Phrase: "A phallic direction, a phallic line, a phallic time"
When Plato penned "The Allegory of the Cave," he had to have vagina on the mind, right? We'll never know for sure, but Luce Irigary, author of "Plato's Hysteria," dares to speculate just that. In "Plato's Hystera," Irigaray makes a bold assertion that the cave Plato was referring to could very well be referencing a woman's anatomy. Not only is the cave representative of a womb, the author states, but the path leading up and out is clearly a phallic symbol. "A phallic direction, a phallic line, a phallic time," Irigary writes, describing how the men are aligned in a straight line as well. Irigary's comment on the womb, which "has been forgetten," in the ancient allegory is an almost feminist reading of the text. The men are straining with genitals aligned without even realizing the instrument in which produced them, the "abortive" spawn that have been interrupted during the reproductive process and have never quite reached the light. They are continuing in the same place, the same line--a phallic line--and they will never break the hymen and escape unless they realize the importance of the device that conceived them (a woman) and mix the light and darkness of man and women to come to be higher beings. In this wonderful and interesting social comment, Irigary reiterizes woman's importance.