Advanced Introduction to Gender Research (2010-2011) - Evelien Geerts (Research Master Gender and Ethnicity, student number


Luce Irigaray: the (un)dutiful daughter of psychoanalysis. A feminist ‘moving through and beyond’ the phallogocentric discourse of psychoanalysis.
Introduction. (Un)Dutifulness: Irigaray’s ambiguous relationship with the masculine oriented traditions of philosophy and psychoanalysis.
Luce Irigaray still is one of the most fascinating feminist psychoanalytical philosophers of our time: this fascination with her work arises not only from her creation of a multifaceted „philosophie féminine‟, but it also has to do with the opaque complexity and ambiguity of her oeuvre. Although she has now regained her status as a philosopher and psychoanalytic practitioner, she has not always been exactly applauded by the these two communities: the release of Speculum de l’autre femme in 1974 has made her famous in feminist circles for criticizing the masculine biases (which Irigaray considers to be an effect of phallogocentric thinking1) in the discourses of philosophy and psychoanalysis, but her thorough critique on the, according to her, prejudiced Masters of these discourses and their theories, was seen as a straightforward attack and even negation of these two traditions and eventually got her fired from the school of Vincennes2. The woman, who fought so hard to overturn the patriarchal suppression of women by trying to help them out of their situation of forced muteness, by creating a feminine imaginary, had now been muted herself. More surprisingly, Irigaray, who is nowadays seen as an important figure of the „écriture féminine‟ tradition and has been applauded for her positive rethinking of the concept of sexual difference, was also highly criticized in the domain of feminist philosophy and theory in the 80‟s. One can say that Irigaray was in fact forced into muteness by fellow

Phallogocentrism is a concept that was developed by Jacques Derrida. It is a form of logocentrism (ie. a systematic thinking centered on the logic of presence) in which the phallus will be emphasized as the ultimate signifier. This form of thought is patriarchal, since only men can identify themselves with this symbol and it will thus in the end lead to the misrepresentation and objectification of women. This altered definition comes from E. Grosz, Sexual Subversions. Three French Feminists, Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1989, p. xx. (hereafter: Grosz, Sexual Subversions). 2 See M. Whitford (ed.), The Irigaray Reader, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1991, p. 5 for more information on Irigaray‟s exclusion from Vincennes (hereafter: Whitford, The Irigaray Reader).


feminists, who made her look like a dangerous essentialist and discarded her philosophy as a problematic repetition of the phallogocentric tradition she tried to destabilize. Luckily, Luce Irigaray has now been rehabilitated as a result of a more nuanced reading of her oeuvre, and it is now claimed that her essentialism3 in works such as Speculum and Ce sexe qui n’en est pas un (1977) is mainly employed for strategic and political reasons. It is nonetheless obvious that Irigaray always had the cult status of an „enfant terrible‟ in these three traditions and this, in my opinion, has to do with the fact that her oeuvre has been ambiguous from the start. Her equivocal position becomes very clear when we look at her liaisons with the canons of philosophy and psychoanalysis, and that‟s why it can be stated that Luce Irigaray is the (un)dutiful daughter 4 of the Fathers or Masters of these two traditions. Although this paper will mainly focus on Irigaray‟s (dis)loyal approach to psychoanalysis, this introduction will also explore Irigaray‟s attitude towards the tradition of philosophy, since Irigaray considers the philosophical discourse to be the master discourse that “sets forth the law for all others, inasmuch as it constitutes the discourse on discourse”5. Irigaray‟s philosophical (un)faithfulness is a motive that runs throughout her oeuvre, but it is especially apparent in “Plato‟s hystera” 6 in Speculum of the other woman, where she reads Plato‟s epistemological cave metaphor from his Politeia in a deconstructive manner, to analyze what is being left out or being silenced in this discourse. She wants to look at “the unconscious”, “the operation of the „grammar‟” and the “silences” 7 in Plato‟s philosophy and by excessively (and hysterically) miming his statements and concepts, Irigaray will come to the conclusion that Plato‟s system not only forms the beginning of western metaphysics, but that it is also guilty of committing matricide (ie. the annihilation of the maternal-feminine principle). Plato therefore is not only the Master of philosophy, according to Irigaray, but he is a Master phallocrat as well, since he is the first advocate of phallogocentrism: in his cave
3 4

This critique of essentialism will be discussed in this paper on p. 13-14. The concept of the undutiful daughter is mentioned by Rosi Braidotti. See R. Braidotti, “Towards a Philosophical Reading of Feminist Ideas”, in: R. Braidotti, Patterns of Dissonance. A Study of women in contemporary philosophy, translated by Elizabeth Guild, Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991, p. 154. Although Braidotti uses this concept in connection to second wave feminism, I suggest that it can also be employed to sketch Irigaray‟s philosophical position. Since I want to accentuate the ambiguity of Irigaray‟s relationship with the Masters of philosophy and psychoanalysis, I opt for the concept of the (un)dutiful daughter, since it at the same time expresses Irigaray‟s continuity and discontinuity with these traditions: she can be seen as dutiful, since she works her way through these discourses, and clings to the Lacanian idea of the subject as discursive, but she psychoanalyzes philosophy and philosophizes psychoanalysis in an undutiful way to find the blind spots (or the unheard female voices) in these traditions in order to work towards her own „philosophie féminine‟. 5 L. Irigaray, This sex which is not one, translated by Catherine Porter with Carolyn Burke, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985, p. 74. (hereafter: Irigaray, This sex which is not one). 6 See L. Irigaray, Speculum of the other woman, translated by Gilligan C. Gill, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985, p. 243-364 (hereafter: Irigaray, Speculum of the other woman). 7 Irigaray, This sex which is not one, p. 75.


