u r n e d i n t o  S e n s e is m a d e o f e x p e r i e n c e b y a c c o u n t i n g f o r i t . shifts  knowledge.  exper-  follows.  unfolds  accounts  my  underlie the  o f the w o r k that  pened"  myself  m e t h o d o f k n o w i n g m y s e l f is a n a l t e r n a t i v e t o t h e a b s t r a c t - c o n c e p t u a l  diminishing m y  now.  of  I develop procedures w h i c h replace m y older ideological ones.  ience,  Our  my  T h e m e t h o d o f writing f r o m w o m e n ' s perspective reconstructs m e f r o m an object  to a subject.  practices  for  produce revised accounts.  O u r sense o f " w h a t a c t u a l l y h a p T h i s is n o t  falsifying the  past.  It is s e e i n g i t , m a k i n g sense o f i t . M y b i o g r a p h i c a l f a c t s a r e n o t c o n s t r u c t e d o n c e a n d f o r a l l , they  are i n t h e  (Smith  process  o f unfolding.  Sense d o e s n ' t stand still, I a m ever c o n s t r u c t i n g it.  1976)  Part o f the  sense  is u s e d i n p a r t as a w a y  o f a n a c c o u n t is i n h o w it is u s e d .  M y account o f family  o f settling a c c o u n t s w i t h m y father u p o n his d y i n g .  relations  M y production  o f t h i s a c c o u n t is o n e m e a n s o f m y b e i n g v i s i b l e w i t h o u t s t a n d i n g i n h i s a u r a .  Facts  don't  relevant facts.  speak  for themselves.  T h e y are p r o d u c e d a n d s e l e c t e d as s i g n i f i c a n t  I a c c o u n t for m y m e t h o d s o f p r o d u c i n g a n d selecting facts i n this  and  chapter.  I d r a w t h e f a c t s o f m y l i f e h i s t o r y f r o m t h e d o c u m e n t o f m y j o u r n a l . I u s e d as s o u r c e s f o r m y journal writing m y a n d passing thoughts  everyday  o f all kinds.  experiences,  memories, dreams, therapy,  account.  tasks  I explicate m y m e t h o d s o f p r o d u c i n g these i n t o a j o u r n a l  a n d f r o m a j o u r n a l i n t o an a c c o u n t i n this chapter. p r o d u c t i o n o f the  domestic  I provide the social organisation o f the  29 I began work towards the account after a crisis in my life that ruptured my older method of intellectual production.  I had been a graduate student at one institution and  teacher in another. I was overworked and in chronic poor health. I fell behind in my work and felt increasingly stagnated and incompetent. My struggle to lead the life of the mind was severely undercut when I accidentally became pregnant.  While I was waiting for an  abortion I learned that my father was terminally ill with cancer. Then I parted ways with my lover, who left town.  I took these eruptive bodily experiences to be tragic and  irrational. The powerful emotions that came with them immobilized me in my intellectual work.  I could not make them make sense and I was drained of energy for making sense of  other subjects. Yet I refused to give up my commitment to doing mental production. The very themes of women's studies — female experiences with reproduction, fathers and lovers — were rendering me incapable of effective performance as a student and teacher of women's studies.  This contradiction demanded a new resolution.  Since my old ways of compre-  hending the experience of womanhood were inadequate I had to find new ones.  I stopped teaching and decided to focus only on writing and my graduate work.  I  arranged to have the four months of the summer to complete my unfinished course work. I recovered physically from my abortion then went east to visit my father for what I knew might be the last time.  When I returned I attended to the physical conditions that would organise and allow a new integration of work.  I decided to work at home where I had a separate room for  sewing and study. While I was commuting between two distant campuses I used my study/ workroom mainly as a dumping ground for books, papers, fabrics and tools. As a prelude to writing steadily, I spent a week or two bringing order to this space for the first time in a year.  I made a place in my home life for my work.  I no longer read and wrote in my  bedroom, kitchen and living room, or else in a distant office. I worked in my study.  That my study was also a sewing room helped me see my writing as a work of production. I came to understand the similarity between constructing garments and constructing a paper. This analogy grew very practically out of my activity doing both. I went from piecing together a patchwork to piecing together my past and then back again. I began to see my day to day writing as similar to accumulating beautiful pieces of fabric and lace. Both kinds of bits could be worked up into visually coherent forms.  Reducing the distance between mental work and domestic work was an effect of my  30  w o r k i n g at h o m e i n o t h e r w a y s as w e l l .  I l i v e d i n a n a p a r t m e n t i n a large o l d h o u s e i n a n  i m m i g r a n t a n d w o r k i n g class n e i g h b o u r h o o d . c o m m e r c i a l street.  M o s t o f m y activity  T h i s house  was  located  half a block off a  was c e n t r e d i n this n e i g h b o u r h o o d w h i c h  extended  a b o u t t e n b l o c k s b o t h n o r t h a n d s o u t h , f o u r b l o c k s east a n d w e s t f r o m m y h o u s e . did  my  shopping,  nearby  mailing, l a u n d r y a n d eating  out.  At  the  community  one  The  o f all these facilities a l l o w e d a d a i l y integration o f m y w r i t i n g , r e c r e a t i o n  and maintenance  work.  W o r k i n g at h o m e m e a n t i n t e l l e c t u a l w o r k a n d h o u s e w o r k  another without  abrupt breaks i n time a n d space.  flowed  I wrote each day i n spurts.  filled the breaks w i t h a dash to the corner market, a short walk, an h o u r s w i m , or b y a meal or straightening m y apartment. times  centre  I s w a m , saunaed, r e a d newspapers, used the library a n d b u m p e d i n t o friends.  close p r o x i m i t y  into  banking,  Here I  alone, writing, without  I d i d the task that d e m a n d e d m y interest  S o m e t i m e s I d e c i d e d o n a clear T u e s d a y  visiting a friend or l y i n g i n the sun.  making  I d i d n o t a t t e m p t to f o l l o w a schedule w i t h regular  for housework, for writing, for play.  a t t e n t i o n at t h e t i m e .  I  to spend m u c h o f the  and day  I l e a r n e d t o s p e n d a F r i d a y o r S a t u r d a y n i g h t at h o m e  a n y sense o f b e i n g l e f t o u t o f w e e k e n d r e v e l r y .  Being quite  flexible  a n d i n c o n t r o l o f m y o w n schedule i n this w a y m e a n t I was never w h o l l y o f f w o r k .  Since I  w a s u s i n g m y d r e a m s as r a w m a t e r i a l f o r w r i t i n g , I o f t e n w o r k e d e v e n i n m y s l e e p . v  w o r k was n o t o n e r o u s , alienated l a b o u r .  It w a s c l e a r l y f o r m y s e l f .  B u t this  I liked working hard in  this w a y because I saw the fruits o f m y labours i n positive changes i n m y life.  The  boun-  daries b e t w e e n h e a d w o r k a n d e m b o d i m e n t w o r k f a d e d also because I w r o t e a b o u t all m y tasks. My  I r e c o r d e d w h a t I c o o k e d a n d b o u g h t , w h a t I o b s e r v e d at p a r t i e s a n d i n t h e  everyday  existence entered  the realm o f mental p r o d u c t i o n b y  sauna.  being articulated and  w o r k e d over.  O t h e r material conditions crucial to m y w o r k were that I lived alone a n d h a d a small b u t livable i n c o m e w i t h o u t being e m p l o y e d .  V i r g i n i a W o o l f s a i d , '. . . a w o m a n m u s t h a v e  m o n e y a n d a r o o m o f h e r o w n i f s h e is t o w r i t e f i c t i o n . . .' ( W o o l f 1 9 7 3 : gave m e space.  the possibility o f writing seriously.  6)  My  I was very largely i n c o n t r o l o f m y  I c o u l d arrange q u i e t , u n i n t e r r u p t e d time f o r writing.  equivalent time  I was n o t o b l i g e d t o organise  m y w o r k a r o u n d the needs o f bosses, h u s b a n d s , c h i l d r e n o r housemates.  I appreciated  rareness o f these c o n d i t i o n s i n m y  all w o m e n .  fueled  my  When  energy  own  and  life a n d i n the lives o f a l m o s t  the This  for discovering a m e t h o d o f w o r k uniquely allowed b y such conditions.  I w e n t east t o v i s i t m y  father  f o r w h a t I k n e w m i g h t b e t h e last t i m e I  took  w i t h me two volumes w h i c h particularly stimulated me in beginning to write i n a new  way,  31 The Golden former  Notebook  spoke  b y D o r i s L e s s i n g a n d Writing Without  strongly  to h o w m y fragmented  life k e p t  Teachers b y P e t e r E l b o w . T h e  m e blocked i n m y writing. T h e  latter offered specific procedures f o r b e c o m i n g u n b l o c k e d .  I resumed m y journal writing.  This time I make problematic m yrupture between embodiment and academics, between m y e x p e r i e n c e s as a w o m a n a n d s o c i o l o g y . I a m t e m p t e d a w a y f r o m w r i t i n g i n t o r e a d i n g a n o v e l about the writer w h o can't write. T h e c h a r a c t e r i s n ' t t h e a u t h o r b e c a u s e s h e is w r i t i n g t h e n o v e l b u t i t a l s o o b v i o u s l y is her.  Maybe  I c o u l d write a n academic paper f o r w o m e n ' s studies a b o u t h o w I can't  write academic  papers a n y m o r e  after  doing women's  studies.  (All quotations  which  f o l l o w a n d are u n r e f e r e n c e d are f r o m m y j o u r n a l . ) W a n t i n g t o w r i t e s o c i o l o g y f r o m w o m e n ' s p e r s p e c t i v e m e a n t I w a n t e d m y o w n c o n c e r n s as a w o m a n t o m o t i v a t e m y w r i t i n g . I was n o t able t o p r o d u c e a piece o f m y o w n w o r k s i m p l y f r o m notes o n what others h a d said. Separating m y notes o n lectures a n d readings f r o m m y p e r s o n a l j o u r n a l was a practice that e n f o r c e d t h e s c h i s m .  After witnessing Lessing's A n n a  struggle w i t h f o u r separate n o t e b o o k s , I b e g a n t o c o n s i d e r a l l o w i n g a l l m y d i f f e r e n t k i n d s o f thinking a n d writing t o go together i n one j o u r n a l . I debated w i t h myself: I hefted  t h e weight o f m y p e r s o n a l j o u r n a l a n d p o e t r y drafts.  n e a r as m u c h f o r m y a c a d e m i c w o r k . I like talking a n d reading better.  If only I had written  W h y n o t m a k e notes o n all m y thoughts?  Because  B u t I c o u l d l e a r n t o change a n d after a l l , I ' m n o t v e r y  p l e a s e d w i t h h o w t h i n g s are g o i n g . I b e g a n t o r e a l i z e t h a t i d e a s , my i d e a s , c a m e n o t o n l y f r o m b o o k s a n d l e c t u r e s b u t a l s o f r o m the so-called trivia o f m y everyday  life.  I stopped disconnecting m y intimate thoughts  f r o m m y notes o nreadings, intellectual  w o r k , l e t t e r s , s h o p p i n g lists a n d p o e t r y d r a f t s b y w r i t i n g t h e m a l l i n o n e j o u r n a l . I s t a r t e d writing every  d a y . I wrote  what  was going o n i n m y life, what actually h a p p e n e d i n m y  h e a d , m y b o d y , m y actions, m y feelings, m y observations, m y d r e a m s , m y fantasies. c o n s t i t u t e d m y o w n e x p e r i e n c e s as m a t e r i a l t o b e w o r k e d u p i n t o k n o w l e d g e .  This  This proce-  dure o f giving expression t o m y daily concerns transformed the explicit a i m o f m y sociological w o r k : I w a n t t o m a k e a w o r k o f m y l i f e . M a k e sense o f m y l i f e . B e sensitive.  A sensate b e i n g .  Feel.  Live sensibly.  D o . Sense a n d m a k e sense.  Sense things.  I want m y writing  t o m a k e sense o f m e a n d t o m e . I began the simple a n d d r a m a t i c step o f b u i l d i n g a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the w o r l d b y starting with myself.  Since t h e forms o f expression a n d images became  h o w to find n e w forms and where  available  to look.  h a d c o m e f r o m outside t h e task  T h e answer was t o begin right here,  32  f r o m m y centre (in practice).  J o u r n a l w r i t i n g m a k e s this n e w b e g i n n i n g .  Writing o f every-  d a y w o r k , events, feelings, passing ideas, p r a c t i c a l p r o b l e m s m e a n t f o r m i n g expressions for my  experience.  translation. 1974, Nin  T h e journal/diary form  Chicago  1975,  D a i l y w r i t i n g o f " t r i v i a l " " d o m e s t i c " " i n t i m a t e " concerns began the  1975,  Lessing  Stevens 1970)  1962,  new  h a s b e e n t h e basis f o r m a n y w o m e n ' s w r i t i n g . ( B r a i d Moffat  and Painter  1975,  Rich  1976,  Rush  1976,  J o u r n a l w r i t i n g gives e x p r e s s i o n t o p r e c i s e l y w h a t is e x c l u d e d  f r o m , taken for granted a n d r e n d e r e d invisible i n the ruling m o d e — concrete a n d particular embodiment.  I n a d d i t i o n t h e j o u r n a l f o r m is o r d i n a r i l y a p r i v a t e o n e — n o t e s t o m y s e l f . space  for w o m e n  to be for ourselves, n o t  for m e n , not  for others w h o  T h i s is a  see us f r o m  the  outside.  It is b y d e f i n i t i o n a n i n s i d e r ' s v i e w , a f o r m t h a t r e q u i r e s t h e v i s i b l e p r e s e n c e o f t h e  subject.  If the  reader,  s u b j e c t ' s l o c a t i o n is e r a s e d t h e  o r g a n i s a t i o n o f t h e m a t e r i a l is l o s t t o  S i n c e t h e o r g a n i s a t i o n is t h e o r g a n i s a t i o n o f h e r l i f e — h e r m o v i n g c e n t r e .  m e n ' s hands, t h e n , j o u r n a l writing can be a t o o l for reclaiming o u r annihilated M y journal writing became a way  the  In w o -  subjectivity.  f o r m e t o see m y s e l f as I h a d n o t b e e n c a p a b l e o f b e f o r e .  W i t h it I r e f l e c t e d u p o n m y s o c i a l a c t i v i t y .  I did not k n o w Account  of  at t h i s p o i n t t h a t b y s t a r t i n g w i t h m y s e l f I w o u l d l a n d u p w i t h  H o w F a m i l y Relations Construct a W o m a n . '  In retrospect  'An  I c a n see t h a t  I  h e a d e d out i n this d i r e c t i o n . What  I seek  is h o w  my  w r i t i n g w o r k c a n serve t h e p e o p l e , serve w o m e n , s e r v e u s i n  s e e k i n g c h a n g e , i n u n c o v e r i n g t h e o r g a n i s a t i o n t h a t d e t e r m i n e s o u r lives so t h a t w e c a n c o n t r o l it, i n s h o w i n g h o w  the  seeds o f the  W h a t are these seeds i n m y life n o w ? believing that to m y  what  I have  say  determined.  