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A visit to the Glasgow Women’s Library

In the traditional view of masculinity and masculine works, women have been seen as symbols of male desires and subordinates, compared to men and cast in literature, women are the others who have lost the right to speak and take the initiative, that is, the British writer Virginia Woolf mentioned in her lecture “A Room of One’s Own” at the Women’s College that women have no independent writing house, whether it is the Oriental “Dream of the Red Chamber”, “The Tale of Genji”, or the Western “Decameron” and “Homer’s Epic”, women’s roles exist to satisfy men’s bestial desires and subjective assumptions. The female characters exist to satisfy the bestial desires and subjective assumptions of men, and are themselves a kind of masculine writing masturbation, a male subject’s self-importance. Women have been in a kind of silence for a long time in the development of literature, but there are always some faint voices trying to express themselves, and words, such as Hunan women’s books, or books, such as Gone with the Wind and other women’s works, are the best testimony to this, it is like a spiritual streamer that invites souls to the ritual, it links the bridge between the past and the present, and will eventually lead to the future. Through it, this space-time drifting bottle, we realise a dialogue with our ancestors, and under the veil we observe a certain truth and secrecy of female expression, which implicitly says that female expression does not aim to deprive men of their right to express themselves or others, but rather strives to break the barriers of expression, seeking the right to self-expression in a thousand words. and feminine speech. Of all women writers, I admire Duras the most. Her painful, repressed, contradictory and embarrassing childhood gave her an innate capacity for rebellion, a bursting forth like a fighter against everything, against race, against class and, naturally, against gender. An unbalanced and desperate family, a mother who is completely alienated by male power and a brutal and barbaric older brother exacerbate Duras’s discontent with the idea of male power, and in her work she completely reverses the traditional image and role of male and female, allowing women to assume male power and making them the subject of gaze and discourse.

The girl in Duras has always had the aesthetic initiative and the right to speak, she is obsessed with her own dress and appearance, in other words, she is narcissistic, in this process women as independent individuals complete the identification and affirmation of the self, and this is how Beauvoir gave value to the narcissistic activity of women: “Every woman who is obsessed with herself rules time and space, and is therefore But she is not the beauty of a woman as generally perceived by male society, not soft, not delicate, but unique: the girl always wears one of her mother’s old silk dresses in teal, without sleeves and with a low neckline, a pair of high heels with gold stripes hanging from her slender ankles, and most notably she always wore a men’s flat-brimmed tweed hat that no other woman would have worn. She is not soft, she is angular; she is not rough, she is dressed in a soft sarong. The beauty of such a costume is yet less feminine and more uniquely beautiful without gender consciousness, and this aesthetic is where she builds a house of her own for herself, where she deconstructs and rebels against understandings of gender.

In Duras’s novels, the girl is invariably the emotionally active party, with her unique personality, beautiful looks, freedom and charm, allowing men to fall under her spell and sink into love with her of their own accord. At any moment, any decision is led by the girl, it is she who decides at first to board the black car, it is she who decides to go to the embankment flat, it is she who initiates and leads the first lovemaking, even the end of the relationship is pronounced by the girl’s initiative. It could be said that the girl is directing this love story, that she is the one who begins the story and how it develops. Duras describes the dominance of this relationship as follows: “He had fallen into her hands. So, if the chances were the same, not for him, but for someone else, his fate would likewise have fallen into her hands.” Here, the male becomes subordinate to the female. And this, in particular, stands out in the initiative of sexual desire, where in traditional male narratives women are often deprived of sexual initiative and pleasure, reduced entirely to toys for the male phallus, and considered lascivious once they have something of themselves. In Duras’s narrative, on the other hand, the lovers’ sex is completely dominated by the girl. Here, the lover is merely the instrument for the completion of the girl’s sexual action, he is completely at the mercy of the girl, he exists only to satisfy her physical needs, he becomes the disembodied party, where the male becomes completely other and subordinate to the female. And this explains it. In Duras’s writing, the woman is no longer a passive person, an ascetic who painstakingly holds her virginity for the man and then presents it herself, nor is she an ignorant person who is seduced into stealing the forbidden fruit, nor is she a self-renouncing whore. She is a sexual dynamo, a prophet of sex, a free spirit that is not bound by everything. The girl reverses her otherness by taking the initiative in her sexuality, in her feelings, taking the initiative in the magnetic field of gender as a cultural identity.

In this character construction, the woman becomes the dominant speaker of the discourse, while the male character becomes the silent and absent one in the text. This mode of writing, in which the male and female selves and the system of the Other are interposed, is what the French feminist critic Irigaray calls a mock dress-up game between female writers and male subjects, a game that is essentially a rebellion against patriarchy.

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