ISSN 2227-7242 (Print), ISSN 2304-9685 (Online)

Антропологічні виміри філософських досліджень, 2019, Вип. 15

Anthropological Measurements of Philosophical Research, 2019, NO 15


UDC 141.319.8:[305:80]

I. A. Koliieva1*, T. A. Kuptsova2*

1*Dnipro National University of Railway Transport
named after Academician V. Lazaryan (Dnipro, Ukraine),
e-mail, ORCID 0000-0002-4232-2994
2*Dnipro National University of Railway Transport
named after Academician V. Lazaryan (Dnipro, Ukraine),
e-mail, ORCID 0000-0002-0876-0384






Purpose. To study the phenomenon of a woman-author as a subject of culture and philosophy from a development of literary aspect in the works both Western and Ukrainian scientists. To define the significance of the philosophical representation of the gender stereotypes to reconsider their place and role in the socio cultural discourse. Theoretical basis. To investigate the theoretical framework in the postmodern philosophy the cross-disciplinary approach is used. The comparative approach is methodologically important to clarify the problems concerning a woman-author as a subject of culture. It is underlined that the boundary line between literature and philosophy is movable, which coincides with the shapes of the human experience. Based on the conviction that gender has integrated into all social relations, that means it is a gender context of any social interaction, it is important to emphasize the productivity of a new scientific methodology of sociocultural constructing of gender. Originality. Is in systematic literary analysis of Ukrainian and Western women’s prose as specific philosophical phenomenon. It was proved that the investigation of women’s literature, its identity is an important focus of both philosophy and culture, which helps find philosophical problems in literary texts. Besides the analysis of gender implications in texts allows to start theoretical dialogue on gender problems, which means the participation in the discussion about the targets of our cultural life. Conclusions. It has been proved that literature of the ХХth-XXIst centuries is characterized by strengthening interaction between philosophical systems and literary works that reflects mainstreaming of intellectual and thinking bases. It was revealed that womens philosophical and literary conceptions have created a unique womans world of being and an image of "a new woman", thus leading the way towards the new stereotypes based on comprehension that sex differences should not be determining factors both in cultural and social coexistence.

Keywords: gender; cultural representation; women’s literature; gender stereotypes; female writers; philosophical problems


More and more scientists come over to the thought that it is impossible to raise the questions about literature and art, without researching the aspect, where there is "a dividing line" between them. The boundary line between literature and art is movable, which coincides with the shapes of our experience. Based on the conviction that gender has integrated into all social relations, that means it is a general context of any social interaction, and the fact of a growing demand for the information concerning the women’s and men’s equality is difficult to ignore, it is important to emphasize the productivity of a new scientific methodology of sociocultural constructing of gender, according to which feminine and masculine are the results of social sex constructing in the process of cultural development (Danylova, 2013). As gender is a sociocultural construct, it contains sets of attributes, patterns of behavior, psychological characteristics, roles and essence, established by culture. The formation of modern measurement of culture has had a great impact on the transformations of the essentialist ideas concerning the essence of sex. Taking a closer look at the peculiarities of metaphysical comprehension of the reality in particular cultural tradition it is quite obvious that both literature and philosophy always have impact on the gender context of the culture. It is expressed through the stereotyped thinking of an author who consciously or unconsciously follows it while writing a text. Actuality of the research lies in the fact that in the cultural field of Ukrainian gender asymmetry penetrates all spheres of the society and culture, including literature as its integral part.


The purpose of the article is to study the phenomenon of a woman as a subject of culture from a development of literary aspect in the works both Western and Ukrainian scientists.

Statement of basic materials

The attempts to include literature and language to philosophical and cultural field were made by different philosophers. The scientists tried to determine various different ways of comprehending essence and truth. Julia Kristeva underlines the necessity to comprehend philosophically any literary text, where "the sense and a subject" are concentrated. She writes:

"The text … works with a sound mark of a signifier, that covers, according to Saussure, the sense; in this case the signifier is comprehended by Lacan’s analysis. It is important to penetrate through the signifier with its subject". Only then a text becomes "a part of an extensive process of the material and historical movement". (Kristeva, 2013, p. 10)

A prominent German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer (1991) pointed out, that among all linguistic phenomena a literary text takes a privileged place in the process of understanding hence it has the closest attitude to philosophy (p. 126).