because she works through his phallogocentrism and tries to pay back the cultural debt to the mother figure by constructing her own. See Irigaray. on the other hand Irigaray will also use the tradition of psychoanalysis against itself and other discourses as a critical. p. anti-binary and poetic feminine philosophy. p. p. the Other of the Same) instead of into subjects of their own (ie. 138. p. for Irigaray. the tradition of psychoanalysis can be held accountable for this problematic matricide as well.. stands for the phallus as signifier). cit. but he will also slyly devalue the uterus by recasting it as “a dead cave”8. It is thus Plato who inscribes sexual indifference in western metaphysics by committing the first symbolic matricide. Sexual Subversions. xix. more abstract and masculine origin. 11 This concept of symmetry thinking is a synonym for “the economy of the Same” in philosophy and psychoanalysis which reduces all what is different to the standard. strategic movement of rewriting the practice of psychoanalysis 8 9 Irigaray. namely his own concept of the Idea of the Good that acts as the focal point of his „symmetry thinking‟11. Ibid. It is this double. 74. Luce Irigaray sees it as her task to analyze the multiplicity of female „jouissance‟ and wants to give it a central place in her feminine philosophy. he will not only exploit the female uterus (or „hystera‟. feminist tool. the phallus. 340. 355. On the one hand. since “the philosophic logos” will “reduce all others to the economy of the Same”12 and reshapes women into non-men (ie. Speculum of the other woman. which leads to a forced forgetting of the female imaginary. Only the masculine subject will be represented in philosophy. corporeal. 12 Loc.metaphor. the Other as the true Other). 13 The term „jouissance‟ “refers undecidably to pleasure understood in orgasmic terms. a speculum for the reflections of the transcendent Idea or the Sun (which. by taking its production function away and replacing it with another. See Grosz. This sex which is not one. Luce Irigaray can then not only be seen as the (un)dutiful daughter of Plato. p. 10 Ibid. that represents the principle of the maternal-feminine) through a play of metaphors and theatrical trickery. This in turn will lead to a phallogocentric misrepresentation of the principle of the maternal-feminine and women in general. and a more generally. non-genital pleasure”. ie. but she also places herself in a love-hate relationship with the two Fathers of the psychoanalytical canon: Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan.. The „hystera‟ will no longer be seen as an origin. but it will only serve as a passive receptacle. 3 . Since the philosophical discourse imposes its argumentation style and logical coherence on other discourses. “a dark hole”9 and as a “theater of the identical”10. and she will therefore look at the repressed question of female „jouissance‟13 and female specificity. Irigaray will critique them for analyzing female sexuality through a prejudiced masculine lens.

but at the same time also transcend. we will look into Irigaray‟s deconstructive approach and we will analyze her criticisms of Freud and Lacan by opposing these criticisms to Irigaray‟s own (often ironic) counter-attacks. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. where will be stated that Irigaray „feminizes‟ the practice of psychoanalysis. Irigaray will try to move through Freud‟s symmetrical and masculine vision of sexuality and his creation of the Oedipus complex and castration anxiety. when she states that “psychoanalysis must refuse to ontologise sexual difference as the difference that marks the subject”. deconstructing it that can be themed as a “moving through and beyond” 14 psychoanalysis. it becomes clear that actual feminist theories on subjectivity should be aware of the “complexity of the identification process” and the fact that there are different and multiple sorts of bodily markers. Feminist Theory and Postmodernism. At the end of Ahmed‟s chapter. Ahmed also refers to Irigaray‟s project. but she will instead develop another mode of psychoanalysis that can take female experiences into account and doesn‟t reduce female sexuality to “the dark continent”15 of psychoanalytical theory.. This „moving beyond‟ will be clarified in the second part of this paper.. will also be accused of phallogocentrism. she employs a quite narrow concept of sexual difference and leaves out other subjectivity/bodily markers and this is what Ahmed (although implicitly) accuses Irigaray of. 15 Irigaray. 117 for this statement. See Ibid. p. Differences That Matter. 1998. In this chapter. “in which the relation between language and the body is conceived as metonymic”. Ahmed gives an overview of the subjectivity theories in psychoanalysis and postmodern philosophy and emphasizes how current feminist theories should use. which can‟t be reduced to the category of gender alone. 104. feminist tool in her search for female subjectivity. Jacques Lacan. Ahmed is obviously critical of Irigaray‟s project. Ahmed. these theories to construct their own. It is this ambiguous „moving through and beyond‟ strategy that will form the leading motive in this paper and it will be argued that it is. Speculum of the other woman. p. which she sees a morphological reading of the body. 14 This concept of “moving through and beyond” stems from the text “Subjects” by Sara Ahmed. in: S. See S. See Ibid. first of all necessary to attack the many evils of psychoanalysis. Nonetheless. 103. p. seen from a feminist perspective. 4 . By digging through the problematic concepts and still unresolved questions of this tradition. Cartesian cogito‟s. “Subjects”. it will be claimed that Irigaray successfully transcends these evils by purifying the psychoanalytical tradition. and his symbol of the phallus as the superior signifier of discourse will be ironically subverted by Irigaray‟s symbolization of the two lips. Since Irigaray considers sexual difference to be the most important ontological question. p. Ahmed. “Subjects”). See Ibid. 118 (hereafter: Ahmed. In the first section of this paper. Luce Irigaray nonetheless does not fall into some nihilism. after deconstructing these discourses. The second Master of psychoanalysis. more complex theory of the subject that focuses on subjects who are no longer modern. Secondly. to eventually come to her feminine philosophy in which women will be represented in their true specificity. This is how Luce Irigaray will be able to come to her idea of sexual difference. Irigaray will transcend the evils of psychoanalysis and eventually reconstruct it as a positive.

whose guarantee. he reduced the importance of this idea and explained these via his concept of anal eroticism. 17 This questioning of the possibility of a concept of womb envy can be compared with a similar statement from Irigaray in which she also uncovers the masculine bias behind Freud‟s theory: “The fact remains that „penisenvy‟ most above all be interpreted as a symptomatic index –laid down as a law of economy of woman‟s sexuality– of the pregnancy of the desire for the same. 51-52. p. 5 . Little Hans and the Wolf Man. Schreber. 19 Ibid. 20 See Freud‟s patients Dr. and transcendental signifier or signified..1.. so that it becomes clear that Irigaray is not the only undutiful daughter of psychoanalysis: Eva Feder Kittay too has attacked Sigmund Freud on his problematic usage of the concept of penis envy in her article “Rereading Freud on „Femininity‟ or Why Not Womb Envy?” 16 Kittay there poses the following question: why has Freud never considered developing a concept of womb envy. why not also analyze the „envy‟ for the vagina? Or the uterus? Or the vulva?” See Irigaray. 1990. 146) But before we examine Irigaray‟s strategy of „psychoanalyzing psychoanalysis‟. Bloomington – Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. “Rereading Freud on „Femininity‟ or Why Not Womb Envy?”). he will neglect to develop such a notion. but since “we only envy what we value” 19. This sex which is not one. will be the phallus. since they also must be somewhat jealous of “women‟s distinctive physiology and capacities as these relate to childbearing” 18? Kittay‟s argument goes as follows: this concept of womb envy would be coherent from a feminist point a view. p. and from that starting point to modify its practice. Although there were many instances20 in which Freud actually encountered such a male jealousy versus childbearing. “Rereading Freud on „Femininity‟ or Why Not Womb Envy?”. Hypatia Reborn. which he then related to male 16 See E. in: Al-Hibri. which are being attributed with womb envy by Kittay. Feder Kittay. If it were not so. “Am I seeking to destroy psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis psychoanalyzed: Luce Irigaray’s discovery of (and ‘moving through’) phallogocentrism in the discourses of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan. and because of the fact that Freud fails to recognize female sexuality in its specificity by constructing an andocentric theory. Margaret A. you asked? I am trying rather to analyze one of its modes of operation. then why doesn‟t Freud articulate a similar concept for men. p. The Phallus. – Simons. 192-203 (hereafter: Kittay. Essays in Feminist Philosophy. p..” (Luce Irigaray. p. 201. see Ibid. 192. p. it might be useful to look into another example of „analyzing the psychoanalytical operations‟. “Rereading Freud on „Femininity‟ or Why Not Womb Envy?”. Azizah Y. if there is such a thing as penis envy in female sexual development?17 If penis envy is the key signifier of female development. 194-195. 18 Kittay. Speculum of the other woman.

