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Gonzalez-Barrientos, M. Napolitano, S. (2015). Beyond Phallic Domain: Female Otherness as a Resource for Liberation: Some Notes from Lacanian Psychoanalysis and Poststructuralist Feminism. Psychoanal. Rev., 102(3):365-388.

(2015). Psychoanalytic Review, 102(3):365-388

Beyond Phallic Domain: Female Otherness as a Resource for Liberation: Some Notes from Lacanian Psychoanalysis and Poststructuralist Feminism

Marcela Gonzalez-Barrientos, Ph.D. and Stefania Napolitano, Ph.D.

The article explores the political derivations of psychoanalytical discourse on femininity, starting from the impact of Lacanian positions on feminist thought. The consideration of a dimension of absolute otherness of female sexuality, irreducible to masculinity and to a phallic domain—not-all phallic—theorized by Lacan in the 1970s, opens up many complex issues for the politics of women's liberation. It is a matter of living the absolute difference without either radically excluding it from the speakable or letting it be part of a romantic imagery of the otherness that perpetuates sexual hierarchy and, consequently, female subordination. Taking up the proposal of such authors as Julia Kristeva or Silvia Tubert, we suggest that the Lacanian theory offers the conceptual tools to shift from exclusion to re-volt, from the place of the Other as a pedestal for the Same to a political function of female otherness and of the “not-all” that it represents: a part of the Kultur and its difficulties, but not entangled in it to the point that it cannot bring any innovation.

[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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