if you know anything about the history of western philosophy, then you’ll know about the allegory of the cave. and if you’re at all interested in the theoretical approach we now call (at least in North America), “French Feminist Theory,” then you’ll know how much the French feminists, from Beauvoir through Irigaray, Cixous, Kristeva and LeDoeuff, have loved playing with the philosophical tradition. Irigaray, perhaps most provocative, turns the cave inside out. Beauvoir, meanwhile, positions woman, as a reproductive being, firmly within it. Cave, abyss, hell. She’s unequivocal about this.
Imagine my delight, then, when I came across a short piece by Lucy Tatman that described her students’ noisy, impassioned, and mirthful engagement with French feminism.
I’ll leave with one particularly enjoyable tidbit:
Plato’s cave is a vagina. It is probably the biggest, busiest vagina in all of western culture. Just imagine how many comings and goings it has been party to. (428)
Pleasure, delight and, most certainly, laughter. Yes. Take a look at the medusa. She is laughing.