down.  How  H o w they  change. of my  o w n life a n d m y  interest  in how  family  relations  singularly inarticulate.  the  D u r i n g the b u l k o f the s u m m e r I c o u l d not envision the nature  o f m y e n d p r o d u c t at a l l w e l l .  W h e n friends a s k e d w h a t m y w o r k was a b o u t I was r e n d e r e d  I k n e w I w a s d o i n g it b u t I c o u l d n o t s p e c i f y w h a t ' i t ' w a s .  I h a d d o n e s o c i o l o g i c a l w r i t i n g as a p a r t i c i p a n t o b s e r v e r b e f o r e . group's  situate  H o w t h e y are  were b o t h present i n this w r i t i n g , b u t t h e y were m e r e l y j u x t a p o s e d ,  c o n n e c t i o n s were n o t clear.  small  voice;  attention  k i n a n d family relations  H o w they w o r k to determine other possibilities.  c o n c e r n w i t h m a k i n g sense  construct w o m e n  w o r l d lie i n the w o m b o f the o l d .  is v a l u a b l e , i n s i g h t f u l , i m p o r t a n t ; p a y i n g  passing thoughts; w r i t i n g t h e m  w o m e n i n the w o r l d .  My  to  new  L e a r n i n g to write m y words; finding m y  structuring o f  time o n a two-week  I had written about a  camping trip, analysed  teacher-student  33  i n t e r a c t i o n at a H e a d s t a r t p r o g r a m , a n d e x a m i n e d students  at a n e l i t e p r i v a t e  social situation described.  college.  E a c h time  career conflicts e x p e r i e n c e d b y  I h a d l o c a t e d m y s e l f as a m e m b e r o f t h e  A s a teacher o f w o m e n ' s studies I h a d encouraged m y  to write about the everyday  female  students  lives o f w o m e n — t h e i r g r a n d m o t h e r s , m o t h e r s , t h e m s e l v e s —  a n d I h a d exerted m y s e l f to aid t h e m i n developing analytical tools appropriate to this i n quiry.  I knew  academic  being one's  standpoint  and  ' o w n best i n f o r m a n t ' ( M i c h a l k o 1 9 7 7 :  yet,  engaging  m y s e l f was e n o r m o u s l y difficult. m y s e l f as r e a l w o r k .  directly  to be a  legitimate  i n a m e t h o d o f w o r k that started  k n o w s the everyday  activities  of  T h e domestic l a b o u r a n d e m o t i o n a l support w o r k that all w o m e n  d o is d i s c o u n t e d as w o r k b e c a u s e i t is n o t w a g e l a b o u r , n o t d i r e c t l y o r g a n i s e d b y The  with  I struggled c o n t i n u o u s l y to orient m y s e l f to w r i t i n g a b o u t  T h e ruling ideology o f our society  w o m e n as ' n o t r e a l w o r k . '  16)  paid labour o f w o m e n  capital.  is o r g a n i s e d i n t o g h e t t o s o f s e r v i c e , s u p p o r t a n d m a i n t e n a n c e  w o r k t h a t a l l o w i t t o b e i n v i s i b l e a n d t o b e k n o w n as u n s k i l l e d a n d u n i m p o r t a n t . O u r w o r k giving concrete  embodiment  confronted  o w n p r a c t i c e o f the r u l i n g m o d e against m y s e l f r e p e a t e d l y  my  the validity o f m y w o r k .  is t r e a t e d b y t h e h e a d w o r l d as n o t w o r t h t h i n k i n g a b o u t .  I  as I q u e s t i o n e d  T h i s struggle a p p e a r e d t o m e m o s t v i v i d l y i n a d r e a m : *  I n a l a u n d r o m a t , I o v e r h e a r t w o w o r k i n g class w o m e n c o m p l a i n i n g a b o u t e a r n i n g so little — o n l y sixteen dollars m o r e t h a n t h e y w o u l d receive o n welfare while raising their c h i l d r e n . T h e y are n o t o n l y u n d e r p a i d b u t h a v e t o s p e n d t h e i r d a y s o f f w a s h i n g c l o t h e s . I am doing laundry too. to figure  out why.  One  of my  m a c h i n e s is n o t w o r k i n g .  G e n e r a l E i s e n h o w e r is p r e s e n t .  m e n ' s w o r k a n d o r d e r s t h e b r o k e n m a c h i n e t o start u p . In this d r e a m I identify  myself with working mothers.  washing clothes, a f o r m o f housework. unpaid.  B u t i n the  I try  unsuccessfully  H e is c o n t e m p t u o u s o f o u r w o It r e m a i n s s t o p p e d .  I p o r t r a y m y w o r k o f w r i t i n g as  I k n o w this t o be socially necessary l a b o u r t h o u g h  f o r m o f G e n e r a l E i s e n h o w e r * * , the e m b o d i m e n t o f m a l e a u t h o r i t y , I  rule over m y s e l f d o i n g w o m e n ' s  work.  I am contemptuous  o f writing about  my  family  relations, w h i c h amounts to washing m y dirty clothes in a public l a u n d r o m a t . T h e contrad i c t i o n was that I r e q u i r e d clean clothes, a n d a n e w a c c o u n t o f m y s e l f .  M y journal records  the message o f the d r e a m i n these w o r d s : I c a n ' t o r d e r m y s e l f a r o u n d l i k e a g e n e r a l a n d r e f u s e t o see m y w o m e n ' s w o r k as w o r k or I stop m y s e l f f r o m writing.  * F o r a d e t a i l e d e x p l i c a t i o n o f m y m e t h o d o f d r e a m t r a n s l a t i o n , see p p .  40-43  * * T h e f i g u r e o f E i s e n h o w e r r e p r e s e n t e d r u l i n g class m a l e a u t h o r i t y , t h r o u g h m y f a t h e r t o m e i n this w a y : A s a m i l i t a r y m a n a n d a R e p u b l i c a n m y father r e s p e c t e d E i s e n h o w e r e n o r m o u s l y D u r i n g the 50's he v i s i t e d m y father's air base. for the President's quarters. a n d the General's thanks.  A s h o u s i n g officer m y father h e l p e d arrange  F o r this w o r k h e r e c e i v e d a silver d o l l a r e m b o s s e d w i t h his n a m e  M y father treasured this greatly.  34  My  guideline for j o u r n a l w r i t i n g a m o u n t e d to 'rule n o t h i n g o u t . ' (Persky  I e x p e r i m e n t e d w i t h this tentatively gests  that  the writer needs  as a m e a n s t o s t o p t h e b o x i n g o f m y l i f e .  to learn to produce words  'freewriting' i n w h i c h one writes w i t h o u t 1975)  1977:  prolifically.  a break whatever  Whatever can be thought can be written.  158)  E l b o w sug-  His means  t o t h i s is  words c o m e to m i n d .  (Elbow  I b e g a n t o d o ' f r e e w r i t i n g ' as a n e x e r c i s e .  A n d I d i d c o m e to w r i t e p r o l i f i c a l l y — over 8 0 0 pages i n f o u r m o n t h s .  I regularly practiced  w r i t i n g w h a t e v e r was o n m y m i n d a n d especially d i d so w h e n e v e r I was s t u c k f o r s o m e t h i n g to write.  H e r e is t h e o p e n i n g o f m y f i r s t f r e e w r i t i n g e x e r c i s e .  I c a n ' t f i g u r e o u t t h e m a r g i n r e l e a s e a n d t h i s t y p e w r i t e r s k i p s a n d m y f i n g e r s are  too  weak  the  to  type and m y  back  hurts because  I can't  get  close e n o u g h  to  the table  t y p e w r i t e r is o n b u t at least I a m w r i t i n g f o r t h e first t i m e s i n c e I g o t h o m e a n d I ' l l get b e t t e r at t y p i n g i f I p r a c t i c e a l o t . This  method  mistakes,  of  writing without  misspellings  or  stopping  or  censoring meant  h a l f - f o r m e d sentences.  My  not  crossing  p r o c e d u r e was  out  n o t t o go  words,  back  but  s i m p l y to go o n . N o t e l i m i n a t i n g "false starts" i n this w a y m a d e visible the entire process o f articulation. My  I c o u l d see h o w I r e p e a t e d a t t e m p t s t o b e c o m e c l e a r , t o f o r m c l e a r  statements.  e f f o r t s w e r e o n t h e p a p e r as e v i d e n c e o f h o w I o r d i n a r i l y w o r k e d u p m y t h o u g h t s i n t o  increasing coherence.  M a n y o f the j o u r n a l quotes  I p r e s e n t i n this p a p e r are  repetitive.  T h e y s h o w that I w r o t e w o r d s a n d c o n c e p t s over several times i n slightly variant f o r m s explore  their meanings  a n d modifications, to grow familiar w i t h t h e m , to gradually  to  shape  u p m y ideas. I need to p r o d u c e a text. on  paper, to w o r k  I n e e d to learn h o w b y d o i n g it, t o w o r k over ideas, w o r d s  t h e m over visually n o t just  mentally.  Yes,  t h i s is r i g h t — w r i t e .  I d o n ' t have to keep m y s e l f f r o m d o i n g it, to c o n v i n c e m y s e l f I d o n ' t k n o w h o w b y n o t d o i n g it.  I want  to  act, to practice intellectual practice.  It t a k e s p r a c t i c e t o  write.  W r i t i n g is a p r a c t i c e . *  At  the  same  t i m e as f r e e w r i t i n g m a d e v i s i b l e t o m e m y p r a c t i c e at a r t i c u l a t i n g , it a l -  l o w e d m e t o u n c o v e r the o r g a n i s a t i o n o f m y t h o u g h t s a n d feelings.  G i v i n g u p the practice  o f c o n s c i o u s l y p r e - o r d e r i n g m y w o r d s m a d e m e e x p e c t c h a o t i c results. i s a t i o n o f t h i s w r i t i n g w a s n o t e v i d e n t t o m e as I first p r o d u c e d i t .  Certainly the organ-  H o w e v e r , to m y surprise,  u p o n rereading I always f o u n d some k i n d o f order, a thread that w o v e t h r o u g h changes o f  * T h a t I needed to develop m y m a n u a l skill i n t y p i n g through practice aided m e i n learning I c o u l d i m p r o v e m y i n t e l l e c t u a l s k i l l s b y p r a c t i c i n g at t h e m .  35  topic, a circling b a c k to a theme  o f sorts.  A b o u t two  m o n t h s i n t o this w o r k I f o u n d  the  sense o f t h i s p h e n o m e n o n . T h e connections o f the w o r l d d o n ' t have to be m a d e artificially b y m e . beings A R E A L R E A D Y  CONNECTED.  their connections, their relations.  T h i n g s , events  I need to explore, uncover, explicate, u n f o l d  I need to A L L O W M Y S E L F  TO SEE T H E  REAL,  A L R E A D Y EXISTING CONNECTIONS. ( T h e p o e m " C h a n g i n g " , p . 2 5 , e m b o d i e s this realisation.) my  pain with m y  events. The  lover, m y  father's  d y i n g , m y interest i n k i n s h i p were n o t  T h e y were organised b y m y life.  organisation o f m y  consciousness  M y need to write, m y  was  M y writing was a f o r m i n g o f m y determined by  part of) the o r g a n i s a t i o n o f m y life. ( M a r x & E n g e l s 1974: ligible j u m b l e . w h i c h was  the  articulated to  It w a s  the  social order.  p e a r e d as f r a g m e n t s  disconnected consciousness.  (as w e l l as b e i n g a 47)  constituent  M y life was n o t a n u n i n t e l -  organised a n d organised w i t h i n a social organisation.  translation into the forms o f thought  pregnancy,  My  writing,  o f m y life, was likewise o r d e r e d a n d  H o w the v a r i o u s pieces o f m y life that h a d p r e v i o u s l y  w o u l d come together i n an account o f constructing w o m a n h o o d ,  apwas  that t h e y were a c t u a l l y c o n n e c t e d i n the m a t e r i a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s o f m y life a n d t h a t I f o u n d a means  to  give t h e m  conscious  expression.  This means  was  to lay  them  out on  paper.  L a n g u a g e is p r a c t i c a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s .  T h e "facts" o f m y journal do not decay  over time, laying t h e m o u t o n paper meant I  c o u l d go b a c k a n d k e e p reseeing t h e m u n t i l t h e y c a m e together sensibly t h r o u g h m y p r o d u c tion o f an interpretation o f them. as f a c t s i n m y j o u r n a l p r o c e s s .  T h i s d e v e l o p i n g i n t e r p r e t a t i o n also b e c a m e  documented  C a r r ( 1 9 6 1 ) refers to this d y n a m i c i n w r i t i n g h i s t o r y :  . . . the m o r e I write, the m o r e I k n o w w h a t I a m l o o k i n g for, the better I u n d e r s t a n d the significance a n d relevance o f what I find. (Carr 1961:  28)  T h e f a c t s o f m y l i f e h i s t o r y g i v e n i n t h e a c c o u n t are w o r k e d u p o n t h e b a s i s o f m y j o u r n a l d o c u m e n t a t i o n a n d " N o d o c u m e n t c a n tell us m o r e t h a n w h a t the a u t h o r o f the thought...."  (Carr 1961:  16)  I i d e n t i f i e d f e m i n i s t t h e r a p y as a s o u r c e t h a t c o u l d i n f o r m m y w r i t i n g . it p r a c t i c e d , f e m i n i s t  document  therapy  started w i t h the everyday  experience  A s I h a d seen  of women and  moved  36  t o w a r d a k n o w i n g o f h o w o u r o p p r e s s i o n is i n d i v i d u a l l y p r a c t i c e d a n d s o c i a l l y c o n s t r u c t e d . In m i d - s u m m e r I j o i n e d a w o m e n ' s e m o t i o n a l self-defence g r o u p that m e t w e e k l y . I entered it w i t h a d e s i r e t o  explore  my  relationship with m y  b r o t h e r D a v i d as m y l o v e r ' s s o n . m y lover w i t h m y father. cance.  In  writing  the  father.  I had recently dreamed  my  S e v e r a l d a y s a f t e r t h e d r e a m I r e a l i s e d t h a t i n it I e q u a t e d  I w a n t e d t o u n r a v e l h o w I m a d e t h i s e q u i v a l e n c e a n d its s i g n i f i -  similarities  that  came  practices I learned in c h i l d h o o d w i t h m y  to  father  m i n d , I began  to trace h o w  i n relation to m y lover.  uncovered i n the group a n d in m y dreams to aid m e in m y j o u r n e y .  I  repeated  I used material  I also a r r a n g e d a n d l i v e d  w i t h a collage o f f a m i l y p h o t o g r a p h s o n m y b e d r o o m wall for most o f the s u m m e r .  They  a l s o s e r v e d as m a t e r i a l f o r m y l a t e r a c c o u n t o f f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s . *  T h e i n j u n c t i o n s I f o l l o w e d i n m y practice o f w o m a n h o o d t o l d m e to be this w a y a n d n o t to be that way.  T h e y i n s i s t e d t h a t as a w o m a n I was  c e r t a i n t h i n g s a n d was  These voices appeared to c o m e f r o m inside. I spoke t h e m i n m y head to myself.  not  others.  T h e gestalt  m e t h o d r e c o g n i z e s this i n t e r n a l d i a l o g u e a n d r e n d e r s it visible/speakable i n the t w o - c h a i r o r two-pillow method. sion.  T h e s e v o i c e s a n d r e s p o n s e s t o t h e m are s e p a r a t e d a n d a l l o w e d e x p r e s -  (Fagan a n d Shephard  1973)  (Perls, H e f f e r l i n e a n d G o o d m a n  In using this m e t h o d I p l a y e d all the parts. said to  me.  (Stevens  1970)  O f t e n o n e v o i c e e m e r g e d as w h a t s o m e o n e else  M y w o r k i n this s u m m e r centred a r o u n d u n f o l d i n g m y internalized dialogues  w i t h m y father. authority.  1951)  I g r a d u a l l y l e a r n e d h o w his voice r e p r e s e n t e d to m e the voice o f r u l i n g m a l e  I began  t o a r t i c u l a t e w h a t I t o o k as h i s n o n - v e r b a l m e s s a g e s a b o u t w h o I w a s .  