The staging of stories by, for, about, and serving the interests of women, and especially of lesbians, is more than a question of switching up pronouns, affirmative action hiring, or special initiativesto promote the work of women artists. It is about, literally, startingfrom zero. Because, what Daly and Wittig are talking about is acolonization of language—a colonization of the imagination.Wittig goes on to describe the lack of language for “whatever theyhave not laid hands on:”
This is apparent precisely in the intervals that your mastershave not been able to fill with their words of proprietors and possessors, this can be found in the gaps, in all that which isnot a continuation of their
discourse, in the zero, the O, the perfect circle that you invent to imprison them and to overthrow them.
And this is where we must begin. The perfect circle, the zero. Lesbianrelationships, like lesbian theatre, are expected to recycle theaccepted tropes of heteropatriarchal culture—its gender roles, itspower dynamics, its sexual clichés: “Boston marriage,” “lesbian beddeath,” “which one is the man?” When lesbians resist suchappropriation, our relationships, like our theatre, must be relegated tothe “intervals,” to the “gaps” of patriarchal language and of paradigms.But the patriarchal stigma attached to this absence cannot comparewith the promise of the zero, the “perfect circle” we will invent toimprison the narratives that exclude us and to overthrow their archetypes. Our zero encircles and encompasses what maleplaywrights and critics have declared for millennia to be “universalthemes.” Imprisoned in the context of their narratives, they cannot