It is a well-known fact that there is a term philosophy of literature that includes introduction of literature to the context of philosophy of a thinker to determine philosophical problems in literary texts. The literary comprehension of the philosophical and cultural problems is a focus of the analyses of the most postmodernist thinkers. Deleuze (2007, p. 34), for example, draws the difference between literature and philosophy, emphasizing that if philosophy creates new concepts, literature and art think not less than philosophy, but they think with the help of "the fits of passion and perceptions".

The researchers investigating the gender aspects of culture, determining the peculiarities of the historical formation of the views about the sex in the history of the Ukrainian culture, providing visions of gender theory, making gender research of literature considering it privileged material are T. Hundorova, O. Zabuzhko, L. Taran, S. Pavlichko, I. Zherebkina, O. Kis, V. Ageieva and others.

The prominent scientists share a point of view that a considerable part of feminist criticism canonizes a woman and decentralizes a man. Meanwhile, in the scientific world of feminism there is a credible orientation that poses challenge to the general representation of women in the culture of post modernism, or rather, their erroneous representation in different popular cultural manifestations: in literature, cinematography, media, cyber-culture and so on, historizing women’s struggle for inclusion in artistic canons and allowing to see women as creators of alternate self-defined images and genres (Scott, Cayleff, Donadey, & Lara, 2016, p. xviii; Launius, & Hassel, 2018). When scholars argue that androcentrism, uniting with universalism, ignores the specific nature of a woman’s subjectivity, they do not mean insufficient representation of women in the cultural "mainstream" of postmodernism. The issue is that the canon establishes legitimization of some kinds of representation of women in various papers that display postmodern world outlook. Modern scholars note that it should be moved away from a narrow disciplinary and even period emphasis, and put early modern women’s texts and culture into conversation with writings from other spaces and time periods (Loomba, & Sanchez, 2016, p. 3; Saraswati, Shaw, & Rellihan, 2017).

In one of the chapters of her book "Postmodernism and Feminism: Where Have All the Women Gone?" Patricia Waugh argues that women writers, like all other previously silenced groups, feel the need to reassert the viability of their sense of identity if they want to acquire the strength and consistency necessary to subvert their imposed decentralization. Thus, Waugh goes on, women writers find themselves at odds with the dominant (male, she adds) postmodernist ideology that uses and abuses formal experimentation so as to do away with any trace of totalizing, authoritative conceptions of subjectivity and master discourses (Waugh, 1989, p. 1).

Within this context, the Ukrainian scholar Tamara Hundorova, analyzing the problems of women reading and mass literature, underlines that:

It seems that literary tradition relates to male authors and to male critics and to the view of their understanding of the essence of the artistic creation and authorship, of styles and types of imagery. In such patriarchal cultural tradition a female author is "the Other, marginal, fragmented and threatening (the last one means the doubts as to her authorship)". (Hundorova, 2013)

All modernization experiences the obstacles of the past. Hence, there is a constant appeal to Berehinia, aspirations for "a feminine woman", the ruthless exploitation of a woman in different ways, acceptance of such roles by a woman. Speaking about the field of the feminist criticism first of all a question concerning authorship is raised: Is an author a man or a woman? A classic variant of mistrust of a woman as an author is the suspicions about the authorship of Marko Vovchok. The scientist is sure if it had been a man the question would not have been raised. So the prerogative of women-authors is intimate-creative attitude to a book. Concerning the female creative work the men-critics assert that it is lacking in "wide knowledge", which is compensated with "intimate knowledge", which means that women’s creative self-expression is a private, sensible matter. A woman, always being polar in the male discourse, should represent herself according to her subordinate status. It is intimate, lyrical, sensual imagery that characterizes female prose, but she must overcome it to "enter a big literature". The comparison of so-called male and female literature is done via "personal"-"human". Of course, today when we have many women-authors it seems there is no need to speak about the ambivalence of the institution of authorship. But still there is such cultural precedent (Hundorova, 2013).

