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Hanoch, E. (2013). Letter to the Editors. Psychoanal. Perspect., 10(2):213-215.

(2013). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 10(2):213-215

Letter to the Editors

Esther Hanoch, LCSW

I read issue 9(2) of your journal while stranded in my Manhattan apartment on the 17th floor during Hurricane Sandy with no electricity, no water, and no means of communication. It made for an engaging read, transporting me to another space, for which I remain grateful. I would like to express my appreciation to the editors for putting the subject of women's desire on the roundtable. This is one of other pioneering discussions in past editions of Psychoanalytic Perspectives that broadened the scope of psychoanalysis and increased its relevance to our lives.

The passion and compassion of the roundtable discussants as they presented a realistic picture of women's struggles with their bodies, their desire, and their sexuality resonated all through the discussion. Atlas's paper, “Sex and the Kitchen: Thoughts on Culture and Forbidden Desire,” is original, insightful, and a valuable addition to the roundtable discussion. Atlas compares Western and Eastern women's perception of their bodies, their desire, and their sexuality. She highlights the differences between the heterosexual bedroom and the autoerotic kitchen, between a phallic-dominant sexuality for both men and women in the West and a separate and authentic sexuality of men and women in the Middle East.

Atlas contends that women in Eastern cultures have a room of their own—the kitchen—where they grow into persons with authentic desire. This is not Virginia Woolf's a room of her own, in which a woman has enough space to develop on her own; it is a common room shared by all women of a family, who mutually nurture and are nurtured into becoming desiring subjects. The statement above is surprising and feels counterintuitive. It flies in the face of our stereotypes of women in a fanatic Middle East.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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