O n e s u c h message was " y o u are just a g i r l . "  H e r e is a n i n s t a n c e o f m y w o r k i n t h e t h e r a p y g r o u p o n t h i s d i s c o v e r y .  After beating  a p i l l o w a n d y e l l i n g t o m y f a t h e r , " s e e m e , see m e , " t h e t h e r a p i s t a s k e d h o w I e x p e r i e n c e d myself.  I s a i d ; " M y r a g e is h e l p l e s s . "  S h e s u g g e s t e d , " M a y b e h e w i l l n e v e r see y o u .  * S e v e r a l o f these are d e s c r i b e d o n p . 54 a n d r e p r o d u c e d o n p . 5 5 .  If so,  37  w h a t w i l l y o u tell h i m ? " discounting me  I t h e n p r o c e e d e d t o list t o h i m all the things h e h a d m i s s e d b y  as " j u s t a g i r l " a n d r e f u s i n g t o see m y r e a l a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s i n t h e w o r l d .  T h i s was a t u r n i n g p o i n t for m e i n k n o w i n g that I n e e d n o t be invisible w i t h o u t m y light shining o n m e .  By  I d i d have a light o f m y o w n .  expressing the  dialogue  father's  I c o u l d practice self-validation.  a n d p l a y i n g it o u t I c a n r e s o l v e i t a n e w .  By  identifying  what a n d h o w m y voices came in f r o m outside, I can choose to credit or discredit certain ones.  I c a n reflect  on my  c o n s t r u c t i o n o f m y s e l f as a w o m a n  oppressive messages. ( W y c k o f f 1 9 7 7 ,  Ziegler  and work  to  reconstruct  1978)  B y giving social expression to m y voices o f ruling a n d being r u l e d over i n a group with other w o m e n had not other  we  b e e n visible to us b e f o r e .  competent  work.  c o u l d discover a n d recognize the shared patterns in o u r experience  A  successful  In this g r o u p I was p a r t i c u l a r l y affected  women  struggling  to  validate  b y seeing t e n  themselves i n terms  n u m b e r w o r k e d t h r o u g h conflicts w i t h male lovers a n d fathers.  that  of  their  This aided me in  m y g r o w i n g v i s i o n o f m y f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s as s e x u a l p o l i t i c s , as s o c i a l l y c o n s t r u c t e d r e l a t i o n s of domination.  A  piece  o f recognizing m y  o l d practice a n d grasping a n e w one came w h e n I wrote  about w o r k another w o m a n h a d d o n e in relation to her lover a n d her father. had experienced  h e r f a t h e r ' s a t t e n t i o n as s m o t h e r i n g a n d p u s h e d h i m a w a y .  far a w a y f o r t o o l o n g a n d she was h u r t b y this loss. the mattress reaching u p w i t h b o t h arms. She said, " M y  father."  w o m a n reached but "No, I won't." lover.  The  did not  therapist call.  A s a c h i l d she H e went  A t o n e p o i n t i n t h e w o r k she l a y  too on  T h e t h e r a p i s t s a i d , " W h o are y o u r e a c h i n g f o r ? "  said, " C a l l  to h i m .  C a l l h i m to c o m e b a c k . "  After another encouragement  she c r i e d o u t  The  adamantly,  She repeated this several times, t h e n m o v e d b a c k i n t o her w o r k a b o u t her  I saw her unwillingness to call o u t to h e r father b e i n g r e p e a t e d i n her c u r r e n t diffi-  c u l t y i n a s k i n g f o r m o r e closeness w i t h h e r l o v e r . T h e d a y after I w i t n e s s e d this w o r k I was t r i g g e r e d i n t o r e c o g n i z i n g its s i m i l a r i t i e s t o m y o w n p r a c t i c e .  T h e lack o f social forms for  t h e e x p r e s s i o n o f o u r e v e r y d a y e x p e r i e n c e c o m e s i n t o v i e w m o s t c l e a r l y as w e b e g i n t o u n d o it b y c r e a t i n g t h e m .  Consciousness raising, e m o t i o n a l self defence a n d other experientially  g r o u n d e d g r o u p s o f w o m e n at o n c e s h a t t e r s a n d e x p o s e s o u r i s o l a t i o n f r o m e a c h o t h e r . take a step o u t s i d e  our confines  in the  We  domestic w o r l d a n d o u r confines w i t h i n language  w h i c h excludes o u r w o m e n ' s experience b y c o m i n g together a n d revealing the truth o f our  38  lives w i t h e a c h o t h e r . blocks but come  In feminist  therapy  groups we  not only  work  through emotional  a l s o t h i n k t h r o u g h t h e s e o b s t a c l e s as s o c i a l f o r m s o f w o m e n ' s o p p r e s s i o n .  t o see  o u r changes  and David 1975,  as b o t h  D a v i d 1977,  personal a n d political advances.  R u s h 1973,  K i m b a l l 1976, William  (Freeman 1971,  We  Smith  1976)  W h e n m y father t u r n e d his love a n d a t t e n t i o n to m y b r o t h e r I w o u l d n o t say,  "come  b a c k , I ' m h u r t i n g f r o m y o u r d i s t a n c e . " I h i d m y p a i n i n a n a t t e m p t t o b e less v u l n e r a b l e . s u d d e n l y u n d e r s t o o d the practices that p r o d u c e d s u c h defensive anger o n m y part. f r o z e n to m y father's attempts betrayal and abandonment.  I  I stayed  t o give m e a f f e c t i o n e v e r a g a i n as p r o t e c t i o n a g a i n s t f u r t h e r  A n d I saw h o w  I was p r a c t i c i n g this p a t t e r n w i t h m y  lover.  W h e n he t o l d m e he was leaving t o w n I believed he was p u n i s h i n g m e for b e c o m i n g pregnant as I b e l i e v e d m y f a t h e r s t o p p e d l o v i n g m e b e c a u s e I w a s e n t e r i n g p u b e r t y . i n t o anger a n d p u s h e d m y lover farther a w a y . m y s e l f further pain. the  woman's  " D o n ' t c o m e b a c k , " I said. I w a n t e d to spare  B u t that was n o t the result o f this p r a c t i c e .  therapy  work.  I turned m y pain  I k n e w this i n witnessing  R e f u s i n g t o express m y feelings p r o l o n g e d m y  vulnerability.  O n c e I saw h o w this w o r k e d I w a n t e d to stop doing.it.  I a d m i t t e d to m y s e l f that I w a n t e d  my  to lose  lover back  a n d faced  telling h i m .  I d i d n o t have  my  l o v e r as I h a d l o s t  my  father. I don't want loved for w h o  to be  smothered or abandoned.  I am, good  and bad, strong and weak  I ' m n o t going to be a g o o d girl for h i m a n y m o r e . this w a y  I don't  betrayal.  n o t because  I'm going to be m e .  I want to  be  I a m a g o o d girl. If he loves m e i n  I w i l l have f o u n d a t r e a s u r e , i f h e d o e s n ' t I w i l l go elsewhere b u t I d o n ' t  t o b e n o t m y s e l f o u t o f fear h e r e q u i r e s m e t o b e g o o d . be  want  I d o n ' t have to be g o o d .  want I can  myself.  B e i n g m y s e l f m e a n t b e i n g a g r o w n u p w o m a n w i t h breasts, b o d y hair a n d p e r i o d s , one became pregnant.  I was n o t an a n d r o g y n e , or " D a d d y ' s g o o d g i r l " a n y longer.  learning that this c o u l d be o k a y .  A n d I was  T h e possibility o f a new practice in relation to m y  a p p e a r e d i n a n o t h e r d r e a m w h i c h I translated i n t o this p o e m .  who  pain  39 I WANT T O BE TOUCHED  I j o i n the circle p r e p a r e d for the attack m y knife well hidden as m y  fingers.  I a m game for the play for the fight for the h u n t . W h e n t h e y are f u l l o f s p i r i t the others close o n m e a n d I flash m y m e t a l eyes I cut t h e m o f f b y threatening m y razor touch. B u t y o u challenge m y defenses b y leering b a c k y o u r o w n sharp sight. No.  I won't duel.  I will not be penetrated. Y o u test m e b y s h o o t i n g m e a n d something clicks as t h e b a l l e n t e r s m y h e a d . M y eyes dull. M y fingers b e g i n t o feel each link o f the chain binding me f r o m a n d to y o u . I t r a c e it b a c k through the hole in the wall u n t i l I r e a c h y o u r finger and find y o u are t o u c h i n g m y p a i n . N o w , I'm letting y o u h o l d me and I'm not dead I am crying.  Not  deadening m y s e l f to m y pain a l l o w e d m e n e w discoveries.  feelings r a t h e r t h a n t o n u m b m y s e l f to t h e m was v e r y scary. w i t h it t h e d a n g e r o f b e i n g v u l n e r a b l e . my  d e n i e d desires a n d m y  breaking the chains.  C h o o s i n g to feel  my  L e t t i n g others i n close brought  W h a t d r e w m e o n was the e x c i t e m e n t o f r e c l a i m i n g  c o n v i c t i o n that feeling the l i n k s o f the c h a i n was a p r e l u d e  to  40 D r e a m w o r k p r o v i d e d m e w i t h a w h o l e set o f i m a g e s , m e t a p h o r s , a n d r e f l e x i v e m e a n i n g s that  greatly  generating  affected  social  my  forms  writing. of  My  expression  dream work for  my  succeeded  in b i r t h i n g the  direct experience.  These  process  of  forms began  an  alternative to the externally i m p o s e d ones a n d c o u l d enter a m o v e m e n t o f w o m e n w o r k i n g t o speak o u r lives t o e a c h o t h e r . new  images.  forms. work  M y p o e m s i n c l u d e d i n this thesis especially e m b o d y these  A n d t h e i n c l u s i o n o f p o e m s i n a s o c i o l o g i c a l t h e s i s is a s t e p i n c r e a t i n g  I wrote  poems  as t r a n s l a t i o n s o f d r e a m s , c o m m u n i c a b l e t h o u g h  in w o r d s o n the j o u r n e y  t o w a r d a sociological language  new  still m e t a p h o r s ,  from women's  I e x p e c t e d w o r k o n m y dreams to be a source that i n f o r m e d m y writing.  perspective.  I wished not  t o e x c l u d e a n y part o f m y life f r o m m y w r i t i n g n o m a t t e r h o w s e e m i n g l y p e r s o n a l , i n d i v i dual and asocial.  A s m y w o r k p r o g r e s s e d , i n f a c t , I b e g a n t o l o o k e s p e c i a l l y t o t h o s e areas  o f m y experience w h i c h I h a d e x c l u d e d f r o m m y intellectual w o r k i n the abstract-conceptual mode. ruling vivid  I d i m l y i n t u i t e d w h a t is n o w q u i t e c l e a r — t h a t p r e c i s e l y w h a t I h a d s e v e r e d o f f i n sociological dreams  work  could  predicting m y  interpreted away  give  b i r t h to an alternative.  pregnancy  these foreshadowings.  and m y After  dismissal o f o b v i o u s l y i m p o r t a n t messages t o  father's  Before  death.  my  crisis I h a d  I h a d largely  had  ignored or  I l i v e d t h e m o u t I w a s a m a z e d at m y  easy  myself.  A s a step t o w a r d s u n d o i n g m y w i l l f u l " n o t k n o w i n g " w h a t I i n fact a l r e a d y k n e w i n a d r e a m f o r m I started keeping a d r e a m j o u r n a l . separate wrote  notebook  so t h a t  it c o u l d r e m a i n c o n v e n i e n t l y  each d r e a m i n this b o o k  the m i d d l e o f the  I k e p t this o n e aspect o f m y w r i t i n g i n a  before  d o i n g a n y t h i n g else.  a l l o w i n g m y s e l f a sense  attempt  bedside.  If I w o k e  U p o n waking from  to c o m p o s e grammatically correct sentences.  to me — often o n l y half awake. ingly insignificant details.  I wrote the dream in the  o f r e - e n t e r i n g i t a n d r e l a t i n g it as it h a p p e n e d .  I  a dream in  n i g h t I w o u l d t u r n o n m y l i g h t a n d s c r i b b l e it d o w n ( t h i s o f t e n  m e t o r e t u r n t o sleep after v i v i d o r f r i g h t e n i n g d r e a m s ) . tense  at m y  helped present  I did not  I p u t d o w n t h e w o r d s as t h e y  came  I tried not to censor or discard isolated fragments or seem-  I a t t e m p t e d to d e l a y a n y desires I h a d to i n t e r p r e t these d r e a m s  u n t i l after I h a d w r i t t e n t h e m .  I w a s o f t e n s u r p r i s e d at t h e w e a l t h o f d e t a i l t h a t e m e r g e d i n  t h i s m a n n e r o f r e c o r d i n g . H e r e is t h e t e x t o f o n e d r e a m f r o m m y j o u r n a l :  41  T h e t u g b o a t is p u l l i n g a w a y . loaded.  There  Everyone  are  many,  is h a p p y ,  social order.  It is v e r y flat b o t t o m e d .  many  positive.  people  It lies l o w i n t h e w a t e r , o v e r -  o n this boat.  T h i s is t h e b e g i n n i n g  J u s t across  B u t C a r l is v e r y , v e r y , s a d . H e h a s l o s t s o m e t h i n g .  s t a n d s o r is m o v e d b y h i s s o r r o w . w h a t he has lost.  new  N o one but me under-  T h e n the little b o y goes i n . H e has fair s k i n a n d  H e ' s r o u n d i s h . H e takes a r e d f l o a t b o a r d a n d goes after C a r l .  sobbing hysterically.  boat.  T h e r e is a w h i r l p o o l . C a r l d i v e s i n t o t r y t o r e t r i e v e  H e is u n d e r w a t e r .  hair a n d freckles.  is a n o t h e r  o f a new w a y , a n e w life, a  I'm afraid neither will c o m e back.  I begin  I d o n ' t w a n t there t o be n o  more Smiths.  T h e simple c r e a t i o n o f these texts o c c u p i e d m e for a w h i l e . my  daily experiences  attending was  to  my  a n d past were f r a g m e n t e d a n d r e a r r a n g e d i n m y d r e a m s .  dreaming acted  to  increase  s o o n generating texts prolifically.  ability  to author.  created  vivid  render this visible. generated  external  intelligible  to  translations N i n 1975,  My  Despite  forms  or  me  of  my  to  each  to m y experience.  f r o m the c o n c e p t night.  Stevens  first stage o f w o r k  w i t h years before  B u t for t h e m to b e c o m e  They  write t h e m  down  needed  the  though  working  social forms o f  (Fagan  and  to  thought  expression  i n t r i g u i n g stories t h e y  up.  I  required  Shephard  1973,  w i t h the  dream  1970)  was  to  identities  spell o u t  my  immediate  associations  M y intial response to this particular d r e a m  o f the o t h e r figures.  — a n d the b r o t h e r o f m y lover.  g o n e u n d e r to retrieve his b r o t h e r . how.  to  I  existing  o f a u t h o r i n g , w i t h n o effort  I simply needed  a n d others rather than opaque  interpretations.  out  o f t h e m greatly.  S o m y dreams were a n alternate source to the social forms o f  R u s h 1973,  puzzle  dreams and m e m o r y  how  Also, merely  T h i s procedure revealed to m e m y already  exclusion  expression  my  images that were not fully explicit i n the text. was  I was fascinated b y  C a r l S m i t h * was a m a n I'd  worked  M y i m m e d i a t e sense w a s t h a t C a r l h a d  T h e little b o y o f the d r e a m was related to t h e m  W h e n he f o l l o w e d t h e m u n d e r there were  "no more Smiths."  f o r t h e l o s s o f m y l o v e r , w h o w a s e s t r a n g e d f r o m m e at t h a t t i m e .  some-  M y s o b b i n g t h e n was  T h i s was the first m e a n -  ing I read in the dream.  