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One is Not Born a Woman - Monique Wittig - P1

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EN 2012
Terry Goldie

One is Not Born a Woman By Monique Wittig EN2012Professor Terry GoldieJanuary 31 2011 Part I A materialist feminist approach to womens oppression destroys the idea that women are a natural group a racial group of a special kind a group perceived as natural a group of men considered as materially specific in their bodies By its very existence lesbian society destroys the artificial social fact that constituting women as a natural group A lesbian society pragmatically reveals that the division from men of which women have been the object is a political one and shows that we have been ideologically rebuilt into a natural group We have been compelled in our bodies and in our minds to correspond feature by feature with the idea of nature that has been established for us Distorted to such an extent that our deformed body is what they call natural what is supposed to exist as such before oppressiondistorted to such an extent that in the end oppression seems to be a consequence of this nature within ourselves a natural which is only an idea Not only is there no natural group women we lesbians are living proof of it but as individuals as well we question woman which for us as for Simone de Beauvoir is only a myth One is not born but becomes a woman No biological psychological or economic fate determines the figure that the human female presents in society it is civilization as a whole that produces this creature intermediate between male and eunuch which is described as feminine Most of the feminist and lesbianfeminists in America and elsewhere still believe that the basis of womens oppression is biological as well as historical The belief in mother right and in a prehistory when women created civilization because of a biological predisposition while the coarse and brutal men hunted because of a biological predisposition is symmetrical with the biologizing interpretation of history produced up to now by the class of men This could never constitute a lesbian approach to womens oppression since it assumes that the basis of society or the beginning of society lies in heterosexuality Matriarchy is no less heterosexual than patriarchy it is only the sex of the oppressor that changes
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