Sexuality in Women’s Writings

Proceedings of The 5th International Conference on Research in Humanities

Year: 2022



Sexuality in Women’s Writings

Dr. Hanan Bishara



Acquaintance with the woman’s body and the attempts to discover it are as old as humanity, but the masculine vision dominated the aspects of the human culture and subjugated them to its rules. The woman has been present in the inherited texts as an alternate to defect, sin, and taboos, which led her image to appear in the literary texts as a receiver of actions rather than an active doer.

The term of   “Writing the Body” appeared to refer to the woman’s writing that stems from the body. The term was coined by Julia Kristeva in her book Revolution in Poetic Language (1984). Afterwards, the body turned in feminist culture into a symbol of the woman’s awareness of herself, her desire to be independent, and her resistance of the oppressive authorities through history, which turned it into a focus of creativity in modern times.

The ‘body’ in the woman’s writing is present in order to denounce the man’s oppression of the woman, and this led to focusing on feminist writings. The woman stood in her ideological discourse against the man, and the woman’s creativity started betting on uncovering the practices that are exerted on the woman’s body, or exposing the reduction of the woman into a ‘body’, or even destroying the idea of shackling the woman’s body and convicting it versus that freedom which is given to the man in order to express what he feels and desires from the woman’s body.

A number of novels that appeared in this genre in the Arab world focused on the woman’s body and her senses. Among these novels is one by the Syrian writer, Salwa al Nuʿaymī, called:  Burhān al-ʿAsal /The Proof of the Honey (2007). This novel is considered a new step on the road of the culture of the body and senses. The novel’s main bet was on making the female body a desiring active doer rather than a receiver, and this was an expression of the woman’s desire to change the type of relationship between her and the man’s authority, and vanquishing his virility.

keywords: Arab culture, Body, Writing the Body, body adventures, historical backgrounds, oppressive authorities.