I e n g a g e d i n a s e c o n d stage o f d r e a m w o r k o n c e I i n v e n t e d a n a d a p t a t i o n o f t h e p r i n c i p l e t h a t " y o u are e v e r y p a r t o f y o u r d r e a m . " ( F a g a n a n d S h e p h a r d 1 9 7 3 ,  * T h i s n a m e is f i c t i t i o u s .  Rush  Gestalt 1973,  42 Stevens 1970)  I d e v e l o p e d this f o r m o f d r e a m w o r k w e l l after I b e g a n r e c o r d i n g m y  and before I witnessed Gestalt dream w o r k in therapy groups.  dreams  I w o r k e d f r o m the text  of  m y d r e a m sentence b y sentence, this time w r i t i n g i n the p e r s o n o f each object a n d character.  I e l a b o r a t e d o n w h o o r w h a t I was a b o u t i n this shape.  i n this w a y repetitive.  dramatically uncovered new  meanings.  M a k i n g the d r e a m  self-reflexive  T h e w o r k t h a t f o l l o w s is l e n g t h y  N o n e t h e l e s s I q u o t e it i n f u l l t o i l l u s t r a t e t h e e n t i r e p r o c e s s o f w o r k o n t h e  and  above  dream. I a m a tug boat.  I a m a strong small boat with a big m o t o r .  a m pulling away.  I a m v e r y flat b o t t o m e d .  shore. myself.  I lie l o w i n m y s e l f , the water.  I a m overloaded.  I a m c a r r y i n g m y s e l f as m a n y  I a m another boat.  I a m like a ferry.  many people.  n e w life, a new social order. I a m very, very sad.  I a m n e w a n d better.  I am Carl.  lost s o m e t h i n g .  understands myself.  I have  lost myself.  I have  lost m y  brother.  under.  I go i n t o m e .  I dive into myself.  P a r t o f m e is j o y o u s a n d n e w . I follow m y sorrow under  I want  to rescue myself.  afloat.  I d o n ' t w a n t to sink w i t h m y loss.  even greater loss.  I a m under water.  T h e n I a m a little b o y .  I follow myself  I a m related to m y s e l f through m y lover.  I t a k e m y s e l f as a r e d f l o a t b o a r d a n d g o a f t e r m y s o r r o w i n g self. to  I  me  I a m fairhaired a n d s k i n n e d . I have freckles.  I'm roundish. I a m m y o w n brother or child. I want  N o one but  I a m circling water, pulling d o w n ,  I dive i n to t r y to retrieve what I have lost. I a m n o t visible to m e .  joyousness  M y l o v e r is m y b r o t h e r .  m y surface t r y i n g to b r i n g u p what I have lost, what parts o f myself. I a m b e l o w m y surface.  on  myself.  I a m h a p p y , positive.  B u t i n the m i d s t o f m y  O n l y I am moved b y m y sorrow. I am a whirlpool.  I  I a m the beginning o f a n e w w a y , a  I a m m y lover's brother.  B u t part o f m e m o u r n s the o l d . sucking under.  I a m many m a n y people I a m just across f r o m  I a m t w o boats just across f r o m each other.  I a m i n a g o o d m o o d , e x c i t e d at n e w b e g i n n i n g s .  have  I p u s h or p u l l myself.  I ferry m y s e l f to another  pull me  to the surface.  I want to help m e .  I want to keep  I begin sobbing hysterically.  I t h i n k I can't bear to lose even m o r e .  myself  I anticipate  I c r y t o see m y s e l f g o u n d e r  a n d then be driven to try hopelessly to bring m y s e l f back.  I'm afraid neither parts o f  me will come  I don't want me to go.  back.  I t h i n k I a m gone for g o o d , forever.  d o n ' t w a n t t o l o s e m e as l o v e r , b r o t h e r a n d c h i l d . Smiths.  I d o n ' t w a n t t o lose m y f a m i l y .  let loose o f m y past.  I  I d o n ' t w a n t there to be n o m o r e  I d o n ' t want to lose m y past.  I don't want  to  I a m sad a b o u t m o v i n g o n to a n e w order. I l o o k b a c k a n d u n d e r  and cry for losing myself. T h i s p r o c e d u r e t r a n s f o r m e d the relations o f the d r e a m characters to each other i n t o relations I practiced w i t h myself. own.  I a m n o longer m o v e d b y Carl's sorrow.  T h i s t e c h n i q u e p o r t r a y e d e v e r y a c t i o n o f t h e d r e a m as m y o w n .  I am moved by  my  It m a d e v i s i b l e m y  authorship o f the d r e a m .  In this process o f w r i t i n g I again a t t e m p t e d m e a n i n g o f the  dream.  quieting meanings..  t o p u t a s i d e d e s i r e f o r a f u l l sense o f t h e  I f I t r i e d t o f o r c e sense o u t o f m y d r e a m s I b e c a m e b l i n d t o d i s -  I would not  the meaning o f m y dreams.  allow them  to teach m e .  It w a s h a r d f o r m e t o t a k e i n  T h e y o f t e n s p o k e things I was m o r e c o m f o r t a b l e n o t hearing.  43 E n t e r i n g a n d e x p l o r i n g e a c h o b j e c t o r p e r s o n i n t h e d r e a m i n t u r n a l l o w e d m e t o d i s c o v e r its aspects a n d to be surprised, d i s t u r b e d a n d enlightened.  After  w r i t i n g this d r e a m w o r k  the w h o l e .  sentence  by  sentence  I u s u a l l y s t i l l l a c k e d a sense  of  M y t h i r d step was t o r e a d over this w o r k t h i n k i n g n o t o f the d r e a m b u t o f t h e .  literal m e a n i n g o f the  sentences.  I u n d e r l i n e d ones  t h a t s p o k e t o m e as t r u e .  From  the  above w o r k I extracted: I am overloaded. I a m beginning a n e w way, a n e w life, a n e w social order. Part o f m e m o u r n s the o l d . I follow  my  s o r r o w u n d e r the surface t r y i n g to b r i n g u p what  parts o f m y s e l f I have  lost. I c r y t o see m y s e l f d r i v e n t o t r y h o p e l e s s l y t o b r i n g m y s e l f b a c k . I d o n ' t w a n t t o lose m y  family.  I d o n ' t w a n t to lose m y  past.  I a m sad about m o v i n g o n to a new order. These  statements  mourned  my  b u i l d a fuller, deeper  m e a n i n g o f the d r e a m .  losses at a t i m e w h e n m y e x c i t e m e n t  I was s u r p r i s e d to learn I  at w o r k i n g i n a n e w w a y  a n d releasing  m y s e l f f r o m o l d p a i n f u l practices was h i g h .  I  did not  recount  the  specific  autobiographical  events  that  were  instances  of  my  f a m i l y relations u n t i l I actually w r o t e a draft o f the a c c o u n t . ( T h e drafts were distinguished from  the w o r k  that p r e c e d e d t h e m i n that I k e p t t h e m separated f r o m m y  daily journal).  H o w e v e r , m y a b i l i t y t o r e c a l l t h i s d e t a i l a n d t o o r g a n i s e it i n t o t h a t p a r t i c u l a r a c c o u n t  was  predicated  The  o n the r e c o g n i t i o n a n d acceptance  d r e a m w o r k revealed that  o f t h e losses t h a t t h i s d r e a m s p o k e o f .  " n o more S m i t h ' s " meant to me " n o more family."  o f this d r e a m entered i n t o m y  account  o f family  T h e message  relations i n m y e x p l i c a t i o n o f losses: I  lived apart f r o m m y natal f a m i l y a n d r e a f f i r m e d m y c h o i c e n o t to enter a n o t h e r b y t e r m i n ating m y p r e g n a n c y ; I lost m y father's love for b e i n g "just a g i r l , " a n d t h e n I lost m y  respect  for his p a t r i a r c h a l a u t h o r i t y ; I lose a close r e l a t i o n w i t h m y b r o t h e r b y b e i n g d i v i d e d f r o m him by  the practices  gender-specific techniques; silence. the  o f gender; I lost  I lost  described.  of  of my  own  abilities t h r o u g h r e c o g n i t i o n  l i m i t a t i o n s ; I lost t o u c h w i t h m y female b o d y t h r o u g h careful closeness  I accomplished  ground  many  such  management  a n d s o l i d a r i t y w i t h m y m o t h e r a n d sisters b y o u r p r a c t i c e s  moving from  emotions  the  as p r a c t i c e s  e m o t i o n a l learning o f the d r e a m to by  c o n t i n u i n g to write  i n the  of  of  accounting  method  I  have  44  My  further j o u r n a l writing revealed yet  a n o t h e r message o f the  d r e a m o n the d a y I discovered I was pregnant a s e c o n d t i m e .  dream.  I had  I k n e w this f r o m reading m y  b o d y w i t h o u t the c o n f i r m a t i o n o f a m e d i c a l o p i n i o n a n d I d i d not d o u b t it. Since b y time  I  had  spent  three  months learning from  my  this  lived experience  my  that  first r e s p o n s e  to  this u n w a n t e d p r e g n a n c y was t o ask w h a t I c o u l d l e a r n f r o m it. Why  a m I being pregnant  now?  W h a t is t h e  W h a t struggle have I m a p p e d o u t f o r m y s e l f ? . u n r e s o l v e d things f r o m the past. . . .  p u r p o s e to m e  in m y  life right  now?  . . T h i s c o u l d be a chance to deal w i t h  I w a n t t o lie d o w n a n d have t h e m e a n i n g o f a l l  this c o m e to m e i n a n i m p o r t a n t d r e a m message. T h e a b o v e d r e a m a p p e a r e d as m y a n s w e r .  H o w b e i n g pregnant was c o n n e c t e d w i t h s o r r o w  f o r m y losses r e m a i n e d o b s c u r e t o m e u n t i l I r e l a t e d m y q u e s t i o n a n d t h e d r e a m t o a f r i e n d . W e d i s c u s s e d m y d r e a m w o r k a n d she s a i d , " B u t C i n d y , y o u a r e f o r g e t t i n g t h a t t h e l i t t l e b o y you  have  nant."  l o s t is y o u r s e l f .  Then, by  Y o u c e r t a i n l y c a n ' t be y o u r d a d d y ' s little b o y i f y o u are p r e g -  noticing that  m e a n i n g i n the dream's answer.  all m y  losses w e r e  o f male personas, I was  able to  read  P r e g n a n c y was m y struggle t o give u p t r y i n g t o be a m a n ,  t r y i n g to d e n y m y female e m b o d i m e n t , t r y i n g t o s u s p e n d m y sex a n d enter the c o n c e p t u a l m o d e o n male terms.  In d e v e l o p i n g a n e w w a y o f life, a n e w m e t h o d o f w o r k , I was letting  go o f b e i n g C a r l , m y lover, a little b o y , m y b r o t h e r , m y d a d d y .  I d i d not have to c o n t i n u e  t h e p r a c t i c e o f t r y i n g t o b e l o v e d b y m e n as t h e m a g i c l i t t l e b o y " D a v i d " at t h e e x p e n s e m y woman's body. new  way  of  work  of  I w a s b e g i n n i n g a n e w w a y o f l i v i n g as C i n d y , a g r o w n - u p w o m a n a n d a from  the  standpoint  of women.  I wrote  this p o e m  shortly before  p r o d u c e d the account.  Deja V u  the second pregnancy the second a b o r t i o n t h e s e c o n d f a i l u r e o f s t a t i s t i c a l l y safe b i r t h c o n t r o l the s e c o n d g r o w t h away f r o m m y h e a d  m y b o d y has a m i n d o f her o w n w i t h w h i c h she r e - m i n d s m e , j u s t as I t r y t o l i v e i n t h e m o m e n t , at e a c h p o i n t o n t h e c i r c l e , this very s e c o n d , I a m not only n o w b u t again  I was c i r c l e d b a c k t o the place o f m y b e g i n n i n g .  I was again pregnant, facing a n  I  45 a b o r t i o n , k n o w i n g t h a t m y f a t h e r w a s far a w a y a n d g r o w i n g c l o s e t o d e a t h . such encounters w i t h the b o d y work.  a n d the  O n l y this t i m e  b o u n d a r i e s o f life d i d n o t i m m o b i l i z e m e i n m y  T h e y n o l o n g e r d i s c r e d i t e d m e f r o m p u r s u i n g the life o f the m i n d .  M y focus o n m y  e m b o d i m e n t r e - m i n d e d m e o f t h i s as t h e s o u r c e o f m y g e n e r a t i o n o f w o r d s . H o w m u c h I still w a n t to forget m y female b o d y .  H o w m u c h I still w a n t m e n s t r u a t i o n  to be o d o u r l e s s , stainless, crampless, hassle-free,  i n v i s i b l e , as c l o s e t o n o n - e x i s t e n t  possible  — e x c e p t , o f c o u r s e , I w a n t it t o t e l l m e w i t h r e l i e f t h a t I ' m n o t  w h i c h is w o r s e u n d e n i a b i l i t y o f m y b o d y . N o t able to d e n y m y ability.  U n — not.  D e n i — deny.  as  pregnant  A b i l i t y — ability.  P r e g n a n c y as a b i l i t y ? !  T h e p r a c t i c e o f s t a r t i n g i n a n e w p l a c e , s t a r t i n g w i t h m y s e l f , s t a r t i n g as a w o m a n r e q u i r e d starting again, this time f r o m m y  body.  I s u d d e n l y r e m e m b e r I a m still b l e e d i n g f r o m m y c u n t . there a u n i q u e w o m e n ' s  I go to p u t i n a t a m p o n .  art i f a l l c u l t u r e has b e e n m a l e - d e f i n e d ?  a r t w i t h m e n s t r u a l b l o o d as p a i n t .  Is  I think o f tampon  W o m e n ' s art begins i n o u r v e r y b o d i e s .  M y integration o f concrete embodiments in m y head w o r k allowed me to write  from  m y b o d y r a t h e r t h a n against h e r . I w r o t e t h e drafts o f m y a c c o u n t o f f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s w h i l e pregnant.  M y b o d i l y a w a r e n e s s at t h i s t i m e s t i m u l a t e d m e p a r t i c u l a r l y i n a c c o u n t i n g f o r m y  practices during p u b e r t y . '  Uncovering meant  how  speaking the  b o d i l y experiences  unspeakable.  had been managed  so as t o r e m a i n i n a r t i c u l a t e  In e x p l o r i n g the lack o f a language adequate to  express  m y w o m a n ' s b o d y I w o r k e d at p r o d u c i n g o n e . I a m a n e w b o d y d i s c o v e r e d n o t as O t h e r , as f o r e i g n , a b n o r m a l , s h a m e f u l a n d d a n g e r o u s b u t as m y o w n , m y s e l f , m y b e i n g , m y f e e l i n g , m y p o w e r . My  o r g a s m s are m a g i c , m y g e n i t a l s a b e a u t i f u l f l o w e r .  delicious.  M y m e n s t r u a l b l o o d d o e s n o t scare m e .  w o n d e r , soft, my  strong, w a r m , dark a n d comfortable.  femaleness.  tatively  M y breasts are  lovely.  M y f l u i d s s m e l l so g o o d , t a s t e  M y c u n t is n o t u n k n o w n . In the g u i d e d fantasy  It is a  I explored  I travelled t h r o u g h m y vagina a n d cervix, gazed into m y w o m b , ten-  l o o k i n g into all m y  dark corners, feeling m y s e l f where I h a d b e e n taught  have n o feeling, where I h a d b e e n taught to d e n y myself.  to  N o w , I have hair where hair  g r o w s — o n m y c h i n , n i p p l e s , s t o m a c h , c r o t c h , u n d e r a r m s , legs. I a m b e a u t i f u l l y l u s h . I love m y soft a n d c u r l y l o c k s .  I like the feel o f m y hair, I like m y l o o k t o o .  Writing f r o m the s t a n d p o i n t o f insider to m y b o d y a l l o w e d a n a c c o u n t o f m y previous d i s t a n c e a n d d e n i a l at t h e s a m e t i m e as i t t r a n s f o r m e d t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p . I c o u l d n o t see m y b o d y o r m y s e l f as a n o b j e c t w h e n I f u l l y e n t e r e d m y b o d i l y a c t i v i t y as t h e d o e r . full .sentences a n d s t o p p e d activity  t h r o u g h the  passive  e l i m i n a t i n g the voice  subject.  