In Speculum‟s “The Blind Spot of an Old Dream of Symmetry” 21. p. p. dichotomous oppositions. himself a prisoner of a certain economy of the logos.”23 Freud will advantage masculine sexuality and sees it as the a priori of his theory. forgotten. a reductive) approach in which women are equated with men. “The Blind Spot of an Old Dream of Symmetry”). 21. Heir to an „ideology‟ that he does not call into question. Freud has constructed his theory via a phallogocentric symmetry thinking and hoped that.22 This feminine mystery apparently could only be unraveled by using a symmetrical (ie. phallogocentric symmetry thinking) that will be unveiled by Luce Irigaray‟s rereading and rewriting of Freud. in: Irigaray. 22 See the following quote from Irigaray.homosexuality. “The Blind Spot of an Old Dream of Symmetry”. 6 . 1. 11-129 (hereafter: Irigaray. Irigaray will formulate her condemnation of Freud‟s biased theory of female sexual development. their Oedipus complex and their castration anxiety. Freud will thus not only develop a phallogocentrism. by taking male sexuality as the standard of development. he defines sexual difference by giving a priori value to Sameness. 72 that explains why Irigaray sees Freud as a symmetry thinker: “But. Freud’s ‘old dream of symmetry’ versus Irigaray’s questioning of the premises of psychoanalysis. so that female otherness will be forgotten and re-conceptualized within or subjugated to these masculine parameters. whilst he is in fact ignoring or even covering up the very specificity of female sexuality! Irigaray claims the following about his sexual indifferent theory: “Out of this difference will be lifted one of the two terms –but determined in relation to what?– and this one term will be constituted as „origin‟. Irigaray. and so on. The same re-marking itself –more or less– would thus produce the other. as that by whose differentiation the other may be engendered and brought to light.” 23 Irigaray. comparison. symmetry. shoring up his demonstration by falling back upon time-honored devices such as analogy. but he will also claim to be constructing his theory by taking sexual difference into account. whose function in the differentiation would be neglected. 21 L. The title of this chapter already says it all: according to Irigaray. the problem of femininity could finally be solved. “The Blind Spot of an Old Dream of Symmetry”. This sex which is not one. He will thus not explore the shadows of the dark continent and this blind spot in his psychoanalysis is the starting point for Irigaray to analyze his reductive conceptual scheme. p.1. Kittay thus discovers the androcentric leading motive in Freud‟s theory and it is this problematic Freudian dream of symmetry (ie. Speculum of the other woman.

to his „pro-ject‟ alone. in the opinion of Freud. a smaller and truncated (ie. which is focused on the boy‟s love for his mother and his fear of being castrated by his father. 24 Both the clitoral and the vaginal model are phallogocentric. This envy will be the motor of her sexual development: she will turn away from her mother (since she is castrated too) and enter into the Oedipus complex. whilst longing for her father. to become a „normal‟ woman. But. But. since her clitoris is. that is. since they will only find a substitute for their castrated penises in the form of a husband or a son. 26. The masculine Oedipus complex. and woman will thus only be seen as a complement to man‟s active sexuality and subjectivity. 7 . and will thus stay in some sort of a continuous “infantile dependency”28 throughout their lives. 18. inferior) version of the little boy‟s penis. This sex which is not one. the phenomenon of penis envy. 25 Irigaray. since the little girl is a deformed.. so that he can develop a superego. according to Freud. can be seen in the following definition of Irigaray: “The point being that man is the procreator. she will have to abandon her clitoral activity in the oedipal phase for a vaginal passivity. Woman is nothing but the receptacle that passively receives his product […]. The little girl. What this „normal‟ femininity is supposed to look like. p. But. 26 Ibid.Freud divides the development of women‟s sexuality into two. p. so that her vagina can become “the indispensable product of male pleasure”26. p. “The Blind Spot of an Old Dream of Symmetry”. will be “a little man”25. it may last forever and ever for girls. 114 for this suggestion.” 27 Passivity will be the key signifier for femininity. p. she will reach normal femininity. namely the Oedipus complex and castration anxiety. See Grosz.. since the clitoris is being perceived as a small penis and the vagina is seen as a (negative) complement to the penis. phallocentric 24. castrated boy already. Freud will have to re-construct the key concepts of masculine development. that sexual production-reproduction is referable to his „activity‟ alone. p. so that they can serve as phallogocentric signifiers for female sexual development. in her pre-oedipal development. modes: namely the clitoral and the vaginal. 28 Irigaray. 30. although this Oedipal drama is only meant as a passing-through phase for boys. her relation to these key concepts will be different. To get women under his phallogocentric regime of „normal‟ femininity. Her development will not be centered on castration anxiety. since this envy or desire never fades away. 40. Sexual Subversions. 27 Ibid. Woman can only reach this stage after she has accepted her castration. will eventually have to be overcome by the boy in order to enter into the world of the Father and the Law of the Father. and if she then does not fall into the traps of a masculinity complex or neurosis. but on a reversal of this concept.

