chapter  13
16 Pages

Caroline New, 'Man Bad, Woman Good? Essentialisms and Ecofeminisms' (1996)

The metaphorics of body-writing poses the body, its epidermic surface, muscular-skeletal frame, ligaments, joints, blood vessels and internal organs, as corporeal surfaces on which engraving inscription or graffiti' are etched. The metaphor of the textualised body affirms the body as a page or material surface on which messages may be inscribed. The analogy between bodies and texts is a close one: tools of body-engraving social, surgical, epistemic or disciplinary mark bodies in culturally specific ways; writing instruments the pen, stylus, or laser beam inscribe the blank page of the body. The messages' or texts' produced by such procedures construct bodies as networks of social signification, meaningful and functional subjects' within assemblages composed with other subjects. Both Nietzsche and Franz Kafka conjecture about the ways in which social power, especially punitive and moral systems, mark bodies in more or less violent, brutal and socially sanctioned ways, through institutionalised cruelty and torture.