Ancient Greek Echoes in French Feminist Conversations on the Female Body




O'Kief, Emily

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The nature of “woman” has long been debated. Furthermore, the question of if, or how, her material form informs such a nature has also been heavily disputed. Various figures throughout history, in an attempt to define woman more broadly, have speculated upon how her unique anatomy shapes both her metaphysical existence and her social position. This thesis puts into conversation Hellenistic Philosophers and French feminist figures discussing the biological and symbolic interpretations of the female womb. Such conversations allow light to be shed on the historical transformation of what it means to be a woman but also push readers to question how we, in light of more modern interpretations of gender, are to situate her material form within her broader essence, if such an essence exists.



Feminist philosophy., Simone de Beauvoir., Luce Irigaray., Julia Kristeva., Female form., Plato., Aristotle., Hellenistic philosophy., Womb.