Scientist-postfeminists have undermined the claims of cultural and philosophical theories for intellect and universality, asserting, that they are based on the male paradigm that in turn, is based on so-called gender-neutral language. Androcentrism of the language and lameness of a woman in the global picture are displayed in the language (Lacan, 1996, p. 45). Language is not so anthropocentric as androcentric, it establishes the picture of the world on behalf of a male subject, where a woman is mainly an object, "the Other", "the Stranger" or is completely ignored. From our point of view for that very reason female literature has not been included to the literary canon for a long time. Emily Shore (1998) in Female literature of the XIXth century and the literary canon investigates in what form female authors were refused recognition, and their texts were discredited (p. 263). Some arguments of the German researcher are fully consistent with the problem of female subjectivity.

As for the Ukrainian women-writers involved in literary writing from the end of the 18th century it should be noted that they mostly represented the traditional male values but still national women’s literature was born gradually. The vivid women characters and their extraordinary destinies are represented in the works of the Ukrainian women-writers of the Renaissance of our national literature such as Hanna Barvinok, Maria Markovich-Zhuchenko, Olexandra Psiol and others. But the most vivid evidence of the gender progress was the image of "a new woman" in the literary works of Lesia Ukrainka. The image was a reflection of the European phenomenon of the "war between the sexes", emerged in the modern west culture.

In this context particular attention should be paid to the ideological focus of the works of Lesia Ukrainka. The author giving the proper priority to the romantic concept of a strong personality testifies how this personality withstands the others. It should be emphasized that a choice, above all, is self-determination. The next step is fight for "self", the identity. That is why her heroes are almost devoided of that search for self through repentance, sometimes even self-abasement, which we meet in the novels of Dostoievski and Tolstoi. What defines self-determination of Lesia’s heroes? It is that V. Vinnichenko called "honesty with oneself", which means to be in a harmonious unity with one’s essence and nature. It is that Skovoroda called "microcosm". But we should underline that in contrast to Scovoroda’s world as a steady and definitely indestructible, Lesia’s self-sufficiency of a subject is in perpetual movement that is probably the movement to oneself. In other words the playwright of Lesia Ukrainka is everlasting looking for the Truth, that defines and directs being of heroes.

A. K. Bychko, analyzing cultural heritage of Lesia Ukrainka, emphasizes, that:

The author stays not only in constant movement, but in fact movement becomes a main character of the events of her dramatic poems and tragedies. But this movement is special. It is not connected with a space displacement. All events are tense volatile, because they are only external manifestation of that unstoppable movement that generates them. Defining the basic idea of the literature of Lesia Ukrainka, it should be emphasized that in fact she proclaimed the will as the major motive force of human being. (Bychko, 2000, p. 104)

Regarding modern female prose it depicts, as in the era of Lesia Ukrainka, unorthodox thinking personality with sharp critical mind. Modern heroine has an intense inner life, she seeks answers to life’s essential questions. Philosophers have long noticed the importance of "asking" for search for what makes the sense of human being: in such way a man goes beyond the horizon (Kiseleva, 1994, p. 72). The heroine of the modern prose calls into question the correctness of the world order: in such way her conscious awareness manifests, which is not satisfied with the existing answers. Very often the general idea of a story is the problem of the meaning of life, that becomes an outgoing point for further thinking of a heroine: such role the question of a heroine connected with suicidal intent: "Why not now?.. Really?..What should I expect?" plays in the novel of O. Zabuzhko (2015, p. 9). We cannot but agree with L. Taran who points out that:

Modern women authors determines the situation when autobiographical works ceased to be a prerogative of men. It is really symptomatic, since it gives evidence of new achievements with the help of a word of those who have been in marginal situation for a long period of time both in culture and society. Consequently, to one extent or another, the process of the comprehension of a woman of her actual place in a society actualizes. (Taran, 2007, p. 125)

In recent years feminist criticism has divided into some aspects. A famous Ukrainian scientist I. Zherebkina (2000) highlights the basic types of the feminist literary criticism: women’s literature, women’s writing, and women’s biography (p. 138). Philosophical critical theory and feminist criticism deal not only with women’s literature but they prove that every text has a particular social, cultural and even political impact.

