“When Lacan is reproached with phallocentrism … what is … missed is that the … entry into the symbolic order is .. an exposure of the value of the phallus itself.” – The subject has to recognise that there is desire, or lack in the place of the Other, that there is no ultimate certainty or truth, and that the status of the phallus is a fraud (this is, for Lacan, the meaning of castration). The phallus can only take up its place by indicating the precariousness of any identity assumed by the subject on the basis of its token. Thus the phallus stands for that moment when prohibition must function, in the sense of whom may be assigned to whom in the triangle made up of mother, father and child, but at that same moment the phallus signals … that ‘having’ only functions at the price of a loss and ‘being’ as an effect of division. … The subject then takes up his or her identity with reference to the phallus, but that identity is thereby designated symbolic (it is something enjoined on the subject). … Sexual difference is a legislative divide which creates and reproduces its categories. … Sexual difference is then assigned according to whether individual subjects do or do not possess the phallus, which means not that anatomical difference is sexual difference (the one as strictly deducible from the other), but that anatomical difference comes to figure sexual difference, that is, becomes the sole representative of what that difference is allowed to be. It thus covers over the complexity of the child’s early sexual life with a crude opposition in which that very complexity is refused or repressed. The phallus thus indicates the reduction of difference to an instance of visible perception, seeming value. … Something can only be seen to be missing according to a pre-existing hierarchy of values. … The moment therefore belongs in the symbolic. And if Lacan states that the symbolic usage of the phallus stems from its visibility (something for which he was often criticised), it is only in so far as the order of the visible, the apparent, the seeming is the object of his attack.
(J. Rose. Sexuality in the Field of Vision) http://ift.tt/1isCo4W

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