This reshapes his theory into a theory of biological determinism. where it will be equated with the masculine. 33 See Ibid. desire for the mother/desire to be the mother etc. pretty miserable. 112-113 for a more detailed list of these characteristics. p. since this project also has its origins in Irigaray‟s critique on Lacan. Next to this negative description of femininity.” 31 This hierarchic logic will obviously devalue woman and misrepresent her as a “lack.. such as: narcissism. The feminine will be put in dichotomously operating symmetry thinking. characteristics to femininity. that encourages Irigaray to work through Freud to create another representational model of female sexuality. Because of the fact that Freud operates within phallogocentrism. 32 Ibid. shame. which leads to the second problem in his theory: the misrepresentation of women. plus/minus. Freud thus robs women of their possibility to become autonomous subjects and he ignores their sexual specificity. 22. vanity. biological female inferiority. 42.33 It is this depressing and faulty representation of female sexuality and femininity in general. This reworking plays a specific role in “Psychoanalytic 29 30 Irigaray.. Luce Irigaray wants to psychoanalyze Freudian psychoanalysis. default”32. Women will everlastingly live in infancy and objectivity. that will bring about two calamities seen from Irigaray‟s feminist point of view. because he claims that there is a natural. since women are only castrated others. will be shortly discussed here to conclude this chapter on Freud. and a lesser capability of sublimating instincts. weaker social interests. since they will never be able to alter their anatomy. p. This creating of another model that can actually represent women in their specificity. but then in a negative way: “[…] the feminine will be allowed and even obliged to return in such oppositions as: be/become. 71. and they will be “deprived of the value of their sex” 30. 31 Irigaray. First of all. “The Blind Spot of an Old Dream of Symmetry”. This sex which is not one. p. 8 . and to discover the premises behind his misogynous psychoanalytic model. will be discussed in a later section. p. Loc. cit. in order to discover its blind spots and hidden premises. logos/silence or idle chatter. have/not have sex (organ). Freud will also attach other. phallic/non-phallic. Freud‟s phallocentric theory is based on the antifeminist assumption that “anatomy is destiny”29. a predominance of envy and a lesser sense of justice. penis/clitoris or else penis/vagina. the second motive on the other hand. absence. he will not bother to explore the real „dark continent‟ of femininity and he will eventually misrepresent it as the negative (and thus even darker!) complement to male sexuality. clearly representable/dark continent. Women will forever be trapped in this inferior position.It is this pretty misogynous description (or prescription?) of female sexual development.

but “the problem is that he fails to investigate the historical factors governing the data with which he is dealing” 36. patriarchic. a priori-oriented „science‟. “The Poverty of Psychoanalysis”). the law of the Father/Master Lacan). but that it is in fact historically and culturally determined: there is a “hommo-sexuality”35 at work in Freud‟s theory. 35 See Irigaray. 79-104 (hereafter: Irigaray. in: Irigaray. and this is highly problematic. she still has some respect left for his psychoanalytical practice. But.2. “Freud is describing an actual state of affairs”. “Psychoanalytic Theory”. Lacanian-trained. It is this symbol of the phallus as the ultimate signifier that will play an important role in Irigaray‟s assessment of Lacan‟s psychoanalytical theory. p. 67. This sex which is not one. Freud himself is of course portraying his own cultural.Theory. 34-67 (hereafter: Irigaray. in: Whitford. 38 Irigaray. In “The Poverty of Psychoanalysis”39. p. when she connects Freud‟s theory with the phallus as signifier and accuses him of phallogocentrism. p. Lacan‟s psychoanalysis works with a rigid. This concept of a „hommo-sexual‟ culture is derived from the concept „homme‟ or man and stands for a patriarchic society. analysts. ironic symbolization of the Two Lips. 1. 103. is far less positive. “Psychoanalytic Theory”). formerly hidden. “a god jealous of his prerogatives” 38 . Another Look”34 in This sex which is not one. Lacan’s Phallus as the God-signifier versus Irigaray’s playful. Luce Irigaray accuses Jacques Lacan and his followers of reducing psychoanalysis. universal law (ie. So. represented symbolically as the phallus37. “Psychoanalytic Theory. where she comes to the discovery that Freudian psychoanalysis is not the universal. Irigaray. into an imperialistic. This sex which is not one. p. that is solely centered on the primacy of the masculine. “The Blind Spot of an Old Dream of Symmetry”. that has been the source of power behind the psychoanalytical discourse. p. 70. “The Poverty of Psychoanalysis”. Victorian background in his combination of psychoanalysis and phallogocentrism at its turn empowers the socio-political dominance of patriarchy. 9 . According to Irigaray. neutral theory that it proclaims to be. 39 L. premise of Freudian psychoanalysis has now been uncovered: it is the Freudian masculine bias. which was at first a non-rigid practice. Another Look”. her appreciation for the „new‟. according to Irigaray: 34 L. since he was still embedded in a tradition of early analysis that was open-minded to unexpected dilemma‟s and to the creation and revising of concepts. the main. 37 It is obvious that Luce Irigaray is re-reading Freud through a Lacanian lens. Even though Irigaray is very critical towards Freud. Irigaray. The Irigaray Reader. 36 Irigaray. a patriarchic culture and representational economy.

M.” 40 It is this rigid. a theory that more or less can be seen as a rewriting of Freud‟s notions of the Oedipus complex and castration anxiety. therefore it will. But this mirror image is of course is somewhat utopian. p. but is still “inhabiting a fragmented body” 43. This sex which is not one. every analysis was an opportunity to uncover some new facet of a practice and a theory.“Freud and the first psychoanalysts did not quite act like this. p. 2005. For them. before we take a look at her critique and reworking of Lacan‟s theory. and it can thus be seen as a discourse. the child experiences itself as an „I‟ and a „not-yet-I‟ at the same time. L. keep on longing for the symbiosis with the mother-figure. 86-105 (hereafter: Irigaray. because it can identify itself with its reflection. the child will experience itself for the first time as an „I‟. Canters and Jantzen also present some aspects of Irigaray‟s critique towards psychoanalysis. p. Irigaray. since his theory differs from Freud‟s quite a bit. “Così Fan Tutti”). or at least not for some time. Manchester – New York: Manchester University Press. Forever Fluid). and once every analysis is no more than an application or a practical demonstration of that law. The child will also understand itself as separated from its mother for the first time. since the child is not yet a whole subject. p. But once psychoanalytic „science‟ begins to claim to have discovered the universal law of the workings of the unconscious. 38-42 and p. 39. Canters – G. Forever Fluid. and this event can be seen as Lacan‟s revised version of Freud‟s Oedipus complex: the little boy will have to give up his desire for the mother and will from now on have to accept the law of the father. if 40 41 Irigaray. In the Lacanian mirror stage. a small sketch of his conceptual scheme might be of use. But. So. 83.. but they focus on Irigaray‟s view on the Fort! Da!-game and her creation of a more fluid logic versus the rigid binary thinking of Freud and Lacan.42 The most important difference between Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis has to be located in Lacan‟s (Saussurian-inspired) interest in the phenomenon of language: the unconscious is structured just like language. scientific law of the Father that Irigaray will use as a starting-point to attack Lacan and his psychoanalytical tradition in “The Poverty of Psychoanalysis” and “Così Fan Tutti”41. “The Poverty of Psychoanalysis”. in the mirror. 42-45 (hereafter: Canters – Jantzen. 43 Ibid. “Così Fan Tutti”. a subject. according to Lacan. 10 . Full subjectivity will only be reached when the father disturbs the child‟s desire for the mother. throughout its life. the only status the new complete „science‟ can possibly have is that of an era of knowledge already over. 42 This conceptual scheme will be loosely based on the sections “Lacan‟s theory of child development” and “Language and the phallus” in H. Each analysand was listened to as though he or she had some new contribution to make to that practice and that theory. A reading of Luce Irigaray’s Elemental Passions. Jantzen. Another distinction can be found in the concept of the mirror stage that plays a key role in Lacan‟s development theory. in: Irigaray.