One more quite interesting feature for studying the components of the feminine subjectivity is the male pseudonyms often used by the female writers including the contemporary ones (Marko Vovchok, George Eliot, George Sand, Magnus Flyte, K. Stewart, Rob Thurman, K. Taylor and others). The absence of the experience of the female writing is stated as far back as the ХIХth century. However, if in the past the female writers explained their decision to take the male pseudonym either as the concern about their privacy or as their inclination to bisexuality; in the modern situation of the tough struggle for the reader the female writers themselves explain this fact by given surveys and researches. The conducted surveys say that the women buy the books written by the male writers more readily not to mention the men. As it is known in the XIXth century the women writers were treated with prejudice, the more striking is todays situation when the female writers are still being treated with some kind of prejudice. There is the thought that the male pseudonym is necessary for the female writers if the main character of their works is
a man, or if they write in the so-called "the man’s style" of military science fiction, fantasy or the tough thrillers. This fact, in our opinion, is the best example of the persistent vitality of the gender stereotypes and the ideas about a woman as a weak creature who is unable to represent the cruel reality of life in an interesting and adequate way.

The widespread opinion is that only a man can reveal completely the essence of the male character that is why there is still the rule for the successful female writers to conceal their real names. The famous Joan Rowling, whose copies of books about Harry Potter are comparable to the copies of the Bible and the Koran, during the interview said that the publisher wishing to attract the broad audience of both sexes advised her to show only the initials on the books about the young magician and by no means to explain that J. K. Rowling is Joan Rowling. However, her new detective The Cuckoos Calling Rowling again published under the male name – Robert Galbraith, explaining that fact with the desire to attract the new target audience.

It goes without saying that the situation is gradually changing. Nowadays, more and more female writers refuse to use the initials or publish their works under the male pseudonyms (Mira Grant with her novels about zombies Newsflesh, which became extremely popular). The phenomenon of the usage of the male pseudonyms by the female writers as the component of the gender regime shows the tendency to the general postmodern tendency to remove the emphasis from the binary oppositions.

There is the considerable distance between the female writer and the text of writing-oneself. The new narrative strategies of the female writing are only being developed. As an example we can give the Virginia Wolf’s observations concerning the English literature which, unfortunately, are still of current importance for the Ukrainian literature. In her novel A Room of One’s Own V. Wolf wrote:

Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer…


The weight, the pace, the stride of a man’s mind are too unlike her own for her to lift anything substantial from him successfully. The ape is too distant to be sedulous. Perhaps the first thing she would find, setting pen to paper, was that there was no common sentence ready for her use. "It was strange to think that all the great women of fiction were, until Jane Austen’s day, not only seen by the other sex, but seen only in relation to the other sex. And how small a part of a woman’s life is that; and how little can a man know even of that when he observes it through the black or rosy spectacles which sex puts upon his nose…. Suppose, for instance, that men were only represented in literature as the lovers of women, and were never the friends of men, soldiers, thinkers, dreamers…".
(Bradshaw, & Wolf, 2015, p. 114)

It can be said that the ideas from the Wolf’s work dated 1929 are still relevant speaking about the Ukrainian reality of the beginning of the XXIst century. Modern female writers have something to deal with – they should speak out, write out all this piled silence, reveal their own depths of heart and present them to the world. Whether their experience is not worth taking into account? Probably it is obvious why the wish to work out the female writing, the tries to reconstruct the self-identification of a woman as a personality come across the resistance in still dominant patriarchal discourse of the modern Ukrainian literature (Taran, 2007).

The internal culture of the characters of the female prose is expressed through their language which is informative, consecutive, rich in associations, and often gnomic (Filonenko, 2006, p. 38).

