New Philosophy

Feminist Philosophy

Who is Hélène Cixous?

Since the 1970s, feminist advocates have pointed out that clinical medicine has traditionally been based on the male body. Some diseases have different symptoms in men and women—for example, heart disease. At this time, female doctors are commonplace, particularly in the practice of gynecology, and there is greater attention, overall, to women’s health problems.

Historical information on the 1970s women’s health movement can be found at CWLU Herstory Project: The Online History of the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union is at

Hélène Cixous (1937–) is best known to philosophers for her The Laugh of the Medusa and Sorties (both 1975). These works constitute an anti-essentialist exhortation for women to reclaim their bodily experience in a new form of feminine writing, écriture féminine. Cixous has been interpreted to advocate bisexuality and multiplicities of sexuality in ways believed to have prefigured queer theory.


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