Female Identity And Writing By Women Essay

2369 Words Nov 12th, 2016 10 Pages
Judith Kegan Gardiner writes in On Female Identity and Writing by Women that “[f]emale identity is a process and writing by women engages us in this process as the female seeks to define itself in the experience of creating art” (361). Elaine Showalter takes the case further in her discussion of gender differences in determining “whether sex differences in language use can be theorized in terms of biology, socialization, and culture; whether women can create new languages of their own; [and] whether speaking, reading, and writing are gender marked” (252). She concludes that insufficient evidence exists in the dialogue between the genders, that language is not codified by sex and therefore cannot be regarded excepting “styles, strategies, and contexts of linguistic performance (255).” The question is further exacerbated by Mary Jacobus’ insistence that as men’s discourse has historically subjugated the female, women’s voices have been effectively silenced (28). I would argue that the advent of Japanese vernacular writing in the Heian court of the tenth and eleventh centuries provides a noteworthy counterpoint to these suppositions when one searches for the female author’s historical involvement in language and literature. In the Heian period, gender differences were identified, cultivated, and systematized as vernacular prose essential the development of premodern Japanese literature was established.
The texts of the time reflect rapid cultural maturation in the…

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