or the personless  I carefully "one."  I wrote in  avoided disappearing  I often wrote in the  my  present  46  tense  to  emphasize  the  immediacy  of my  activity.  I a u t h o r e d arrays o f sentences all be-  g i n n i n g w i t h "I w a n t . . . . , " "I n e e d . . . . , " "I resent. . . . "  I swam and I walked and I jogged.  I w e n t t o t h e w o m e n ' s s a u n a as o f t e n as f i v e t i m e s a w e e k . practices o f other w o m e n .  I noticed who  wore  T h e r e I a t t e n d e d to the b o d i l y  s w i m suits, w h o w o r e towels, w h o  went  n a k e d , h o w t h e y sat a n d m o v e d a n d l o o k e d a n d d i d n ' t l o o k at e a c h o t h e r ' s b o d i e s .  I prac-  ticed being visible to t h e m  And I  n a k e d , sweating,  w r o t e a b o u t w h a t I saw a n d d i d . bodies to be ducing  and  subjectivity.  observer w i t h a bird's eye  concerns  i n that  a n d myself.  I n d o i n g so I w a s b r e a k i n g t h e r u l e s w h i c h r e q u i r e f e m a l e  socially inexpressible, mute a n d u n n a m e d .  a n objective  location  hairy, l u m p y , imperfect  place.  I was  view  I was breaking the rules for p r o -  suspended from  b r e a k i n g the tacit  his c o n c r e t e  annihilation o f  bodily  women's  B y s t a n d i n g i n s i d e m y w r i t i n g as t h e s u b j e c t , b y s t a n d i n g i n s i d e m y a c t i v i t y as  t h e a g e n t , b y a l l o w i n g o t h e r s t o see m e as I s a w m y s e l f , I r e p l a c e d t h e p r a c t i c e s o f s e l f - d e n i a l t h a t m a d e m e n o b o d y w i t h o n e s t h a t c o n s t r u c t e d m e as s o m e - b o d y .  In m y  account  o f relations constructing w o m a n h o o d I m o v e d f r o m m y discovery  m y s e l f as " j u s t a g i r l " t o m y p r a c t i c e s o f b o d i l y m a n a g e m e n t i n p u b e r t y .  of  I built m y under-  standing o f this linkage o n m y u n c o v e r i n g o f m y m o t h e r ' s part i n c o n s t r u c t i n g the m e a n i n g o f w o m a n h o o d to me. absence i n m y writing. I am touched.  H o w I came  to  focus  o n her relation to me  w a s b y n o t i c i n g its  I read J u d y Collins' autobiography (1969) and c o m m e n t e d :  I notice her d e v o t i o n to her father.  I n o t i c e h o w she t a k e s h e r m o t h e r  f o r g r a n t e d , a b a c k d r o p figure, t h o u g h she dedicates the b o o k t o h e r .  my  I think o f  o w n w r i t i n g . W h e r e is t h e r e a n y l i v i n g p r e s e n c e o f m y  mother?  Again, I took  practice and c o m p a r e d t h e m  my  observations  o f another woman's  o w n . A g a i n , I n o t i c e d o u r similarities.  granted. father.  my  to  I m a d e visible what I h a d previously t a k e n  for  I w a s t r e a t i n g m y r e l a t i o n w i t h m y m o t h e r as less i m p o r t a n t t h a n m i n e w i t h  my  Once  I knew  this I c o u l d ask h o w  w o r k i n g u p C h a p t e r III. granted and wrote  about  I learned this practice a n d a c c o u n t  In m y j o u r n a l I b r o k e the silence. her.  f o r it i n  I stopped taking m y m o t h e r for  I wrote whatever images a n d m e m o r i e s emerged.  t h i s passage s e v e r a l t i m e s u n t i l I c a m e t o see its o r g a n i s a t i o n .  I wrote about m y  I reread mother's  appearance, her clothes, about m y visual a n d textured memories o f her. Y o u were m y strongest image o f b e a u t y , style a n d elegance. I r e c a l l e d t h e s p e c i a l w a y s she f e d m e a n d c a r e d f o r m e w h e n i l l . T h e t h e m e o f t h e e n t i r e t h r e e p a g e passage w a s h e r a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h a n d a t t e n t i o n t o t h e b o d i l y n e e d s o f o u r f a m i l y . You  taught m e  how  to m a k e  cookies  a n d spaghetti  a n d lasagna.  Y o u typed  Dad's  47  menus  and m y  orthodontist. shame  from  rassed  me  offended  papers. You  you.  by  Y o u kept all the a p p o i n t m e n t s  never spoke  to m e  about  straight a n d d r o v e m e to  our woman  bodies and I learned  W h e n I caught y o u n a k e d y o u covered y o u r breasts.  not  shaving  your  y o u b y letting m y  legs  scrupulously  enough  o w n hair g r o w out all over.  the  and  then  You  my  embar-  I shocked  and  Y o u m i n i s t e r a l l o u r lives t o  o u r pee a n d shit a n d v o m i t a n d d i r t a n d b l o o d a n d disease a n d y e t y o u c o v e r u p a n d k e e p t h i s o u r o h t o o f l e s h l y l e v e l s u n k b e l o w t h e s u r f a c e as it s h o u l d b e . p r a c t i c a l details every d a y o f y o u r life. My  analysis o f this w r i t i n g a l l o w e d m y awareness  w o r k a n d o f her management I went o n to  Y o u attend to  Y o u are t h e t r u e d a u g h t e r o f a D u t c h f a r m w i f e . o f m y mother's practices o f e m b o d i m e n t  w h i c h a c c o m p l i s h e d its i n v i s i b i l i t y . F r o m t h i s n e w  uncover her impact  on my  own  practices.  awareness  I d i d this i n the w r i t i n g o f the  account.  H o w m y m e t h o d o f w o r k a l l o w e d m e t o m a k e v i s i b l e m y f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s as p r a c t i c e s o f class r e l a t i o n s is d i f f i c u l t  for me  to  explicate.  A  c o n c e r n f o r class r e l a t i o n s a n d r u l i n g  class p r a c t i c e s d i d t h r e a d t h r o u g h m y w r i t i n g o f t h e s u m m e r . t h e s e passages w e r e  merely juxtaposed  to  ones  about  my  M o s t o f the time,  family.  however,  T h a t I k n e w class a n d  f a m i l y go t o g e t h e r i n this s o c i a l o r g a n i s a t i o n a n d that I c o u l d n o t articulate h o w was sciously equip  a p r o b l e m for me. to  see  as  a  Smith's  uncovering them. became  The  social  I was  organisation  blocked  location o f m y  by  that  I had been trained in did not  tic arrangements a n d the relations o f p u b l i c p r o d u c t i o n . I r e a d a n d reread D o r o t h y Perhaps  a  o f sociology  domes-  i n this regard.  whole  ruling mode  between  work  me  The  con-  creates  trying to  force  a  gulf  connections  rather  f a m i l y p r a c t i c e s i n t h e class s t r u c t u r i n g o f  o b v i o u s o n l y as I w r o t e t h e a c c o u n t o f f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s .  as I f o c u s e d o n m y f a t h e r ' s p o s i t i o n as a m i l i t a r y o f f i c e r .  than  society  T h i s c a m e t o g e t h e r as s o o n  I t h e n u n d e r s t o o d his w o r k t o be  i s s u i n g o r d e r s f o r o t h e r s t o c a r r y o u t , a n d c o u l d see t h e c o n t r a s t t o m y m o t h e r ' s w o r k embodiment  u p o n w h i c h he d e p e n d e d .  of  C o m i n g t o u n d e r s t a n d class as r e l a t i o n s o f d o m i n a -  t i o n b e t w e e n r e a l a c t i v e i n d i v i d u a l s r a t h e r t h a n as a set o f c a t e g o r i e s f o r l a b e l l i n g is w o r k contrary  to  standpoint  the  abstract-conceptual  of women  In writing f r o m  mode.  is a w o r k b a r e l y  women's  perspective,  Perceiving  begun. "we  class  T o reiterate  relations the  starting  from  the  o p e n i n g o f this chapter:  are c r e a t i n g a n e w a p p r o a c h t o  the w o r l d . T h i s cannot be d o n e w i t h o u t d i f f i c u l t y . " ( J a c o b s o n 1977:  understanding  11) •  I have a i m e d i n this chapter to m a k e available m y m e t h o d o f w o r k i n p r o d u c i n g the account.  I have been explicit about h o w I came to k n o w the practices o f family relations  t h a t c o n s t r u c t e d m e as a w o m a n . practices  provides  I have also s h o w n h o w the w o r k o f a c c o u n t i n g f o r those  for an u n d o i n g o f t h e m f o r a reconstruction. (  I have m a d e visible  how  -  48  the  o r g a n i s a t i o n o f m y a c c o u n t r e f l e c t e d a n d t r a n s l a t e d the o r g a n i s a t i o n o f m y life at  time  o f writing it.  To  summarize: the  account  is s t r u c t u r e d r o u g h l y  chronologically.  d i s c o v e r e d a n d w o r k e d u p its i n s i g h t s i n a p p r o x i m a t e l y p a r a l l e l s e q u e n c e . rupture between lowed me family.  to  my  make  intellectual w o r k a n d m y problematic h o w  d i v i d e d against  T h e eruptions o f female b o d i l y existence  I  T h a t I made the  encounters with anatomy  I became  the  problematic al-  myself growing up in  my  i n t o v i s i b i l i t y t h a t c r i p p l e d m e as a p r a c -  t i t i o n e r i n t h e h e a d w o r l d set  t h e stage f o r m y a c c o u n t o f t h o s e t h a t d i s c r e d i t e d m e as a  neuter androgyne.  o n m y relationship w i t h m y father c a m e f r o m the material  c o n d i t i o n that the  The  focus  it was a b o u t t o c u l m i n a t e i n his d e a t h .  drama o f m y practice o f female subordination.  public.  He  had  the  means to express  It a l s o c a m e f r o m h i s c e n t r a l i t y i n  H e h a d the visibility that I w a n t e d i n  himself which I lacked.  T h e externally  imposed  authoritative versions o f the w o r l d he presented were what I a t t e m p t e d a n d failed to fully e n t e r as a n e x c e p t i o n a l w o m a n p r a c t i c i n g t h e a b s t r a c t m o d e o f s o c i o l o g y w h i l e s u s p e n d i n g m y sex.  T h e s t r u g g l e t o b e s e e n a n d h e a r d f r o m w h e r e I a m as a w o m a n is t h e p r o j e c t  this thesis.  T h e a p p e a r a n c e s i n m y p a s t o f m y i n v i s i b i l i t y a n d e n f o r c e d s i l e n c e are w h a t  organised m y account a r o u n d .  A c c o u n t i n g f o r m y past s u b o r d i n a t i o n a n d f o r m y  of I  method  o f m a k i n g this a c c o u n t has r e q u i r e d a r e d e f i n i t i o n o f m e n t a l w o r k s u c h that I c a n r e c l a i m it w i t h o u t s e v e r i n g m y s e l f f r o m m y w o m a n h o o d .  T h e insistent  "thereness"  test o f m y m e t h o d o f w o r k . outside m y female b o d y . my  embodiment  into  o f m y w o m a n ' s b o d y in yet another pregnancy p r o v e d the W i t h it I r e l i n q u i s h e d m y a t t e m p t  to think from  I practiced instead t h i n k i n g through the b o d y . both  knowledge  and  power.  (Rich  1976:  somewhere  I strove to convert  290-1)  Writing  from  w o m a n ' s p e r s p e c t i v e , f r o m m y o w n s t a n d p o i n t as a w o m a n a u t h o r i s e d a n d gave e x p r e s s i o n to m y o w n experience.  W r i t i n g f r o m the a c t u a l setting o f m y e v e r y d a y life r e c o n n e c t e d m y  physical g r o u n d i n g a n d articulate knowledge.  W r i t i n g f r o m m y e m b o d i m e n t as a w o m a n  r e o w n e d a n d m a d e visible m y w o m a n l y b o d y .  E a c h o f these p r e s e n t e d m y private a n d d o -  mestic trace  experience  as a s p e c t s o f s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s o f a u t h o r i t y a n d r u l i n g .  over the b r o k e n g r o u n d o f p u b l i c a n d private  domains, dominish m y  w i t h i n t h e d o m e s t i c a n d m y s u b o r d i n a t i o n as a w o m a n . cated these practices o f w r i t i n g i n this chapter.  I n so d o i n g  they  confinement  I have b o t h e m p l o y e d a n d e x p l i -  T h e m e t h o d that allows m e to a c c o u n t for  m y p r e v i o u s c o n s t r u c t i o n o f w o m a n h o o d h a s n o w s e r v e d as t h e b a s i s o f a n a c c o u n t o f m y reconstruction.  49  CHAPTER  III  A N ACCOUNT OF HOW FAMILY CONSTRUCT A  A  specific c o n d i t i o n o f m y  distance f r o m t h e m . I live a l o n e .  RELATIONS  WOMAN  d i s c o v e r y o f m y p r a c t i c e s i n f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s is m y  present  I d o n o t live e v e r y d a y life i n a f a m i l y or i n a n y setting r e s e m b l i n g o n e .  M y p a r e n t s , sisters a n d b r o t h e r l i v e 4 0 0 0 m i l e s a w a y a n d m a i n t a i n c l o s e r e l a -  tions w i t h each other.  I left m y p a r e n t s ' h o m e n i n e y e a r s a g o a n d h a v e v i s i t e d i r r e g u l a r l y —  at m o s t  a year  them.  once  or twice  A n d yet,  I discover  daily personal relations.  Both met  of my  d u r i n g the  for a w e e k or two.  my  practices  M y life here a p p e a r s far r e m o v e d  with them  continue  I left m y f a m i l y b u t t h e y have n o t left  Second World War when  w h i l e he was  children.  underlie m y practice  my  father  was  away.  O n his r e t u r n , t h e y  They  i n officer training s c h o o l .  Soon  M y m o t h e r c o n t i n u e d to do  office  m o v e d near his relatives a n d b e g a n  A f t e r a few years o f trouble f i n d i n g steady  of  me.  parents grew u p o n small dairy farms d u r i n g the 1920's a n d 30's.  after, t h e y m a r r i e d , a n d m y father was s h i p p e d overseas. work  to  from  having  w o r k , m y father r e t u r n e d to the A i r  50  Force.  M y t w o o l d e r sisters a n d I w e r e b r o u g h t u p o n m i l i t a r y b a s e s i n v a r i o u s l o c a t i o n s .  F o l l o w i n g t w e n t y years i n the  s e r v i c e , m y f a t h e r w o r k e d as a l i f e i n s u r a n c e s a l e s m a n a n d  c o u n t r y club manager.  M y m o t h e r w o r k e d at h o m e a n d n o t f o r p a y a f t e r h e r first d a u g h t e r  was  of my  born.  The  setting  account  is t h e t r a n s i e n t , m i l i t a r y , u p w a r d l y m o b i l e , w h i t e ,  Protestant, middle-class suburban A m e r i c a o f the 1950's a n d 60's.  I first l e a r n e d h o w t o r e l a t e t o r u l i n g a u t h o r i t y i n r e l a t i o n t o m y f a t h e r . the  first m a l e a u t h o r i t y w h o  authorized version o f reality. real  world.  He  he belonged.  worked  took  the  power  to  define  me  and m y  M y father  world.  was  H e held the  H e represented to m e i n the f a m i l y the awesome p o w e r o f the  there.  He  moved  H e l i t e r a l l y w o r e its u n i f o r m .  i n that  world with  comfort  and  e a s e , as  H e k n e w h o w it w a s a n d h e t o l d m e .  if  I knew  only through him.  W i t h o u t h i m m y w o r l d was l i m i t e d . s c h o o l a n d the h o m e s o f others. the  movies  places  W i t h m y m o t h e r I c o u l d gain entrance to c h u r c h , stores,  a n d the library — but we  not by  right, we  were  A l o n e , I m o v e d i n space b o u n d e d b y m y h o u s e ,  e n t e r e d as p o l i t e u s e r s , c u s t o m e r s .  