"The/a woman cannot be collected into one volume, for in that way she risks surrendering her own jouissance, which demands that she remain open to nothing utterable but which assures that her edges not close, her lips not be sewn shut" (240).

This provides a nice preface to the treatise on the Allegory of the Cave that follows.  Here Irigaray emphasizes the way in which a patriarchal society has limited woman's means of expression and experience by, among other things, incorporating both man and woman into the universal general term of "man."  To do so creates a sort of roadblock in language, one that prevents the female from accurately describing or quantifying experience, since it will always be done behind the screen of male-dominated linguistic metaphor.  She extrapolates on this to a certain extent, then, by talking of the inherent phallocentric nature of the allegory of the cave, and how additionally exposes "man's" obsession with reminiscence of the womb.

source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irigaray

No comments: