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Speculum of the Other Woman Paperback – May 10, 1985


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Speculum of the Other Woman + This Sex Which Is Not One + Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (Routledge Classics)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press (May 10, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801493307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801493300
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Speculum of the Other Woman is a major text in the post-1968 feminist inquiry in France. It will be of interest to feminists, psychoanalysts, philosophers, and literary critics. There is no other text that attempts to do readings of major texts within the Western philosophical tradition using Lacanian, Derridean, and feminist tools. Gillian C. Gill offers a remarkable performance in translating without betraying a very challenging text."—Elaine Marks

Language Notes

Text: English, French (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
The first section is especially wonderful: a complete analysis of Freud's construction of women's sexuality and development. She has a great style with many a qwirk to keep you entertained. The second section includes free-form essays on Aristotle, Kant, Plato, Descartes and other representatives of the Western male philosophical canon. The last section is a complete analysis of Plato's Hystera. This is a good text for those of us who need to read the foundations of feminist thought . . . though some American feminists (such as myself) may find themselves annoyed with her "essentialism". Enjoy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer F Armstrong on December 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Length: 4:42 Mins
Many people misread Luce Irigaray as if she were a gender essentialist. I think it's because irony is falling into disrepute as something elitist or hard to grasp. She is, however, an ironist. How could one take a book entitled, Speculum of the other Woman" as anything but ironic? (Apparently, there was meant to be a comma after "other", but the publishers left it out.)

Irigaray is heavily influenced by Nietzsche, who is an ironist. Consider THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA - written in florid Bibilical language, whilst actually condemning religiosity and a metaphysical outlook.

Irigaray is doing the same with Lacan as Nietzsche does with the Bible. She is making fun of his portentous patriarchal attitudes by showing what he has left out of his paradigm -- the possibility of an actual, living woman. She is showing that the space he has left for women is null and void. This is supposed to be funny -- but these days people take it as if she were reifying gender.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Martin Asiner on August 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
In Speculum of the Other, Woman (1974), Luce Irigaray began what would eventually be seen as an ongoing controversy in her struggle to end the millennia-old stranglehold that a western patriarchy held on women. Losing her job as a college professor merely due to her upsetting the psychoanalytic tenets of Freud and Lacan did not deter her from devalorizing this masculine-centered phallocentrism that had been shackling women since Plato. Irigaray focuses on how the West has been viewing women in their collective roles as mothers. This patriarchy did not even exclude women who had not borne children. All women were labeled as mothers or potential mothers. Irigaray notes that men were designated as worthy as being subjects in their own right. A "subject" is a doer and shaker, a Power That Be, or an active creator of all things. Truly to be a man is an empowering feeling. Women, by contrast, are not subjects, nor can they ever be so. They are relegated as objects. An "object" is inert, passive, quiet, and unobtrusive. It is men who direct women and it is women who are fated by inexorable nature to be directed by men. Truly to be a woman is to live her hardscrabble life out on a playing field solely as watching bystanders in the seats. After all, Freud and Lacan suggested, this is the Way Things Are. Men therefore help women in all aspects of life for women need this help to get by. From these dubious claims of patriarchal supremacy, Irigaray makes a totally unexpected assertion: Innate sexual and gender differences do not exist since if they did both genders would be equally qualified as subjects, a claim that Freudian and Lacanian acolytes would be loathe to grant. Men, Irigaray asserts, have been using their phalluses since Paleolithic times as a metaphorical club to bash women into subservience.Read more ›
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18 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
Those unfamiliar with Plato, Descartes, Freud and Lacan will find great challenges in understanding this rather poetic book. Irigary examines these figures in light of the "symbolic order" to detail phallocentricism in the development of Western thought in general as well as psychoanalysis, revealing what is, according to the author, the nature of feminine sexuality and gender identity. Reading this text, written by a former student of Lacan's expelled over ideological differences, was transforming and has left a permanent perspective from which to percieve and critique philosophical arguments as well as science, medicine, and psychotherapy.
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