We w e n t these  a l l o w e d i n b y those w h o r a n t h e m . T h e year m y father  was  s t a t i o n e d a w a y f r o m us m y l i f e w a s c i r c u m s c r i b e d i n t h i s d o m e s t i c s p h e r e .  O n l y i n m y father's presence d i d I m o v e t h r o u g h the i m p o r t a n t w o r l d where decisions were m a d e , m e n w o r k e d a n d things got d o n e . the mess h a l l , the h o u s i n g office.  O n his a r m I c o u l d enter the officers' c l u b ,  B y f o l l o w i n g h i m I c o u l d see w h e r e f o o d w a s o r d e r e d a n d  delivered, troops were fed, m e n were h o u s e d , papers were signed. treated h i m w i t h deference  In this w o r l d other m e n  — called h i m " s i r , " s m i l e d , saluted — a n d d i d what he t o l d t h e m  t o d o . W h e n I w a s w i t h h i m t h i s a u r a o f a u t h o r i t y s p r e a d t o m e , I s t o o d i n its g l o w .  These  s a m e m e n s m i l e d at m e , w a n t e d t o p l e a s e m e a n d k e p t a r e s p e c t f u l d i s t a n c e — a l l b e c a u s e I was his daughter.  T h e y acknowledged  m y little girl, C i n d y . "  m e because he presented m e to t h e m .  H e spoke for m e .  I was w h o he said I was.  " B o b , t h i s is  W h e n he i n t r o d u c e d m e  as s m a r t , g o o d , l o v e d , t h e b a b y , I w a s r e c o g n i z e d as s u c h b y t h e w o r l d t h a t m a t t e r e d . c o u l d n o t a p p r o p r i a t e his a u t h o r i t y to myself,  i f I said, " H e l l o sergeant, I ' m C i n d y , " I was  ignored or t o l d n o t to interrupt. I c o u l d . n o t speak for or present  My  myself.  father carried this legitimate p o w e r w i t h h i m i n t o the f a m i l y .  guaranteed right to express himself.  But I  A t h o m e he h a d a  H e t o o k all the f a m i l y p h o t o g r a p h s .  m y c h i l d h o o d were m a d e b y h i m . T h e y s h o w m y past t h r o u g n his eyes.  T h e s e images o f  I learned to be the  51  object  he  saw, t o s t a n d still a n d say " c h e e s e . "  M y father also p r o d u c e d f a m i l y e n t e r t a i n -  m e n t : slide s h o w s w i t h c o m m e n t a r i e s , a n d stories o f his travels a n d his b u d d i e s . M y m o t h e r , sisters a n d I l o o k e d a n d l i s t e n e d . W e b e c a m e h i s a u d i e n c e . as a f o r m o f s e l f - e x p r e s s i o n . please  o r satisfy  us.  M y father also p r a c t i c e d c o o k i n g  U n l i k e m y m o t h e r , h e d i d n o t p r e p a r e f o o d as a n o f f e r i n g t o  H e c o o k e d what he l i k e d .  H e was a g o u r m e t .  A l t h o u g h he d i d not  n e e d m y a p p r o v a l o f his dishes, he d i d e x p e c t m y a d m i r a t i o n .  H e r e a g a i n I c a m e t o a c t as  his audience. A n d w h e n  o f his a f f e c t i o n .  he t o u c h e d m e  I became  the  object  W h e n he  w i s h e d t o e x p r e s s h i s n e e d s b y c u d d l i n g m e I d a r e d n o t r e f u s e , e v e n w h e n I felt b e l i t t l e d b y his b a b y i n g m e . n o t cross h i m .  H e c o u l d say a n d d o w h a t he w i s h e d .  I c o u l d o n l y say or d o w h a t w o u l d  I f I asserted m y s e l f against h i m t o o f o r c e f u l l y I was s p a n k e d .  m o s t p a r t I gave w a y e a s i l y . t h e rest o f us f o r g r a n t e d .  B u t for  the  M y father was secure i n his a u t h o r i t y a n d t o o k his place over H e w a s f r i e n d l y a n d j o c u l a r w i t h us j u s t as h e w a s t o t h e  men  u n d e r his c o m m a n d .  I c a m e t o see m y f a t h e r as t h e s u n , p o s s e s s e d o f i n n e r l i g h t a n d h e a t w h i c h h e s h i n e d o n t h e rest o f u s . reflected light.  M y sisters a n d I, l i k e p l a n e t s , r e v o l v e d r o u n d h i m a n d g l o w e d o n l y w i t h  M y m o t h e r c o m p l e m e n t e d h i m b y b e i n g t h e m o o n , r e v o l v i n g a r o u n d us a n d  reflecting his light  onto  u s at a n o t h e r a n g l e .  H i s m o n e y was the s o u r c e o f life to us; he  a p p e a r e d as t h e s o u r c e o f p o w e r u p o n w h i c h w e a l l d e p e n d e d .  H e said he l o v e d all " h i s g i r l s , " a n d I k n e w I h a d a special place i n his universe. his d a r l i n g , his b a b y , his littlest girl. ring, silk pajamas, i v o r y c h o p s t i c k s . firmly  in my  I r e m e m b e r the treasures h e sent f r o m J a p a n — a p e a r l H e gave o f f w h a t I n e e d e d a n d m o r e .  f a t h e r ' s l i g h t , I f l o u r i s h e d , I g r e w u p as a f a v o u r e d c h i l d .  Because I stood  I got straight A ' s .  I was the best s w i m m e r . . M y classmates e l e c t e d m e t o the part o f S n o w W h i t e . T h e picked me  to be  the  I was  captain o f the boy-and-girl soccer team.  p u f f e d u p a b o u t r e c e i v i n g these h o n o u r s .  teacher  I was neither surprised n o r  I t o o k t h e m as m y d u e . M y d a d d y l o v e d m e a n d  all g o o d things came to m e .  I l e a r n e d i n these w a y s to h o n o u r r u l i n g m a l e a u t h o r i t y a n d to d e n y m y o w n . to be g o o d for D a d d y , t o please h i m , to be the apple o f his eye. terms, not o n m y o w n .  I b e c a m e the object to his subject.  sented to m y  own  silence.  I l e a r n e d to exist o n his  I came to be seen rather t h a n to  see, t o l i s t e n r a t h e r t h a n t o s p e a k , t o b e l o v e d r a t h e r t h a n t o l o v e . w o r l d to be dependent o n m y father.  I wanted  I k n e w m y stature i n the  I situated m y s e l f always in relation to h i m .  I participated in m y  own  I con-  o p p r e s s i o n , a n d I d i d so w i l l i n g l y .  52  While  securely  under the patronage  w i t h the benefits  I drew from  of my  father, I d i d well i n the w o r l d .  being Daddy's  girl.  I was  content  I d i d n o t challenge these relations o f  domination.  B u t a l t h o u g h I k n e w h o w t o a c t as a w o m a n i n r e l a t i o n t o a u t h o r i t y , I d i d n o t y e t a w o m a n in being half m y h u m a n potential. limitations.  I d i d not k n o w m y s e l f to have gender specific  I was n o t yet m e r e l y the c o m p l e m e n t o f a m a l e .  A t f o u r I h a d a fist f i g h t  the n e i g h b o u r b o y a n d also p l a y e d dress u p i n m y m o t h e r ' s clothes. b o t h guns a n d dolls.  A t seven I b e c a m e  me b y boys' names sometimes. anything.  act  A t five I p l a y e d w i t h  S n o w White a n d soccer captain.  I was still a n a n d r o g y n e to m y s e l f .  with  M y father called  I felt I c o u l d d o a l m o s t  I i n t e n d e d t o g o t o P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y a n d b e c o m e a great a s t r o n o m e r .  I did  n o t p e r c e i v e m y fate i n f e m a l e t e r m s .  W h e n I was lumpy  ten years o l d all this changed.  and b u m p y , and m y  b r o t h e r was  born.  We m o v e d to a n e w base, m y b o d y A l l o f a s u d d e n I was n o longer  b a b y , his d a r l i n g , the f a v o u r e d o n e , the a n d r o g y n e . was the one w i t h the special place. he was  called "the  boy".  grew  Daddy's  I was just a girl. D a v i d , the n e w  baby,  T h i s n e w c h i l d w a s n o t c a l l e d " o u r b a b y " as I h a d b e e n ;  O n l y w i t h h i s a r r i v a l d i d I f u l l y e x p e r i e n c e m y s e l f as n o t - m a l e .  O n l y b y c o m p a r i s o n d i d I realize I c o u l d never be fully i n the male glory.  I e x p e r i e n c e d m y s e l f as a b a n d o n e d . in darkness.  M y father's light n o longer s h i n e d o n m e .  B e l i e v i n g I h a d n o light o f m y o w n , I b e c a m e i n v i s i b l e . F o r five years a l m o s t  all o f the pictures m y father t o o k were o f " t h e b o y " .  I c o u l d n o longer tolerate the slide  s h o w s w h i c h p o s e d as e n t e r t a i n m e n t t h e d a i l y c h o r u s o f " l o o k at y o u r b r o t h e r . " to be the object m y father viewed b u t I h a d b e e n displaced. not  enter m y  secretary.)  I stood  father's  world of work  O n l y as t h e  (I r e - e n t e r e d w h e n  I wanted  F o r t h o s e y e a r s as w e l l , I d i d  I became  o l d e n o u g h to be his  f a v o u r e d object o f a m a n c o u l d I appear for the offices  o f ruling.  M y father n o l o n g e r p r e s e n t e d m e t o those strange m e n f o r r e c o g n i t i o n . H i s a t t e n t i o n f o c u s e d o n his s o n .  '  I believed I was b e i n g c r u e l l y b e t r a y e d . a n d never k n o w n it. better.  My  was  I had thought  N o t o n l y was I just a girl, I h a d always b e e n  m y s e l f an androgyne but the others h a d always k n o w n  parents h a d been waiting for  temporary a n d inadequate substitute.  "the  boy"  for a long time.  I had only been a  I discovered that w h e n m y m o t h e r w e n t to the hos-  p i t a l t o g i v e b i r t h t o m e m y sisters h a d b e e n t o l d " W e ' r e g o i n g t o t h e h o s p i t a l t o b r i n g h o m e David."  W h e n t h e y c a m e b a c k w i t h m e i n s t e a d , m y sisters h a d t o b e s t o p p e d f r o m c a l l i n g  53 m e his n a m e .  T h e y always knew I had been an accident.  I also l e a r n e d the r e a s o n I h a d n o  m i d d l e n a m e was that m y parents " h a d n ' t h a d t i m e t o t h i n k o n e u p . "  A s further evidence  that I was the w r o n g b a b y I f i g u r e d o u t that I was the o n l y c h i l d n o t n a m e d f o r friends o r relatives.  N o w w h e n m y f a t h e r c a l l e d m e S a m o r F r e d o r P e t e I k n e w it t o b e b e c a u s e  d i d n o t want m e to be w h o I was.  he  I h a d b e e n f o o l e d for t e n years a n d n o w the jig was u p .  I n o w t h o u g h t "I was never g o o d e n o u g h . "  Since I n o longer stood i n m y I was My  no longer the favoured one.  father's  aura, I lacked confidence and became  I still got straight A ' s b u t this b r o u g h t m e n o h o n o u r .  classmates called m e " s t u c k - u p " a n d "the b r a i n " .  a b i l i t y at s p o r t s .  timid.  I was elected to n o t h i n g .  I sat a n d w a t c h e d t h e o t h e r s p r a c t i c e c h e e r l e a d i n g .  I lost m y  A f r i e n d let m e k n o w  that I c o u l d never go t o P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y , that t h e y d i d n o t let i n girls. K n o w i n g m y s e l f as f e m a l e n a r r o w e d m y w o r l d .  I believed I was being p u n i s h e d for g r o w i n g up into a w o m a n .  F r o m age t e n o n I c o u l d  n o l o n g e r even p r e t e n d t o be the b a b y , the a n d r o g y n e — m y b o d y was b e c o m i n g r e c o g n i z a b l y feminine. height  I h a d m y first p e r i o d at e l e v e n a n d w a s f u l l y d e v e l o p e d t o m y p r e s e n t w e i g h t a n d  before  I was  thirteen.  M y f a t h e r ' s r e f u s a l t o see m e c a m e n o t m e r e l y b e c a u s e  b r o t h e r was better b u t because I was wo r s e .  my  I was n o longer the b a b y he h a d l o v e d , I was a  g r o w n u p w o m a n w h o m he w o u l d n o t love.  My my  relation to m y  b r o t h e r was  complicated.  d o w n f a l l , I h e l d m y s e l f r e s p o n s i b l e as w e l l .  hate  him openly.  A l t h o u g h h e a p p e a r e d as t h e a g e n t o f  F o r this r e a s o n I d i d n o t a l l o w m y s e l f  A l t h o u g h I resented the existence  o f the male glory I d i d not want  a d m i t I h a d n o t k n o w n I h a d l a c k e d it u n t i l m y b o d y b e t r a y e d m e . foolish or vulnerable. I was  I withdrew into m y hurt.  I d i d not want to l o o k  Sometimes I slyly  a n d p u n i s h e d h i m , sometimes I tried to t h r o w m y s e l f into the acceptable "the g o o d little m o t h e r " .  female  behavior  I w o u l d s t a n d n e a r m y b r o t h e r i n o r d e r t o get  i n t h e p i c t u r e m y f a t h e r w a s t a k i n g o f h i m . I w a s t h r i l l e d w h e n t h e first w o r d t h e b o y I learned that the w a y to compensate  spoke  for m y lack o f inner  value was t o relate m y s e l f to a m a l e a n d d r a w visibility t h r o u g h this association. exist for m e n .  teased  W h e n o t h e r s w e r e a r o u n d I t r i e d t o b e n e a r D a v i d so t h a t  t h e l i g h t cast h i s d i r e c t i o n w o u l d f a l l o n m e .  was a c o r r u p t i o n o f m y n a m e .  to  I was e x p e c t e d to babysit h i m frequently.  d i v i d e d i n m y feeling w h i l e t a k i n g care o f this b o y b a b y .  a n d act  to  I learned to  54  ILLUSTRATIONS  I u s e d s n a p s h o t s s u c h as t h e s e as e v i d e n c e i n m y r e c o n s t r u c t i o n . I r e - c o l l e c t e d t h a t father t o o k these p h o t o g r a p h s .  T h e y p r e s e n t m e as I w a s f o r h i m at m o m e n t s  my  throughout  the time p e r i o d o f the a c c o u n t .  1.  Age  7, I a m o n t h e l e f t n e x t t o m y sister w h o l o o k s a w a y .  at B r o w n i e c a m p as " t h e f a v o u r e d o n e . "  I have just w o n a n h o n o u r  I p o s e h e r e as " D a d d y ' s g o o d g i r l . "  2.  O n m y tenth b i r t h d a y I a m the athletic  androgyne.  3.  Seventeen m o n t h s later I a m "just a g i r l " i n the b a c k g r o u n d t o m y b a b y b r o t h e r w h o is t h e f o c u s f o r m y m o t h e r ' s a n d f a t h e r ' s a t t e n t i o n .  4.  I get i n t o t h e p i c t u r e b y p l a y i n g " t h e g o o d l i t t l e m o t h e r " a n d a s s o c i a t i n g m y s e l f w i t h "the  boy."  56  In a d d i t i o n , getting  rid of my  abandonment.  Nothing  would  completely loved because  never be  would  brother did not  undo  the  the o n e w i t h all the p o w e r i n this process.  seem a solution to m y  terrible knowledge  that  betrayal and  I h a d never been  I was flawed, I was female.  and  I s a w m y f a t h e r as  H e was the o n e t o w h o m I was n o t g o o d e n o u g h .  H e w a s t h e o n e w h o w a n t e d a s o n . H i s a u t h o r i t y a p p e a r e d t o m e i n a n e w l i g h t — it w a s n o longer benevolent for h i m .  and I began  to resent it.  the family  I n o t i c e d h e o r d e r e d us a b o u t o u r c h o r e s w i t h o u t d o i n g a n y h i m s e l f .  