The Primacy of the Phallus
The Distinction between Phallus and Penis
The meaning of the term phallus, however, has often been misunderstood. The term phallus must be distinguished from the term penis. The penis is an organ of the body, but least of all an organ, a penis. The phallus symbolizes the penis and the clitoris. It is a signifier. In short, Lacan's distinction between the penis and the phallus enables Freud's biologistic account of male superiority and women's penis-envy to be explained in linguistic and symbolic, and thus historical terms.
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