London: Tavistock Publications. because they are being subjugated to this truth. the girl will realize that she cannot identify herself with the symbol of the phallus. Luce Irigaray will attack the Lacanian tradition quite bluntly: psychoanalysis has been brought into a miserable position since it has transcended itself into the state of a supposedly a-historical. It can be said that this signifier is chosen because it is the most tangible element in the real of sexual copulation. And this attachment to the „truth‟ of the phallus will not only be troublesome for the analysands. a passive object. 83. then a phallic castration44 will occur. instead of an open practice 44 Lacan wanted to get rid of Freud‟s biological penis and uses the symbolic phallus instead in his theory of development. and he reproduces his subordination” 50. There. in which man will find the source for the recognition of his subjectivity. 287 (hereafter: Lacan.. default” 45. according to Irigaray. 49 Ibid. p.. 1977. 47 Ibid. “the signifier of the desire of the Other”47. and also the most symbolic in the literal (typographical) sense of the term. that will make culture and language phallocentric or patriarchal. More than the Freudian analysts. The question then is of course whether the phallus is accessible for those without a penis (ie. 50 Ibid. 45 Irigaray. p. since it suggests that there is no way out of the primacy phallus and its law of the Father. translated by Alan Sheridan.. The relationship between the analyst and analysand thus becomes one of monological Mastery. 80. but also of feminine symbols for self representation and female subjectivity. “The Blind Spot of an Old Dream of Symmetry”. 46 Lacan states the following about the phallus: “The phallus is the privileged signifier of that mark in which the role of the logos is joined with the advent of desire.” See J. “The Poverty of Psychoanalysis”. 42. women will be deprived not only of the possibility to speak. and since the phallus isn‟t merely a symbol in sexual development. It is this manifest phallogocentrism behind Lacan‟s theory that will be analyzed further by Irigaray in “The Poverty of Psychoanalysis”. the negative image of the little boy. A Selection. It is this Lacanian phallus as the signifier. Little girls. since it is equivalent there to the (logical) copula. “Its theory and practice rest upon historical nothingness”48. p. but also the signifier of discourse46. Écrits). p.not. just like in Freudian psychoanalysis: while being confronted with the father. 48 Irigaray. on the other hand. and this a-historicism of the phallogocentric discourse is highly problematic. will follow a negative version of the Oedipal drama. since woman as the Other in this system will only serve as a receptacle. p. 84. 11 . absence. Real subjectivity will thus be again only preserved for men in Lacanian psychoanalysis. and she is therefore only “lack. 290. neutral „science‟. Lacan. the Lacanian ones will work with “the Lacanian code” 49: the a priori or the phallus that will dominate analysis over and over again. Écrits. but also “the psychoanalyst himself is subordinate to it. p. women)? This is something that Irigaray will contest.

By attacking Lacan on his statement that women don‟t know what they are talking about. 101. Whitford (eds.which are really far too partial. 89. by repeating him. p. Engaging With Irigaray. to open up a space for her own. cit. p.. Irigaray launches a full frontal attack on Jacques Lacan54. 88. 58 Loc.. The title itself is already quite sarcastic: it is a masculinized pun on Mozart‟s Così Fan Tutte („all women are like that‟) and refers to Lacan‟s reductive phallogocentrism. she will conclude that this remark makes sense. “Così Fan Tutti”. 54 Luce Irigaray will mostly analyze Lacan‟s seminar “Encore” in this text. Burke – N.57 They are the “not-all”58 in this male dominated tradition and only serve as the desired objects for men. 103. p. your imaginary. Feminist Philosophy and Modern European Thought. leads to the imprinting of sexual indifference in Lacanian psychoanalysis: woman as the Other of the Same only “serves as a matrix/womb for the subject‟s signifiers” 61 and thus again has to provide support for male subjectivity. Weed suggests that Lacan can be seen as „Don Lacan‟. p. you understand everything in terms of your schemas. Moreover. 51 The Lacanian psychoanalysts have become “pitiful exploiters”52 by blindly holding on to their universal law. 55 Interesting is that Irigaray will be miming Lacan in this text. 61 Ibid. feminine. so that she. “The Poverty of Psychoanalysis”. This all entails to the idea that “the geography of feminine pleasure is not worth listening to” 60. p. „jouissance‟. Schor – M. since women are in fact in a “position of exclusion” 56 in the psychoanalytical discourse. 51 52 Here we can already see what Irigaray‟s own vision of the psychoanalytical practice looks like. viewed from his perspective.. 53 Ibid. your code. feminine. 56 Irigaray.” 53 But this a-historical. “The Question of Style”. p.. New York: Columbia University Press. 60 Ibid. 90. 102. Weed. In “Così Fan Tutti”. “The Question of Style”).). 55 This explanation of the title „Così Fan Tutti‟ can be found in Ibid. according to Irigaray and this. imaginary. 1994.. 87 (hereafter: Weed. 57 See Ibid. p.. that Luce Irigaray wants to change by rewriting Lacan‟s symbol of the phallus. masculine universal schematic of Lacanian psychoanalysis is not the only problem. Female sexuality is being misrepresented once more. This suggestion has been made by Elizabeth Weed.based on dialogue and reciprocity. 59 Ibid. It is this situation of being subjugated to the universal law of the phallus. phallogocentrism: “You see. can at the same time move through his ideas. because of his constant denial of women‟s capability of finding and articulating their own. your fantasies…. in every sense of the word. to muteness and objectification. the “speaking beings”59. the Master himself. 12 . the equivalent of „Don Alfonso‟ the philosopher in Mozart‟s opera who claims to know everything about women. 88. p. in: C. See E. Irigaray. 87 for the complete statement. p. in turn.