his c o m m a n d s . be l o v e d .  W h e n he expressed a f f e c t i o n for m e I was frigid.  I d i d n o t w i s h to be his object.  safe i n e x p r e s s i n g a n g e r at h i m . door.  I grew critical o f the w a y  I b r i s t l e d at  I d i d n o t want to need to  W e started h a v i n g explosive fights b u t I was n o t  I flared up a n d then retreated to m y r o o m b e h i n d a closed  In t r y i n g n o t t o risk o r lose I l o c k e d m y s e l f i n , b o t h p h y s i c a l l y a n d e m o t i o n a l l y .  resistance t o his male a u t h o r i t y was p u r e l y defensive.  hending  of  our  skirmishes.  legitimate power.  He  M y father was u n c o m p r e -  c l e a r l y s a w h i m s e l f o n l y as t h e  benevolent  executor  of  H e k n e w n o t what I h a d t o d e f e n d m y s e l f against.  A s m y b r o t h e r g r e w p a s t i n f a n c y I b e g a n t o p e r c e i v e h i m as a l s o s u b j e c t t o m y authority.  My  I c o u l d n e v e r h o p e t o c h a l l e n g e it a n d  w i n . I c o u l d imagine no authority o f m y o w n to counterpose.  I s a w h i s p o s i t i o n as t h e f a v o u r e d o n e t o h a v e c e r t a i n w e a k n e s s e s .  c h i l d quite susceptible  to  colds, hay  fever  b e i n g the h e - m a n m y father w a n t e d .  a n d ear a c h e s .  H e was  father's  H e was a t h i n  g o i n g t o have  trouble  I b e g a n t o see t h a t t h e r e a l D a v i d w a s n ' t t h e m a g i c a l  D a v i d m y f a t h e r h a d so l o n g a w a i t e d . own.  existed  I secretly p r e d i c t e d a fall f r o m grace similar to  my  O f c o u r s e , this gave m e c o n s o l a t i o n that I was n o t u n i q u e l y f l a w e d , a n d a l l o w e d m e  to be sympathetic didn't  dissolve,  to m y brother's suffering.  I b u r i e d it b e n e a t h  S o w h i l e m y r e s e n t m e n t o f his m a l e privilege  layers o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g f o r his c o m m o n o p p r e s s i o n .  W h e n he grew older a n d t o r m e n t e d m e a b o u t n o t being feminine b y saying I h a d a mustache and  calling m e  "Braces,"  I responded  with  embarrassment  and irritation.  I didn't  feel  legitimate i n a t t a c k i n g h i m o p e n l y for his p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the m a l e o r d e r .  I p r e s e n t m y m o t h e r ' s p a r t so f a r as a b a c k d r o p . o f a u t h o r i t y m y father's d i d .  I n m y w o r l d she d i d n o t have the light t o shine o n m e .  c a r i n g f o r m e w a s m o r e c o n s t a n t a n d less n o t i c e a b l e . n o t f e a r its l o s s .  H e r love d i d not carry the weight  I c a m e t o t a k e it f o r g r a n t e d a n d d i d  S i n c e she d i d n o t h a v e t h e s a m e r i g h t t o s e l f - e x p r e s s i o n t h a t m y f a t h e r h a d ,  she s p o k e h e r p r i d e , a f f e c t i o n o r d i s p l e a s u r e w i t h m e less f u l l y . b e h a v i o r b u t she d i d n o t p r e s e n t m e t o o t h e r s .  Nevertheless  Her  She talked to m e about  my  I l e a r n e d t o t r e a t h e r w o r d s as less i m p o r t a n t .  i n r e l a t i o n to m y m o t h e r I l e a r n e d practices essential to m y b e c o m i n g a  57  woman. knew  She p r a c t i c e d the l a c k o f a u t h o r i t y i n r e l a t i o n to m y father I was learning. A n d I  from  her m a n n e r that  women  as w e l l as girls m u s t  respect m e n ' s right to express themselves. manage b o d i l y existence  in such a way  h o l d themselves  in in order to  M o s t importantly, m y mother showed me h o w to  t h a t it c o u l d b e d i s a t t e n d e d .  She d i d this daily for  m y f a t h e r so h e w a s a b l e t o e n t e r t h e h e a d w o r l d a n d b e c o m e a b s o r b e d i n t h e mode  as a m a n a g e r  o f words.  She  taught me  how  to  conceptual  a c c o m p l i s h this split b e t w e e n  the  h e a d a n d b o d y i n r e l a t i o n t o m y s e l f as w e l l .  S o o n a f t e r I d i s c o v e r e d I w a s j u s t a g i r l , m y m o t h e r p u t a b o o k l e t b y K o t e x C o . at t h e b o t t o m o f m y underwear i n the drawer, carefully h i d d e n where I w o u l d find it. as I r e a d e v e r y t h i n g . washed  the spot  I read it,  T h e n one m o r n i n g I s h o w e d her m y b l o o d y pajama b o t t o m s .  She  o n the sheet a n d s h o w e d m e w h e r e the sanitary n a p k i n s were k e p t .  She  said virtually n o t h i n g a n d I t o o k this t o m e a n that s o m e t h i n g unspeakable was h a p p e n i n g t o me.  The  napkin boxes reappeared without  s t r o n g l y I c o u l d n o t ask a b o u t a n y o f this.  an agent just  they were not spoken.  learned from  I  sensed  I r e a d the w o r d m e n s t r u a t i o n i n the b o o k l e t  never h e a r d it p r o n o u n c e d . T h i n g s e x i s t e d i n m a t e r i a l f o r m but  as t h e b l e e d i n g d i d .  but  — paper, print, pads, b l o o d —  I learned about tampons f r o m appealing advertisements, but I  m y m o t h e r ' s silence n o t to ask her to b u y s o m e .  I o n l y i n f e r r e d years later  t h a t t h e r e a s o n t h e y w e r e f o r b i d d e n w a s t h a t t h e i r use r e q u i r e d a c o n s c i o u s f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h the vagina.  My training ashamed.  breasts bras  developed  and  my  s o o n after I was t e n .  breasts  were  Several girls i n s i x t h grade were  larger t h a n theirs b u t  m i n e jiggled  I k e p t t r y i n g t o d r e s s so m y b r e a s t s w o u l d n o t b e v i s i b l e .  courage  to  ask m y  m o t h e r to  dress m e  properly.  unbound.  was  I c o u l d n o t raise  T h e n one day while shopping, m y  m o t h e r h a n d e d m e a p a c k a g e d b r a a n d t o l d m e to go i n the c h a n g i n g r o o m . a n d t o l d h e r i t fit a n d she b o u g h t s e v e r a l .  I  I looked forward with  d r e a d t o s e v e n t h g r a d e g y m class a n d d a i l y e x p o s u r e i n t h e l o c k e r r o o m . the  wearing  I came  back  S h e p u t m e o u t o f m y m i s e r y as w o r d l e s s l y as I  h a d suffered it.  I began ugly.  to w o r r y a b o u t m y spreading stiff b l a c k b o d y hair.  S u m m e r came  and I wanted  to wear  a sleeveless b l o u s e t o  I f o u n d it s h o c k i n g a n d the s i x t h grade p i c n i c .  I c u t t h e h a i r u n d e r m y a r m s as c l o s e l y as I c o u l d w i t h c u t i c l e s c i s s o r s .  It w a s s t i l l t h i c k  58  a n d dark a n d visible. The  next  day  I tried to keep m y arms pressed to m y b o d y all d u r i n g the p i c n i c .  I l o c k e d m y s e l f i n the b a t h r o o m a n d e x p e r i m e n t e d w i t h m y father's r a z o r .  I didn't draw very m u c h b l o o d . anything or seemed to notice.  T h e f o l l o w i n g d a y I s c r a p e d o f f m y legs, t o o .  N o one said  M a y b e I was g o i n g to be a l l o w e d to r e m o v e m y shame w i t h -  out p u t t i n g w o r d s to it. A b o u t a w e e k later m y m o t h e r h a n d e d m e a razor she'd b o u g h t a n d s a i d I c o u l d use i t .  My  m o t h e r c o n t r o l l e d m y access to c o n s u m p t i o n a l m o s t t o t a l l y .  I had not money o f  m y o w n a n d n o a b i l i t y t o get t o s t o r e s w i t h o u t h e r . E v e n i f I h a d , I c o u l d n o m o r e a s k f o r the unspeakable to clerks t h a n to her.  B y this means m y m o t h e r re-enforced her practices  towards women's bodies onto me.  My  encounters  with  m a n h o o d physically. messages were  my  anatomy  I learned h o w  not there b y  during puberty  to  carefully  a c t as i f t h e  hiding m y  taught m e h o w  parts o f m e  female  that  functions.  to  construct  gave o u t  wo-  insistent  I a v o i d e d tight  skirts  that m i g h t reveal the o u t l i n e o f a m e n s t r u a l p a d , c h a n g e d pads f r e q u e n t l y to p r e v e n t stains a n d " t e l l t a l e " o d o u r , w o r e a b r a a n d girdle t o restrain m y b o u n c i n g flesh a n d s h a v e d every d a y so m y legs m i g h t a p p e a r t o g r o w h a i r l e s s . silence.  My  vagina, m e n s t r u a l b l o o d , breasts  T h e i r existence  A n d I learned t o a c c o m p l i s h these things i n and body  hair were  not named or spoken.  b e l o w the level o f language m e a n t that I e x p e r i e n c e d t h e m while l a c k i n g the  m e a n s t o give t h e m s o c i a l e x p r e s s i o n .  I s e n s e d w h a t c o u l d n o t b e s a i d . M y r i t e s o f passage  t h r o u g h p u b e r t y were silence a n d isolation.  My  sisters  womanhood.  seem  curiously  absent  from  these  processes  of  my  learning h o w  to  do  S i n c e t h e y w e r e o l d e r , y o u m i g h t s u s p e c t t h e y w o u l d a c t as m o d e l s f o r  my  g r o w i n g b u t t h e y d o n o t c o m e t o m i n d as s u c h . T h e i r p r e s e n c e d i d n o t ease t h e p u n i s h m e n t o f puberty for me.  T h e d r a m a i n w h i c h I l e a r n e d h o w t o manage m y b o d i l y f u n c t i o n s was  played out between  me and m y mother.  about  I d o rtot r e c o l l e c t e v e r t a l k i n g w i t h e i t h e r o f t h e m  periods o f bras o r b o d y hair. We respected the boundaries b e t w e e n the s p o k e n a n d  the u n s p o k e n we h a d each learned separately f r o m m y m o t h e r . o t h e r j u s t as w e h i d t h e m f r o m t h e w o r l d . from  others  We learned to silent  eye  with  common  fates  that  We h i d ourselves f r o m each  I practiced in relation to t h e m the is  so  characteristic  of  women  e n d u r e similar o p p r e s s i o n s q u i t e alone w h i l e side b y side.  contact  authority, but we  that  implied understanding  never o p e n l y  expressed  of  resentment  this to each o t h e r .  in  separateness our  society.  T h e r e was  a n d resistance  to  some  father's  W e h a d n o language  with  59  w h i c h to articulate our b o n d s .  My  practice  class a n d s e x .  of  growing  up  situated  me  firmly in the  bifurcated  world divided  Its s p l i t w a s m i r r o r e d i n m y f a m i l y b e t w e e n m y f a t h e r a n d m y m o t h e r .  by My  f a t h e r a p p e a r e d as t h e a g e n t r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e r u l i n g a p p a r a t u s t h a t g o v e r n s t h r o u g h t h e a b stract-conceptual relation.  She  authority  of my  mode.  acted  M y m o t h e r ' s a t t e n t i o n to his b o d i l y needs m a i n t a i n e d h i m i n this  as h i s s u b o r d i n a t e .  I learned i n r e l a t i o n to t h e m  how  to  deny  the  o w n e x p e r i e n c e , h o w t o k n o w m y s e l f as i n f e r i o r b e c a u s e f e m a l e , h o w  to  h i d e a n d despise m y w o m a n l y b o d y a n d h o w to cut o f f m y p h y s i c a l g r o u n d i n g f r o m social expression.  T h e s e p r a c t i c e s d i v i d e d m e f r o m m y sisters a n d b r o t h e r .  against m y s e l f .  I c o u l d t h i n k like a m a n , p u r s u i n g m a t h a n d science a n d h i g h grades, while  I neutralized m y woman's b o d y with careful management.  I i n t e r n a l i z e d the split b e t w e e n  m e n t a l a n d e m b o d i e d p r o d u c t i o n i n c o r p o r a t e capitalist society with my  " m a l e " head.  denying m y o w n voice. [one]  T h e y also d i v i d e d m e  I actively  e n f o r c e d m y o w n passivity.  by ruling m y female  I asserted m y o w n agency i n  I lived out the c o n t r a d i c t i o n o f our society i n w h i c h "the harder. . .  w o r k s t h e m o r e she s t r e n g t h e n s  the order w h i c h oppresses h e r . " ( S m i t h 1 9 7 4 a :  I w a n t t o u n d o this m e t h o d o f o p p o s i n g myself. orities r u l i n g over a n d against m y s e l f .  10)  I want to stop co-operating w i t h the a u t h -  I require a social transformation to a c c o m p l i s h this,  a n d b r e a k i n g t h r o u g h the silence i m p o s e d o n m e b y giving social e x p r e s s i o n to m y is o n e s t e p .  body  experience  Wallflower  H e r e I sit, waiting to be asked, so a c c u s t o m e d t o pretending I'm not waiting I'm astonished to discover I ' m d o i n g it again. I mean, I thought I'd a b a n d o n e d that paralysing f e m i n i n e passivity w h e n I started pursuing first m e n , t h e n w o m e n , b u t here I a m , after a l l , still the same girl w h o sat o n t h e b l e a c h e r s at t h e s o c k h o p trying to l o o k c o o l while repressing m y b u r n i n g passion to dance wildly, o n l y this t i m e , I'm not waiting for that socially required b u t faceless m a l e p a r t n e r , this t i m e , I ' m w a i t i n g f o r y o u , m y sisters. I w a n t y o u t o h e a r m e a n d see m e . I l o n g to cry out to y o u with m y pain and m y  strength.  A n d no matter h o w hard I try, I can n o longer keep myself f r o m k n o w i n g I want to touch y o u with my  voice  and I don't want t o sit h e r e waiting to be asked.  61 CONCLUSION  A c c o u n t s are s o c i a l l y c o n s t r u c t e d a n d t h e y are o r g a n i s e d b y t h e c o n d i t i o n s o f p r o d u c ing them. at t h e my  T h e organisation o f this a c c o u n t reflects a n d translates the organisation o f m y life  t i m e o f p r o d u c i n g it.  T h e m e t h o d I have used to p r o d u c e a descriptive a c c o u n t  c o n s t r u c t i o n o f w o m a n h o o d also e x e m p l i f i e s a n alternative c o n s t r u c t i o n .  of  In accounting  for m y ruling c o n s t r u c t i o n o f w o m a n h o o d I a c c o m p l i s h a n u n d o i n g that reconstructs  myself.  T h i s is a c h a n g e i n p r a c t i c e , a s h i f t i n m y m e t h o d o f w o r k , a n a l t e r e d f o r m o f m e n t a l p r o duction.  A t its c e n t r e is a r e l o c a t i o n f r o m p r a c t i c i n g m y s e l f as a n o b j e c t t o s t a n d i n g i n s i d e  m y s e l f as a s u b j e c t .  I started this i n q u i r y w i t h w h a t was p r o b l e m a t i c i n m y life. between m y nancy.  intellectual w o r k  T h i s called into  as a s o c i o l o g i s t  question  how  articulated b y social forms o f thought  bodily  and m y  I began w i t h the r u p t u r e  encounters  experience  w i t h a n a t o m y i n preg-  o f femaleness  is t r a n s l a t e d  a n d expression and allowed me to make  and  problematic  earlier social relations i n w h i c h I l e a r n e d a d i v i s i o n b e t w e e n silent w o m a n h o o d a n d articulated learning.  