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Luce Irigaray

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Luce Irigaray (born 1930) is a French feminist and psychoanalytic & cultural theorist. She is best known for her works Speculum of the Other Woman (1974) and This Sex Which Is Not One (1977). Luce Irigaray is inspired by the psychoanalytic theories of Jacques Lacan and the deconstructionism of Jacques Derrida. She has two intentions with her work, to expose the male ideology underlying our whole system of meaning and thus also our language and to create a feminine countersystem to provide a positive sexual identity for women. One of her key thoughts is ‘the logic of the same’ or phallogocentrism, a concept expressing how society’s two gender categories, man and woman, are in fact just one, man, as he is made the universal referent. The aim would then be to create two autonomous terms, both equally positive and to acknowledge two sexes, not one . Following this line of thought, with Lacan’s mirror stage and Derrida’s theory of logocentrism in the background, Irigaray also criticises the favouring of unitary truth within patriarchal society. In her theory for creating a new disruptive form of feminine writing (Écriture féminine), she focuses on the child’s pre-Oedipal phase when experience and knowledge is based on bodily contact, primarily with the mother and here lies one major interest, the mother-daughter relationship which she considers devalued in patriarchal society. Luce Irigaray is often associated with Hélène Cixous.

Irigaray was criticised by Alan Sokal in Intellectual Impostures for arguing that E=mc² is a "sexed equation" (because it privileges the speed of light) and arguing that fluid mechanics has been neglected by "masculine" science because it prefers to deal with "masculine" rigid objects rather than "feminine" fluids [1] (http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/dawkins.html).


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