As the language is a system which allows to think, thinking is a "product" of the system appearing when interacting between the subjects in culture and the environment (for example, the nature) which is an object of thinking. According to the ideas of structuralists (F. de Saussure, R. Jakobson and others) thinking happens because the language allows us to form the social relations and categorize our environment as the symbolic representation. J. Derrida writes that:

The roots of the western science and philosophy go back to the ground of the everyday language where the episteme "takes" them. Thus, if the classical philosophy dealt mainly with the problem of epistemology that is the relations between thinking and the natural world, the philosophy of postmodernism experiences the peculiar "return" to the language focused on the problem of language, so the problems of cognition and sense are of the most importance for the postmodern philosophy. (Derrida, 2007)

As it is known earlier the structure has a centre, the so-called "steady beginning". In postmodernism the centre is not the centre, it consequently and orderly takes different forms and got various names. In such way, as Derrida says, the history of metaphysics is the history of different "replacements" as metaphors and metonymies. Hence, it can be said that the meaning is always elusive and incomplete because the language can never convey perfectly the ideas of the speaker. In this way it is important to emphasize that in the world where the science is too closely connected to power we should take seriously the postmodern skepticism about the relations between knowledge, rationality and power in our reality. L. Кoud, for example, researching the peculiarities of women’s cognition, analyzes the ways of studying the women’s experience from the point of view of the feminist epistemology. The researcher proves that the theory based on the female experience, should emphasize on the understanding not on the "justifying, checking and control" and it should admit the value of the individual experience of women (Koud, 2005, p. 186).

The plurality according to H. Arendt (2003) is the basis of the "human condition". We all differ one from another, even more we strive for it. Nevertheless, being different we all are given to establish something common with the number of Others also different. There is no just similarity unmarked with the difference. The complexity of the experience of the subject is such that very often the general abstract philosophical and reflective tries to embrace the borders of this experience can darken and distort its important sides (Kolesnykova, 2017). Undoubtedly, the concepts help clarify and order in our thoughts, but at the same time they can darken the very texture that they are trying to make clear. That is why the narratives sometimes are more successful in catching the "tides of life" in that way they "brighten" linguistics and philosophy.


The scientific novelty is in the given systemic literature and language analysis of the Ukrainian and Western women’s prose as the specific philosophical phenomenon. In general, it is proved that the studying of a woman, her language and originality is of current importance and is closely connected to her essence as a subject of culture.


The research of the anthropological understanding of the woman-subject through the prism of language and literature gives the following conclusions: sexual being sociocultural is based on the duality of the humanity as the ontological basis for gender stereotypes. Consequently, gender is the way of "removing" the opposition of male and female stereotypes in the metaphysical sex integrity. The concept of the "thinking woman" naturally resulted in the philosophization of the female literature and language; the fiction undoubtedly is one of the main sources of myths with the help of which both the western and Ukrainian civilization interpret and present themselves; just as much as the binarism is a natural form of identification, as much it penetrates into the discourse of the female authorship; the problems of women writing, reading and mass literature have related to male authors and to male critics and to the view of their understanding of the essence of the artistic creation and authorship, of styles and types of imagery.

Representing the woman as an individual, the female writers appeal to the understanding of many philosophical and cultural problems, and the philosophization of the female prose is in the framework of the general tendency of the development of literature in the XXth century. We can conclude that in the cultural world reflection beginning with the end of the XIXth century the image of a "new woman" is given through the idea of "to be the purpose to oneself". The new female type of the vivid personality is developed, the main features of which are freethinking, intelligence, the ability to make the decisions as to her destiny independently. In the Ukrainian culture it was Lesya Ukrainka who was the first to develop this image that became the negation of the traditional stereotype of a woman in literature and language.

The literature of the XXth-XXIst centuries is characterized by the strengthening of the interaction between the philosophical systems and the literary works. The result of this process is the actualization of the intellectual and thinking principles in the later. The philosophy of the postmodernism is in the process of the appeal to the language, focusing its attention on the problem of the language that is why the questions of cognitions and content are of language character. The artistic and philosophical ideas come into the dialogue.


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І. А. Колієва1*, Т. А. Купцова2*

1*Дніпровський національний університет залізничного транспорту
імені академіка В. Лазаряна (Дніпро, Україна), ел. пошта,
ORCID 0000-0002-4232-2994
2*Дніпровський національний університет залізничного транспорту
імені академіка В. Лазаряна (Дніпро, Україна), ел. пошта,
ORCID 0000-0002-0876-0384