68 See the articles by Diana J. so that a “woman-to-woman language”66 will come into being. The metaphor of the two lips in “When Our Lips Speak Together” will not so much be used there as a countermetaphor to the phallus. their jouissance in movement. “„Essentially Speaking‟. finding their security in their mobility. they would. We will come back to this poetical construction of a feminine philosophy in section 2. nomads knowing only the frontiers of their living bodies. in order to construct a female imaginary64 that can do justice to female specificity.Irigaray‟s ironic and playful symbolization of the two lips62 can be seen as a result of her „moving trough‟ the psychoanalytical tradition of Freud and Lacan. but Irigaray will rather employ them to construct the foundation of her „philosophie féminine‟. p. p. on page 18 while discussing the text “Volume-Fluidity”. Berg claims the following: “Irigaray‟s lips are […] a discursive phenomenon. they are 13 . women will get access to their own imaginary. This sex which is not one. 67 Ibid. in order to see where Irigaray starts to „move through and beyond‟ Lacanian psychoanalysis. This counter-attack on the phallus is an obvious rewriting of Lacan. at home everywhere. since this symbol of the two lips isn‟t focused on the static. Luce Irigaray‟s Language of Essence”. The two lips also function as a metaphor for Irigaray‟s project of „woman speaking‟ or „parler-femme‟ and can be said to stand for a more feminine view on female sexuality. in: Irigaray.” See D. solid “erection” 65 of the phallus. she herself already states in “The Poverty of Psychoanalysis” that these two lips do not entail “a regressive retreat to the anatomical” 67. but rather on movement. 205-218. Fuss and Maggie Berg for the interesting discussion on whether Irigaray is a phallocentric essentialist or a strategic one. openness and plurality. and there she will use it as a counter-symbol to the Lacanian phallus. J. Irigaray there states that “the „at least two lips‟” break out of Lacan‟s “phallic morpho-logic”. which will bring women out of their situation of muteness into subjectivity.. Fuss and Berg both claim that Irigaray is in fact a strategic essentialist. 97. p. 66. but. but does Irigaray succeed in transcending Lacan‟s phallogocentric essentialism? Isn‟t she relapsing into the same pitfalls of essentialism when she speaks of the two lips. always be in movement. but that is meant as a strategic-essentialist68 strategy: she wants to show us that the Lacanian phallus is 62 The metaphor of the two lips will only be discussed here as a counter-symbol to Lacan‟s symbol of the phallus. p. rather. women] could have access to the imaginary of their desires. Although the symbol of the two lips plays a key role the text “When Our Lips Speak Together”63.” See Irigaray. p. “The Poverty of Psychoanalysis”. 97. Irigaray will also refer to this metaphor in “The Poverty of Psychoanalysis”. 66 Ibid. p. 65 Ibid. Fuss.. 91. Fuss for example says the following: “Irigaray‟s production of an apparently essentializing notion of female sexuality functions strategically as a reversal and a displacement of Lacan‟s phallomorphism. “When Our Lips Speak Together”. so that women can finally speak about and via their own sexual specificity.. 101. but irony is crucial: while the lips bear a similar relation to the labia as Lacan‟s phallus does to the penis. and thus is a „true‟ feminist. in which the penis/phallus acts as the ultimate point of reference. It can in fact be claimed that Irigaray‟s metaphor is not invoked to define women via their anatomical essence. which could be seen as referring to the female labia? Luce Irigaray has often been critiqued for being an essentialist and a biological determinist. Hypatia 3 (1989) 3. 64 This motive of wanting to construct a female imaginary becomes clear in the following quote: “Whereas if they [ie. Irigaray. Via this symbolization. 63 L.2.

“Luce Irigaray‟s „Contradictions‟”). but that it does entail a dangerous. arbitrary. 57. by creating a more feminized psychoanalytical practice. Poststructuralism and Feminism”. p. p. Irigaray‟s deployment of the two lips in fact serves as a reminder of Lacan‟s relapse into a Freudian anatomical determinism and it is this determinism. exposing Lacan‟s failure to sustain his premise that gender. 14 .not just some innocent signifier of discourse. Despite his claims that the speaking being can line up on whichever side of the phallus she chooses. 69 Ibid.” See M. is ultimately linked to anatomy. Signs 17 (1991) 1. offered playfully or ironically in order to avoid the phallocentric gesture of displacing the phallus with an alternative hierarchy. which. It is this feminist „moving beyond‟ that will be the focus of the second part of this paper.” 69 So. Irigaray has „moved through‟ the theories of the two Masters. but she still has to „move beyond‟ this phallogocentric tradition. The argument of this paper is that Irigaray will in fact transcend all the antifeminist dangers of psychoanalysis sketched out in this paper. in the end. makes women powerless in Lacanian psychoanalysis: “Irigaray‟s lips are a „playful repetition‟ of Lacan.. within the determinism of his discursive system. and therefore open to choice. taken together with the masculine bias in the psychoanalytical tradition that Irigaray wants to undo. Lacan renders it impossible for one born without a penis to be on the side of the phallus: gender. anatomical identification between the phallus and the penis. 56 (hereafter: Berg. Berg. is unstable. constructed entirely within discourse. By creating the counterimage of the two lips. “Luce Irigaray‟s „Contradictions‟.

