The second part of the book is Cixous' "Sorties," which she begins with a list of binary oppositions like sun/moon, good/evil, white/black, noting that all of them can be replaced with the corresponding male/female, where male is privileged and female marginalized. In this vein, she famously refers to women as "the dark continent," saying, " It is still unexplored only because we have been made to believe it is too dark to be unexplored." The sanity of femininity is all about one's standpoint. My favorite part of the essay discusses what it's like to read as woman (Cixous is well-known for her descriptions of ecriture feminine, or woman's writing). She speaks of the frustration of having to pick and choose traits to emulate from male-created female characters: " I could never be Ariadne, but I longed to be Dido, but she was too passive." This is why, as she says in "The Laugh of the Medusa," "woman must write woman, and man, man."
The third and final part of the book is titled "Exchange," and it is literally a conversation between Clement and Cixous in which the discuss their differing views of what ecriture feminine can and should be. Seeing feminist scholars include readers in such a conversation was so refreshing to me, a real counterpoint to the antagonism patriarchal society (both in literature and in life) seems to often pin to female homosocial relationships. This book has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my prelims prep thus far.