Мета. Проаналізувати феномен жінки-автора як субєкта культури та філософії через призму мови та літератури в працях західних та вітчизняних науковців. Встановити значення філософської репрезентації ґендерних стереотипів для переосмислення їх місця та ролі в соціокультурному дискурсі. Теоретичний базис. Для дослідження теоретичних основ постмодерністської філософії доцільним є використання методу міждисциплінарного підходу. З метою комплексного аналізу висвітлення проблем жінки-автора як суб’єкта культури, важливим є застосування компаративістського аналізу. Наголошується, що межа між літературою та філософією – дужа рухома лінія, яка залежить набутого суб’єктом особистого досвіду. Спираючись на переконання, що ґендер вписаний в усі соціальні стосунки, доведено, що гендерний контекст відображений в будь-якій соціальній взаємодії, наголошується на необхідності застосування нової наукової методології соціальнокультурного конструювання ґендеру. Наукова новизна. Полягає у проведеному системному літературно-мовному аналізі української і західної жіночої прози як специфічного філософського явища. Загалом, доведено, що дослідження жіночої літератури та її своєрідності є актуальним питанням як для філософії, так і для культурології, яке допомагає віднайти філософські проблеми в літературних текстах. Крім того, ґендерний аналіз літературних текстів дозволяє вести теоретичний діалог з ґендерних проблем, що сприяє обговоренню важливих задач і проблем нашого культурного життя. яке органічно пов’язано з її сутністю як суб’єкта певної культури. Висновки. Доведено, що для літератури ХХ-XXI століть характерне посилення взаємодії між філософськими системами й художніми творами, наслідком чого є актуалізація інтелектуального, розмислового початку. З’ясовано, що жіноча літературно-філософська думка витворила неповторний світ жіночого буття та образ "нової жінки", таким чином проклавши шлях до нових стереотипів, заснованих на розумінні того, що статеві відмінності не мають бути визначальними як у суспільному, так і в культурному співіснуванні.

Ключові слова: ґендер; культурна репрезентація; жіноча література; ґендерні стереотипи; жінки-авторки; філософські проблеми


1*Днипровский национальный университет железнодорожного транспорта
имени академика В. Лазаряна (Днипро, Украина),
эл. почта, ORCID 0000-0002-4232-2994
2*Днипровский национальный университет железнодорожного транспорта
имени академика В. Лазаряна (Днипро, Украина),
эл. почта, ORCID 0000-0002-0876-0384





Цель. Проанализировать феномен женщины-писателя как субъекта культуры и философии через призму языка и литературы в работах западных и отечественных ученых. Установить значение философской репрезентации гендерных стереотипов для переосмысления их места и роли в социокультурном дискурсе. Теоретический базис. Для исследования теоретических основ постмодернистской философии целесообразным является использование метода междисциплинарного похода. С целью комплексного анализа освещения проблем женщины-автора как субъекта культуры, важно применение компаративистского анализа. Подчеркивается, что грань между литературой и философией – очень подвижная линия, которая зависит от приобретенного субъектом личного опыта. Опираясь на утверждение, что гендер вписан во все социальные отношения, доказано, что гендерный контекст отображен в любом социальном взаимодействии, акцентируется внимание на необходимости использования новой научной методологии социокультурного конструирования гендера. Научная новизна. Заключается в проведенном системном литературно-языковом анализе украинской и западной женской прозы как специфического культурно-философского явления. В целом доказано, что исследование женской литературы, ее своеобразия является актуальным вопросом как для философии, так и для культурологии, которое помогает найти философские проблемы в литературных текстах. Кроме того, гендерный анализ литературных текстов позволяет вести теоретический диалог по проблемам гендера, что способствует обсуждению важных задач и целей нашей культурной жизни. Выводы. Доказано, что для литературы ХХ-XXI веков характерно усиление взаимодействия между философскими системами и художественными произведениями, следствием чего стала актуализация интеллектуального, размышляющего начала. Обосновано, что женская литературно-философская мысль создала неповторимый мир женского бытия и образ "новой женщины", таким образом проложив путь к новым стереотипам, основанных на понимании того, что половые отличия не должны бать определяющими как в общественном, так и в культурном сосуществовании.

Ключевые слова: гендер; культурная репрезентация; женская литература; гендерные стереотипы; женщины-авторы; философские проблемы

Received: 30.11.2018

Accepted: 13.03.2019

doi: © I. A. Koliieva, T. A. Kuptsova, 2019