Feminist theory and practice from the very beginning have stressed the importance of language as a basic means for structuring and representing the self and society. If one of the goals of feminism is to unveil the workings of the patriarchal value system and to reveal the structures and control of social and cultural “order,” then we should start, as Helene Cixous has pointed out, by analyzing the politics of language: “I think that no political reflection can dispense with the reflection on language, with work on language. For as soon as we exist, we are born into language and language speaks [to] us, dictates its law, a law of death: it lays down its familiar model, lays down its conjugal model and even at the moment of uttering a sentence we’re already seized by a certain kind of masculine desire, the desire that mobilizes philosophical discourse.” 1