For me, one central component of the “lived body” experience and attempting to attain corporeal transcendence is the idea of articulating one’s experiences with the body; that is, I feel that although privileging discourse about embodiment may relegate actually living through the body—as Kruks implies—I believe that expressing the feelings and emotions associated with bodily experience is important to attempt to live through the body in a more liberated way. Similarly, although some contend that women speaking about collective female body experience may potentially mask differences and marginalize certain groups of women, I feel that allowing women to articulate common experiences may promote solidarity and challenge female oppression.
Likewise, Nancy Mairs, in reflecting on her experiences with multiple sclerosis, suggests that honest and uncensored expression regarding experiences with disability and disease has the potential to elicit a sort of empathy and reassurance—a feeling of “Me too!”—among others that may assist their healing or managing their situation. Perhaps most compelling for me was Mairs’s assertion that direct and even provocative expression of bodily experiences—especially those considered abnormal or awkward, like disease and disability—effectively defies the normative, oppressive feminine ideals demanding passivity and even silence about these subjects. Correspondingly, when writing about her experiences with breast cancer, Barbara Ehrenreich relays that she was disheartened by the lack of honest expression of emotions, such as anger, and the expectation for cheerfulness in breast-cancer culture, or as she chooses to refer to them, among the breast cancer “cult.”
Although my reflections on the issue of voice when considering female embodied experience suggest that women should be more assertive and candid about their experiences with their bodies, I question my own ability or likelihood to conform to this ideal. Although I sometimes have my moments of boldness and eloquent declaration of my opinions and feelings, I am generally an exceptionally timid and quiet person, and typically do not bluntly express how I feel, especially in relation to my body. However, when I do honestly express myself—usually to an audience of close friends or family—the experience is relieving and almost cathartic, suggesting that I should make a deliberate effort to engage in this sort of open expression more.