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Ireland, M.S. (2004). Phallus or Penis: Commentary on Cornelia St. John's Paper. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 5(1):459-472.

(2004). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 5(1):459-472

Phallus or Penis: Commentary on Cornelia St. John's Paper Related Papers

Mardy S. Ireland, M.S.W., Ph.D.

The Lacanian concept of the masculine and feminine as symbolic positions, which may or may not correspond to anatomy, is clinically useful in the case of Mr. M. This discussion suggests that these concerns can be addressed by the feminist Lacanian theorists (Ragland, 1995), who discuss language within the landscape of primary repression as well as secondary repression. The analyst here illustrates the insufficiency of listening or speaking from only a preoedipal/maternal or an oedipal/paternal position; both are needed. In this discussion, the factors of sexual difference, psychosexual identification, gender definitions, and object choice are described in their different relations to one another when in preoedipal land (the Law of Language) versus the oedipal territory (Law of the father/culture). In summary, it could be said that stuttering or the inability to speak one's name is an incomplete weaning—there is no “I” who speaks from a secure symbolic indentification.

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