“The Gesture of Psychoanalysis”). 72 L. p.). in: T. 285-315 (hereafter: Hirsh. 106-117 (hereafter: Irigaray. p. Psychoanalysis feminized into a new. Irigaray. And. “Back in Analysis”). Irigaray will develop her own feminized version of the psychoanalytical practice. 2.” 71 Grosz. “The Limits of Transference”). Sexual Subversions. its own historical determinants.” (Luce Irigaray. Engaging With Irigaray. Let us say rather that the effort is to practice listening to and interpreting the unconscious so that these pursuits no longer create hierarchical relations where sexual difference is concerned. 146) It has been made clear in the past sections that Luce Irigaray isn‟t completely destroying the Freudian and Lacanian discourses: she isn‟t some “anti-analyst”70. nor is she trying to replace the psychoanalytical tradition uncritically by setting up a new hierarchical psychoanalytical order. p. “The Poverty of Psychoanalysis” and “The Limits of Transference” 73. London – New York: Routledge. This destabilizing from within. The Irigaray Reader. and always. in: Burke – Schor – Whitford (eds.). “The Limits of Transference”. more feminine. and from the masculine homosexual ideology that subtends it. This sex which is not one. See E. p. p. 15 . “The Gesture of Psychoanalysis”. This sex which is not one. in particular. Psychoanalysis feminized. by looking at (and altering) its “praticable” or “the analytic setting”74. 74 Irigaray. Isn‟t „anti‟ once again. This sex which is not one.” (Luce Irigaray. I am trying to interpret the traditional operation of the analytic institution starting from what it fails to grasp female sexuality. 145. Irigaray is rather putting psychoanalysis “on trial” or performing a “double-dealing”71. “The Gesture of Psychoanalysis”. it can do nothing but continue to respond in the same way to the question of female sexuality. Hirsh. p.2. Irigaray. Translated by Elizabeth Guild. from its relation to power. by using phallogocentrism against itself. Luce Irigaray’s ‘moving beyond’ the psychoanalytical canon of Mastery and Phallocracy. understood within the economy of the same? I am not an „antianalyst‟. Irigaray here claims that she doesn‟t want to be seen as an „antithinker‟: “Being an anti-analyst no doubt belongs to the same problematics as being an analyst in the traditional sense. Brennan (ed. 125) “Do I want to produce a „woman-analysis‟? Yes and no. “The problem is that psychoanalysis does not question. 1989. 113. Yet so long as it fails to put them in question. opens up a space for Irigaray to develop her own. or questions far too little. This „moving beyond‟ will take place in the articles “The Gesture in Psychoanalysis” 72. p. How To Do Thing With Irigaray”. which will be used here as a guideline to read Irigaray‟s own creation of a feminine psychoanalysis. practice. 128. “Back in Analysis. Between Feminism and Psychoanalysis. critical and feminine. 127-138 (hereafter: Irigaray. and by implementing the concept 70 Irigaray. version of the psychoanalytical practice. in: Whitford. Elizabeth Hirsh has written a nice article on Irigaray‟s „praticable‟. p.1. 73 L.

be deprived of “his or her habits of as a speaking subject”77. Irigaray‟s second move towards another „praticable‟ consists out of validating the psychoanalytical principle of free association and the dialogical exchange that should follow from it: the patient should be able to utter everything during the session. the analysand‟s „fundamental rule‟ of free association and its corollary. The patient will be lying on his/her back. so that they are not positioned face-toface.” 78 Although male patients are also in a relationship of powerlessness with their analyst. 16 . it quite often happens that a man will say to a woman: „Lie down‟. In an erotic situation. p. The first notion of the geography of the analyst and the analysand. depending on whether one is a man or a woman. since they operate under the universal law of the phallus. since the analyst‟s position is one of superiority: he asks the questions and he will lead the discourse.. “The Gesture of Psychoanalysis”. p. p. Hirsh. 78 Ibid. 128.of “gesture”75 into her analysis. 77 Irigaray. is that they are deaf to the analysand‟s desires. is very important in Irigaray‟s reconstruction of psychoanalysis and is the central focus of “The Gesture in Psychoanalysis”. Irigaray claims that the positions of both the analyst and his/her patient makes psychoanalysis sexually non-neutral. ethical connotations: she wants to take these bodily gestures into account in her own practice of psychoanalysis and wants to create a more open. 127. as a result. or movements of transcendence: she will look at the “„geography‟ of analysand and analyst. a rigid apriorism that excluded (mostly female) 75 76 Irigaray. But the problem with the two Masters of psychoanalysis. but this means that the analyst should be attentive enough to listen and to commence a dialogue with the analysand. “Back in Analysis”. while the analyst will sit down. p. 129. “The Gesture of Psychoanalysis”. the special mode of „listening‟ sustained by the analyst. sexed) being and communicate face-to-face. with his back turned. The analysand will. dialogical practice in which the analyst and analysand are aware of their positioned (ie. Irigaray evidently suggests here that this positioning of analyst and analysand has larger. so that they don‟t risk falling back into the dangers of mastery and objectification. Irigaray can be said to work out three different configurations. Here. as we have already seen in the previous sections. and the nature of the transference” 76. 289. or else. Irigaray also states that this dominance of the analyst works differently for the two sexes: “The sexual connotations of lying down are different. Interestingly. he will make her lie down. Irigaray claims that female patients are even more vulnerable.

This required openness between the analyst and analysand can also be seen in Irigaray‟s third and last feminine modification of the „praticable‟: in “The Limits of the Transference”..”81 The analyst has a horizon (ie. which can be seen in the following rhetorical question: “But what if psychoanalysis could only take place if it never subordinated itself to a theory or science? What if its singularity stemmed from the fact that it can never be complete? Never be reduced to a pre-established corpus. and here we have arrived at the core of Irigaray‟s feminization of psychoanalysis: Irigaray obviously wants a more dialogical. situatedness) of his/her own. Their transference and counter-transference work in a reciprocal way: it is not only the patient who should be the object of investigation in analysis. This more feminine analysis can only be 79 80 Irigaray. 114. “The Limits of Transference”.” 82 But. of the scientific statute of the psychoanalytical practice. cit. p. and in analysis. Irigaray herself would like to transcend this apriorism. but the basis on which he or she listens and gives space-time. 17 . the analyst too should serve as “the raw material of the treatment”80. Irigaray wants to create a space for a psychoanalysis that is build on dialogue. the basis in which he or she gives himself as the space-time in which he or she listens. no longer constituted by rejection. Where Freud and Lacan mainly operated as masters. p. a pre-existing knowledge. 83. Irigaray will look into the principles of transference (ie. more dialogical and reciprocal psychoanalysis: “[…] Approaching the one and the other in their respective horizons. the unconscious feelings of the patient who are being transferred onto the analyst) and counter-transference (ie. but moving and remaining open to the other.utterances from the very start. not only his/her countertransference. it should melt together with the horizon of the analysand. a pre-determined law?”79 By downgrading the importance of the a priori. and thus only looked at the principle of transference. the unconscious feelings of the analyst). 81 Ibid. Irigaray. “The Gesture of Psychoanalysis”. on the fluid exchange of experiences between the analyst and the analysand. p. This fusion of horizons is the goal of Irigaray‟s revised. Irigaray sees the analyst as someone who is immediately positioned in a relationship with his/her analysand. 116. 82 Loc. his/her transference and counter-transference matter as well: “For the analyst. anti-binary operating psychoanalysis that takes situatedness and sexual difference into account. constantly reinterpreting his/her transference is a necessity. hate or mastery.

