Cixous, Hélène(1937-) Algerian-born French feminist theorist, who in works such as The Newly Born Woman (1986) applies poststructuralist and psychoanalytical theory in an analysis of the potential for women to subvert theoretical and social structures. For her, ‘woman’ is the product of linguistic DIFFERENCE (e.g. binary oppositions such as culture/nature, activity/passivity) but the ‘feminine’ is a source of energy and diversity For example, ‘feminine writing’ (not always by women), which operates on difference and plurality can display the diversity and transgression of ‘libidinal femininity’. See also OTHERNESS.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000