T h e r u p t u r e gave d e f i n i t i o n t o t h e s p l i t b e t w e e n e x p e r i e n c e  grounded in m y  p h y s i c a l female being n o t yet m e d i a t e d b y w o r d s a n d social forms o f w o r d s a n d images p r o v i d e d f o r m e b y o t h e r s w h o are ( r u l i n g class) m e n :  A  social order based o n women's  oppression annihilates our subjectivity,  f r o m the a u t h o r i t y to generate statements a n d enforces o u r silence.  d i s e n t i t l e s us  In this o r d e r o f things  w e are t r e a t e d as o b j e c t s a n d e x c l u d e d as s u b j e c t s b y v i r t u e o f o u r w o m a n h o o d . o f e x p r e s s i o n see us f r o m t h e o u t s i d e . consciousness. The  women  is t h e  source  t h a t is b u i l t i n t o t h e  consciousness  nizable to others.  light.  me  father,  the  to  military officer,  us  as  was  a  M y f a t h e r s p o k e f o r m e i n p r e s e n t i n g m e as a g i r l r e c o g -  as I s t o o d f o r h i m i n f r o n t o f h i s p h o t o g r a p h i c l e n s .  and membership  I became  My  socially available  I g a i n e d v i s i b i l i t y o n h i s t e r m s , as a n o b j e c t f o r h i m . T h e r e c o r d e d i m a g e s  past c a p t u r e from  forms o f expression  o f r u l i n g class m e n .  source o f this consciousness for m e .  income  A s w o m e n we practice a nihilistic relation to our o w n  W e see o u r s e l v e s t h r o u g h m e n ' s e y e s a n d s p e a k o u r s e l v e s i n t h e i r w o r d s a n d  voices.  of my  Its f o r m s  an object  i n the ruling apparatus  a p p e a r e d as m y  My  father's  s o u r c e o f life a n d  for h i m b y b e i n g seen rather t h a n seeing, listening rather t h a n  speaking, being loved rather than loving.  62  I willingly subordinated m y s e l f w h e n I saw m y choices c o n f i n e d to existing for m e n or becoming totally darkness.  invisible.  I longed to appear through men's eyes rather than to stand i n  I learned w i t h m y father a n d brother that the w a y to compensate for m y lack o f  inner value was to relate m y s e l f to a male a n d d r a w visibility t h r o u g h this association — to bask i n reflected glow. my  O n c e I l o s t m y p o s i t i o n as t h e f a v o u r e d o b j e c t o f a m a n I r e s e n t e d  need to be loved b y  a father o r a m a l e lover.  I began to challenge these relations o f  d o m i n a t i o n o n l y as I w o r k e d o u t t h e a l t e r n a t i v e p o s s i b i l i t y o f a c t i n g f o r m y s e l f . b e i n g a g o o d girl, f o r m e n I d e c i d e d t o b e m y s e l f .  Instead o f  B y p r a c t i c i n g s e l f v a l i d a t i o n I c o u l d a c t as  a subject f o r m y s e l f a n d cease b e i n g the object o f m e n ' s desires.  My  mother's work o f embodiment  u p o n w h i c h m y father d e p e n d e d contrasts t o his  w o r k issuing orders for others to carry out.  Writing o f m y mother's association with a n d  attention to the b o d i l y needs o f o u r f a m i l y l e d to m e an analysis o f her e m b o d i m e n t w o r k and  practices  mother  which  exemplified  accomplished to me  c o u l d be disattended.  the  its i n v i s i b i l i t y a n d  practices  taken  for  granted  character.  o f m a n a g i n g b o d i l y existence so that this  My work  S h e a c c o m p l i s h e d this e m b o d i m e n t w o r k a n d its silence d a i l y f o r m y  father so that he c o u l d enter the h e a d w o r l d a n d b e c o m e a b s o r b e d i n the abstract-conceptual m o d e as a m a n a g e r o f w o r d s .  I learned t h r o u g h m y m o t h e r a n d m y father h o w to a c c o m -  p l i s h t h i s s p l i t b e t w e e n b o d y a n d h e a d i n r e l a t i o n t o m y s e l f as w e l l .  Ruling  practices  require that  invisible because o u r w o m e n ' s  I  manage  my  female  functions  s o as t o r e n d e r  them  b o d i e s discredit a n d d i s q u a l i f y us f o r p o s i t i o n s i n the  head  world o f ruling.  S u s p e n d i n g m y sex m e a n t d e n y i n g m y b o d y a n d e n t e r i n g the r u l i n g m o d e  o n male terms.  T h e alternative o f beginning f r o m the experience o f w o m e n means strug-  gling t h r o u g h o u r c o n t e m p t for w o m e n ' s w o r k . o w n w o r k was  It r e q u i r e d m e t o u n d o m y b e l i e f t h a t m y  n o t w o r t h seeing a n d n o t real w o r k .  women's  w o r k i n the h o m e  labours.  M y everyday  integrated physically  Writing a t h o m e i n the midst o f  my  and temporally m y mental and manual  women's w o r k o f e m b o d i m e n t entered the realm o f mental p r o d u c -  t i o n b y m y a r t i c u l a t i o n o f it i n m y j o u r n a l .  T h e alternative i n the ruling m o d e . previous  distance  also e x p o s e s a n d reverses the c o n t e m p t f o r w o m e n ' s b o d i e s I l e a r n e d B y writing f r o m the standpoint o f insider to m y b o d y I account for m y  and  d e n i a l a n d t r a n s f o r m this r e l a t i o n to m y  physical being.  I cease  63 t r e a t i n g m y b o d y as a n o b j e c t w h e n I f u l l y e n t e r m y b o d i l y a c t i v i t y as t h e d o e r .  Allowing  m y i m m e d i a t e experience i n the b o d y translation i n t o w o r d s a c c o m p l i s h e d m y experiencing pregnancy  as  generation  o f words, for m y  practice  is r e f l e c t e d  sentences. subject, be  creative  ability  and  my  knowing  authorship.  in practical  my  body  as  the p h y s i c a l g r o u n d i n g  M o v i n g a n d seeing f r o m  consciousness  by  for  inside m y s e l f i n daily  c o n s t r u c t i n g m y s e l f as t h e  subject  of  B y s t a n d i n g i n s i d e m y a c t i v i t y as t h e a g e n t , b y s t a n d i n g i n s i d e m y w r i t i n g as t h e  by  allowing  others  to  know  me  as  I  know, myself,  I reclaim m y  power  to  some-body.  The  abstract-conceptual  mode  accomplishes  disembodied ruling through words.  The  ways o f k n o w i n g m y s e l f I learned i n family relations and c o n t i n u e d i n university were practices o f this i d e o l o g i c a l m o d e . subjectivities,  T h e y w o r k r u l i n g o v e r a n d against m y s e l f .  B y rising above  cutting o f f the l o c a l a n d particular, a n d suspending e m b o d i m e n t , the abstract  m o d e severs t h e p r o v i s i o n o f its o w n c o n d i t i o n s o f e x i s t e n c e . knower  a n d h e r l o c a t i o n , are c a n c e l l e d i n r e l a t i o n t o  mode's  procedures  of  objectivity  the  construct an overtly  t a k e s f o r g r a n t e d m y d i s a p p e a r a n c e as a s u b j e c t .  T h e l i n k is b r o k e n w h e n t h e  object  o f her knowledge.  This  n e u t r a l universality w h i c h i n fact  It a s s u m e s m e n a n d e x c l u d e s w o m e n .  By  u s i n g p r o c e d u r e s o f d e t a c h m e n t we d o n o t s t u d y w o m a n h o o d f r o m u n l o c a t e d a n d sexless places. such  W e m e r e l y r e n d e r invisible o u r r e a l l o c a t i o n s b y sex a n d class.  attempts  women's  to  erase m y s e l f as t h e  perspective  I begin f r o m  l o c a t i o n as a w o m a n . speakable/knowable.  My By  knower.  In the  inside myself,  s i l e n c e is t h e beginning from  my  alternative  mode  o f writing  experience, m y b o d y and m y  suppression o f m y my  In this w o r k I d r o p  embodiment  from social  w o r k i n t h e b o d y as v i s i b l e / I account  for m y s e l f a n d  my  practice o f the abstract m o d e because m y p h y s i c a l w o r k provides for the c o n d i t i o n s o f the abstract m o d e . its e x i s t e n c e .  I m a k e visible i n m y w o r k o f r e c o n s t r u c t i n g w o m a n h o o d the c o n d i t i o n s o f T h e v a l i d i t y a n d i m p a c t o f m y r e c o n s t r u c t i o n rest o n t h i s w o r k ' s s u c c e s s o f  m a k i n g available, accountable a n d observable m y concrete l o c a t i o n in social relations a n d o n the  possibility  experience  of  seeing f r o m  there h o w  the  differing locations  o f others organise  their  differently.  L a n g u a g e is p r a c t i c a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s .  Ideas c o m e f r o m e v e r y d a y  life.  E v e r y d a y l i f e is  s o c i a l l y o r g a n i s e d p r i o r t o its e x p r e s s i o n i n a c o n c e p t u a l f r a m e w o r k o r as s o c i o l o g i c a l c o n cepts.  I reveal  t h r o u g h j o u r n a l w r i t i n g t h a t I a c c o m p l i s h sense a n d o r d e r i n m y  social  64  relations w i t h  myself  and  others  prior  to  writing about  organisation o f real life can be discovered.  them.  I demonstrate  that  It d o e s n o t w a i t t o b e c o n c e p t u a l l y  the  imposed.  I stopped disconnecting m y intimate thoughts from m y intellectual notions b y writing t h e m all i n one place. knowledge.  I n s o d o i n g I c o n s t i t u t e d m y e x p e r i e n c e as m a t e r i a l t o b e w o r k e d u p i n t o  F o l l o w i n g this m e t h o d m e a n t n o t forseeing clearly where it w o u l d take m e a n d  continuing to w o r k without  an externally  determined goal.  T h i s allowed me to  discover  the c o n n e c t i o n s o f m y experience a n d ideas rather t h a n stuffing m y experience i n t o c o n c e p tual b o x e s fashioned elsewhere for the purposes o f others. m a d e v i s i b l e m y p r a c t i c e at a r t i c u l a t i n g .  M y freewriting journal procedure  It a l l o w e d m e t o u n c o v e r t h e o r g a n i s a t i o n o f m y  t h o u g h t s a n d feelings b y l a y i n g t h e m o u t o n p a p e r .  T h i s m e t h o d o f writing translated the  immediacies o f m y experience into social forms o f thought.  In s u m , the ruling c o n s t r u c t i o n o f w o m a n h o o d I used i n family relations a n d i n acad e m i c r e l a t i o n s c o n s t i t u t e d m e as a n o b j e c t f o r o t h e r s .  In the abstract ruling m o d e I acted  to d e n y the a u t h o r i t y o f m y o w n e x p e r i e n c e , h i d e a n d despise m y w o m a n l y b o d y , to cut o f f my  p h y s i c a l g r o u n d i n g f r o m m y c o n s c i o u s k n o w l e d g e , t o k n o w m y s e l f as i n f e r i o r b e c a u s e  female.  These  practices split m y  enforced m y o w n passivity. my  voice.  I thought  resolution  to  life i n t w o  a w o r k o f opposing myself.  I lived m y life for others.  a n d s p o k e against m y b o d y .  I  m a k e visible a n d love m y w o m a n ' s b o d y .  actively  I asserted m y o w n agency i n d e n y i n g  I u s e d m y p o w e r against m y s e l f .  this c o n t r a d i c t i o n grows i n the r e c o n s t r u c t i o n I u n d e r t a k e here.  b e g i n f r o m m y e x p e r i e n c e as a w o m a n .  and power.  by  Herein  I claim the authority to speak for myself. I translate m y p h y s i c a l g r o u n d i n g i n t o  B y t h i n k i n g t h r o u g h n o t against the b o d y I let m y light shine o u t .  The I  I reown, knowledge  I reconstruct  w o m a n h o o d b y using m y p o w e r o f seeing, knowing.-acting a n d speaking for myself.  I  close  by  returning to  womanhood  structed.  A  common  fates w h i c h I p r a c t i c e d w i t h m y  as i n d i v i d u a l l y e x p e r i e n c e d  and  socially  con-  f e a t u r e o f t h e s o c i a l s u b o r d i n a t i o n o f w o m e n is o u r i s o l a t i o n f r o m o t h e r s w i t h sisters.  We endured similar oppressions  quite  a l o n e w h i l e side b y side b e c a u s e w e l a c k e d t h e m e a n s o f e x p r e s s i o n t o articulate o u r b o n d s . By  speaking what  c o u l d not be said before  I struggle  to u n d o this i s o l a t i o n .  Presenting  p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s as s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s o f c o r p o r a t e c a p i t a l i s m c h a l l e n g e s t h e s u b o r d i n a t i o n o f women. challenges  Perceiving the the  connections  bifurcated  form  of  o f personal a n d market relations ordinarily obscured social organisation  that  excludes  us  as  women  from  65 mental Our  p r o d u c t i o n , a n d that  lack o f the means  confines  us to the domestic  o f language cuts us o f f f r o m  isolates us f r o m speaking o u r c o m m o n o p p r e s s i o n .  world  o f embodiment  social expression  work.  o f our bonds  and  Recognising our social subordination b y  giving it s o c i a l e x p r e s s i o n is a p r e l u d e t o e n d i n g it. B r e a k i n g t h r o u g h the silence r e c l a i m s t h e means finding  o f m e n t a l p r o d u c t i o n w e n e e d as w o m e n o u r voices  Womanhood  we can become  the authors  is g r o u n d w o r k f o r t h e f o u n d a t i o n .  o  t o t r a n s f o r m ourselves i n t o subjects. o f a n e w social order.  In  Reconstructing  66  BIBLIOGRAPHY  Bandler, Richard and J o h n Grinder 1975  T h e S t r u c t u r e o f M a g i c , V o l s . I & II. P a l o A l t o , C a l i f o r n i a : S c i e n c e a n d B e h a v i o r Books.  Barling, M a r i o n 1975  "Constance  L y t t o n , Suffragette,"  Unpublished.  Bassett, Isabel  1975  T h e Parlour Rebellion. T o r o n t o : M c C l e l l a n d & Stewart.  Bern, Sandra L . a n d D a r y l J . Bern 1971  " T r a i n i n g the W o m a n to K n o w H e r Place: T h e Power o f N o n - C o n s c i o u s  Ideology,"  i n M i c h e l e H o f f n u n g G a r s k o f (ed.), R o l e s W o m e n P l a y . 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Sennett, R i c h a r d and Jonathan C o b b  1973  T h e H i d d e n Injuries o f C l a s s .  T h e Hague: Martinas  Nijhoff.  .  N e w Y o r k : Vintage  Books.  Sidel, R u t h 1974  Families o f Fengsheng: U r b a n Life in China.  Harmondsworth, Middlesex:  Penguin  Books. Silverman, David 1975  R e a d i n g Castaneda: A Prologue to the Social Sciences. Kegan Paul.  L o n d o n : Routledge  &  71  Singer, J u n e 1977  A n d r o g y n y : " T o w a r d a N e w T h e o r y o f Sexuality.  Garden City, N e w York: Anchor  Books.  Smith, Dorothy E . 1977a  " A S o c i o l o g y f o r W o m e n , " u n p u b l i s h e d . P r e s e n t e d at t h e P r i s m o f S e x C o n f e r e n c e o f the W o m e n ' s Research Institute o f Wisconsin.  1977b  F e m i n i s m a n d M a r x i s m — A Place t o B e g i n , A W a y to G o . 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