p. Philosophy feminized. women can thus never be correctly defined in a phallogocentric system. in order to come back to Freud and Lacan‟s misrepresentation of women. 110. “Volume-Fluidity”). It is in the symbol of the two lips that she will find an answer: “The lips? The open. 83 84 Irigaray. she needs a symbol that reflects this requested openness. fluidity and reciprocity. Irigaray. since that system operates under the primacy of the sole signifier of the phallus. and is a “nothing at all” 85. she is indefinite. p. She transcends phallogocentrism by looking at the specificity of female sexuality and claims that “the jouissance of women exceeds all this”86. in order to move to her new.. the in-finite/unfinished. “Volume-Fluidity”.. in: L.2. L. here and now. cit. by stating that women in fact cannot be represented in rigid. Irigaray has already deconstructed the phallogocentric mastery behind the Freudian and Lacanian discourses. continually. she will claim that. 18 . 87 Loc. but opening. more open mode of analysis. Retouching. It is this feminization of philosophy that will form the last section of this paper. p. p. Via analyzing female sexuality. but. closed systems that are based on rigid definitions. but Irigaray also uses them as a symbol for her feminine psychoanalysis and for her feminization of philosophy. 86 Ibid. which does not operate with a “telos or arche”. in order to work through the Freudian and Lacanian idea of woman as pure negativity. 227. 88 Ibid. 85 Ibid. Irigaray will try to break out of this phallogocentric representational system. p. in-finite. in her feminine philosophy. Speculum of the other woman.reached when the mastery of the analyst has been destructed.” 83 The two lips apparently do not only work as a counter-image to the Lacanian phallus. not the indefinite retreat from the impossible to live.. 233. 229. Since female sexuality is centered on “sexual multiplicity”88. 2. form is never complete in her”87. Irigaray. Irigaray’s construction of a ‘philosophie féminine’ versus the faulty representation of women in the discourses of Freud and Lacan: a recapitulation. “The Limits of Transference”. she already (implicitly) employed this metaphor in Speculum‟s “Volume-Fluidity”84. 227-240 (hereafter: Irigaray. “woman is neither open or closed. Although Irigaray has feminized philosophy throughout her oeuvre by creating a female imaginary via the symbol of the two lips. Whereas “woman has not yet taken (a) place” in the discourses of psychoanalysis and philosophy.

for in that way she risks surrendering her own jouissance. which demands that she remains open to nothing utterable but which assures that her edges not close. she exceeds definitions and rigid representational systems. p. subject/object. cit.. 240. In Irigaray‟s feminine philosophy. 92 Loc. 91 Ibid. 93 Ibid. Luce Irigaray in the end does work through Freud and Lacan‟s theories.”91 Woman cannot be represented as a closed. active/passive. 94 Ibid. 238.. Loc. “Volume-Fluidity”. that can do justice to female sexuality and creates a space for female subjectivity. 239. her lips not be sewn shut. the two lips are seen as plural. woman is more than the Freudian and Lacanian images of the lack. to construct a more feminine philosophy and psychoanalysis (via altering the psychoanalytical „praticable‟). p. It is this more fluid approach to feminine specificity that will be the starting-point for Irigaray‟s feminine philosophy. and they break out of the binary phallogocentric logic which divides everything in touching/touched. since she is a “shapeless flux”93 and complete “fluidity”94. p.Given that “the sex of the woman is not one” 89. analyst/analysand. 89 90 Irigaray. emptied volume for the phallus/penis (“the sheathenvelope”92). the hole and “the mirror”90 for masculine subjectivity: “The/a woman cannot be collected into one volume. p. 239. always touching each other. which can be seen as a reaction to or as a „moving through and beyond‟ the faulty phallogocentric representational system of Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis. cit.. 19 . and she successfully transcends the feminist evils of their theories. in order to deconstruct their phallogocentrism and masculine symmetry thinking.

in order to pay back the cultural debt to the maternal-feminine and to finally be heard as a subject. Toward an Adequate Political Psychology”. in my opinion. more feminine psychoanalysis and philosophy. this paper defends the claim that Irigaray. 20 . “Lacanian Psychoanalysis and French Feminism”). but in a subversive and disloyal way and she does precisely what a true feminist philosopher should do. but also as a tool to construct a feminine „praticable‟ as a basis for a new psychoanalysis and philosophy. since Irigaray really attacks the universalistic and a-historical premises of Freud and Lacan. This critique is a bit far-fetched. And this is what makes Luce Irigaray‟s feminization of psychoanalysis and philosophy so complex and intriguing: she is loyal to her predecessors. where Leland states that Irigaray has not succeeded in going beyond the evils of Lacanian and Freudian psychoanalysis. Luce Irigaray has demonstrated us that the situation is less bleak than often thought of: psychoanalysis can still be a feminist tool. 96 By deconstructing the masculine imaginary behind the psychoanalytical and philosophical discourses. 83-90. in spite of her ambiguous relationship with the Freudian and especially Lacanian psychoanalytical tradition. The ambiguous patricide(s) of the (un)dutiful daughter. Although some have critiqued Irigaray‟s feminine revision of psychoanalysis and philosophy. or „moving through and beyond‟ has made her into the perfect example of the (un)dutiful daughter: Irigaray has held on tightly to her daughterly affiliation with the Fathers of psychoanalysis and philosophy. since it is always in some way connected to biological determinism.. she was forced to commit a multiple patricide. and by using the counter-image of the two lips not only as a playful opponent against the dominance of the phallus in these two traditions of mastery. p. Although some feminist philosophers have stated that “the use of psychoanalysis as a feminist theoretical tool is a precarious enterprise”95 and even went so far to say that feminism should be liberated from psychoanalysis. and has worked through their problems and concepts out of loyalty and admiration. still has cleared the path for another. Leland. if purified and worked through in a feminist manner. p. This rewriting. “Lacanian Psychoanalysis and French Feminism. 96 See for example Ibid. this paper has argued that the relationship between psychoanalysis and feminism doesn‟t necessarily have to be a miserable one. Irigaray tried to purify these traditions of their antifeminist biases.Conclusion. but. since she re-uses their universalistic concepts. namely „moving through and beyond‟ in a critical manner! 95 D. Hypatia 3 (1989) 3. 81 (hereafter: Leland. in the end. non-phallogocentric.

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