Sunday, October 9

Cuttings 10 - Voice, a feminist analysis

Gynophonocentrism in Feminist Discourse by Mikko Keskinen

Gynophonocentrism = the insistence of voice, speech, and the auditive in feminist discourses or in texts dealing with femininity, womanhood or the female gender.
-the power to speak - quiet submission - speaking freely - radical voices - unheard voices - embodies voices - ventriloquized voices - dead voices - new-found voices...

->'Jaques Derrida has called the privileging of speech over writing in Wester thinking phonocentrism. In Derrida's analysis, speech, voice, and spoken signifier are thought to be superior, because both the speaker and the listener are simultaneously present to waht is uttered.'
->'There is, in my view, a third, largely unreflected, space between female voice as a consciously used metaphor and as a concrete phenomena.'
->'Voice clearly relates to authenticity, identity, and self-expression.'
->'Voice, be it silenced by oppression or amplified by feminist criticsm, is a token of origin and essemtail, unchanging womanhood. ...The voice seems to be a constant unchanging kernel, unlike the rest of the mind which is exposed to patriarchal mutilations.' (really, dont some women put on girlie voices etc?)
->'This regaining of the original female condition, as epitomised by the unique voice, is wholly dependent on a benign (female) spirit, which voice, in turn articulates.'
->'Every acoustic event is likely to be spatio-temporally unique, which means that to repeat it identically is practically impossible in 'live' situations, not to mention in recording.'
->'The mother's vocal response is in a way an echo, an aural reflection of the baby's interiority in the external world. The baby feeds in the matercal sonorousness but also feeds into it.'
->Woman articulates, not her "own", but her mother's primordial voice: "there never stops reverberating something that having once passed through us, having imperceptibly and deeply touched u, still has the power to affect us - song, the first musci of the voice os love, which every woman keeps alive." (cixous)
->'The insistnce of women's voice can be a token of essentialism.'
->'Not only does voice sound fantastic but it also provides a heuristic ground for realising such fantasties as equally as equality and freedom of speech. In the post-structuralist condition, where categories, including woman, are destabilized, even immaterial voice can function as a sound enough stepping-stone.'

Though the article where these quotes came from is on the periphery of relevance to this project it throws up interesting ideas
-in song, voice is present in both the metaphorical and literal way - who is singing ('the "voice" of a text' like the "voice" in literature) and How they are singing (their voice, literally). Thats a bit confusing,,
-Is there any essential element to a female voice? What does it mean to be a woman and a singer?
-What stays with us from the first song out mother sings us?
-The idea of voice as directly linked to freedom of speech (silences, oppressed voice) - i like this idea, and the social/political power of voice - and that is even before the adding the power of 'music' in politics.
-Singing can be seen as a luxury (Vs the silences, oppressed voice)
-But voice, even if it is silenced externally, can never actually be taken away - can it?
-Everybody owns their individual voice, like a fingerprint. Wonderful.