Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Table of Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. iv-v

PART ONE

read more

WE WHO ARE AT THE UNIVERSITY

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 13-20

We are among those women who entered the university certainly knowing that not everyone (male or female) would be allowed entrance, but without really thinking about the fact that, as girls, we posed a particular question. One quickly forgets the history, once a right is acquired and one...

read more

NOT IN OUR NAME

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 21-26

We are conscious of the fact that for certain women with whom we work and think such an answer is intolerable, even more so considering that intellectual freedom was of course essential to Woolf herself, and that she knew very well that she was, for the Nazis, a hateful and contemptible...

read more

CREATING A “WE”

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 27-32

In order to find the strength to write Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf had to create a “we,” one that encompassed the “daughters and sisters of educated men.” She created the idea of a sisterhood at a time when such women could only dream of going to the university or engaging in a profession with some access....

read more

AS WOMEN?

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 33-42

Those first daughters of Virginia seem distant to us, since, in the universities of our regions, the idea that academic knowledge has an odor, and that odor is that of a “Tom,” of a male, makes us snicker. Wouldn’t practicing a science “as women” assume...

read more

TAKING UP THE BATON?

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 43-50

There are stories that need to be ceaselessly reactivated in order to be relayed with new givens and new unknowns. It was necessary to reactivate the history of women who posed the question of a “different” science in order to affirm that this was not an “epistemological dream,” that they had to confront a true...

read more

THE PERSONAL IS POLITICAL

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 51-58

Even those women who are strangers to the feminist tradition are familiar with the famous formula of Simone de Beauvoir: “One is not born a woman, one becomes a woman.” As philosophers, we have learned that this formula has as its vocation the de-essencing of what it means to be a woman. One...

read more

THE QUESTION OF INHERITANCE

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 59-68

The twelfth camel is not the solution to our question, no more than it was for the sons of the old Bedouin. Or, rather, it only became one for the sons because they had not only inherited eleven camels but, in going to consult the wise man, had made themselves heirs to a problem and defined the inheritance...

read more

TWO PLUS ONE….

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 69-74

We thus discovered together, one with the other, through the other, thanks to the other, a shared sense of how this “twelfth camel” united us but that also opened us up to questions that we had never worked on. Words changed meaning, Amateurism ceased to be an insult. We remembered that the word...

PART TWO

read more

Dear (...)

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 77-82

In her Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf was addressing “daughters and sisters of educated men” at a time when professions and universities were beginning to be opened to them, and she warned them to be on their guard. Think we must, she wrote, if we don’t want to limit ourselves to the ambition of joining the procession of....

read more

CONSTRUCTING THE QUESTION

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 83-88

Nevertheless, our formulation, “what women do to thought,” said nothing about this. For us, it was a question of intrigue in the sense of leaving the question wide open in order to allow for multiple possible translations, which would not only be multiple versions of responses to the question...

read more

AN INDUCTION, IT’S WORKING.…

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 89-94

… Or it’s not working, and the fact that it is not working is then registered, without the slightest judgment. Some of our correspondents did not respond; others promised to do so, but the response never came; some, and this was rare...

read more

LAURENCE, MAKING A PLACE FOR HERSELF?

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 95-98

The letter from Laurence Bouquiaux1 begins: I was inclined to respond to you that I wouldn’t respond. She didn’t see how her response could have avoided participating in the usual cycle of complaints and bitterness. I risk inflicting on you my habitual jeremiads about what I should have done and what I didn’t do...

read more

FRANÇOISE, A FEMININE “GAY SCIENCE?”

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 99-104

It was from her mother, who had an advanced teaching degree in physics and who taught at the high school where she herself studied, that Françoise Balibar1 learned what a gay science or knowledge demanded, those virtues that Woolf attributes to the daughters and sisters of educated men and that Balibar reminds us of in her letter: These virtues comprise...

read more

LAURENCE, THE COURAGE TO RESIST

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 105-108

It made me want to write to you,” these are perhaps the words that indicate the success of the induction that our letter attempts. The induction is not a suggestion for it proposes a taking up of the baton but does not say how to do it. It modifies the sensitivity...

read more

BERNADETTE, GIVING HERSELF PERMISSION TO THINK

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 109-114

If there is a connection between the women who answered us, however, it is not situated in a difficult relationship to the institution. For Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent,1 what was hardest was to give myself permission to think, to claim to be an author, responsible for my words. Bensaude-Vincent’s answer speaks to us of a path...

read more

MONA, DON’T DENY

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 115-118

When Bernadette introduced menopause into the journey of her life and thought, she dared to raise one of those questions that can cause anger because they are apt to evoke the idea of a “biological determinism,” even of a “feminine nature.” But for Mona Chollet,1 avoiding such questions, even denying...

read more

BARBARA, ANGER AND LAUGHTER

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 119-124

Among those women who responded to our letter, Barbara Cassin1 is without a doubt the one who hesitated the least. The refusal of any assignation is not what directed her response, but rather, one could say, a constituent part of herself. For her there is no privileged status in regard to thought. Not...

read more

BENEDIKTE, DON’T FORGET

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 125-130

Explain. One should abolish the word explain! The violence of the one who claims to understand and who is going to explain is what Benedikte Zitouni1 inscribed in the heart of her answer, a violence that she learned to recognize as inherent to the relation...

read more

ÉMILIE, IT’S NO ONE’S PLACE

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 131-134

Teaching, there is nothing self-evident about it, Émilie Hache1 concludes. And here again, it is a question of keeping the memory and a willingness to be constrained by a commitment. Not self-evident is, in Hache’s answer, like a formula at once protective and...

read more

BENEDIKTE, THEY WANTED MORE

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 135-140

Thinking in the testing presence of others? The test may have several meanings, depending, for instance, on whether the others, to whom one has to be “accountable,” are those men and women to whom it is necessary to not bring shame, or...

read more

MARCELLE, NOTHING FORBIDS

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 141-148

For us to know: if one of our correspondents has more or less explicitly put us in this position, it’s Marcelle Stroobants. Marcelle, with her first response, suggested that we be on the alert. Pay attention to the care, to the “taking care,” which is typically thought to be a gift, a “talent” endowed to women...

read more

EPILOGUE

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 149-166

What are women doing to thought? Whoever opened this book expecting an answer to this question has obviously been disappointed. It has meaning only to the extent that it created a meaning—a fabulatory, speculative, ancestral...