A Diagram about “Women” by Esther Neff

Multimedia, Prose




This diagram overlays three epistemic systems constructing doxastic definitions of “women.” At the edges of the page, four quadrants position two views of “women” as some-things (animals, property) around the outer rim of summary. The central triangle locates three identifying adjectives in relational process. Emergent and more particular descriptions becoming inscriptive implications orbit and co-construct these views and identifications, connected by dashes and placed in influential relationship by arrow-arms of power.  This diagram was drawn in rage and terror, working against subjection and abjection in attempts to objectify “the paradigm” so that it may be exposed and embarrassed as “a construction.” How does such a diagramming process “work”? To flatten and position epistemes and influences is to perform a semblance of control, but isn’t this very definition of “control” the same will-to-power that constructs binary gender and other coercive and oppressive orders for human qualities and properties in the first place?


Esther Neff is an independent experimental philosopher and co-ordinator of Panoply Performance Laboratory (PPL), a thinktank, lab site, and flexible collective making operas-of-operations, performance art, installation, and social projects. She is currently working on a new opera entitled PROTAGONY. Find more here.