Masculinity

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/ MASCULINE/FEMININE (see also EXCEPTION NOT-ALL) The Lacanian 'formulae of sexuation" make up a crucial part of Žižek's thinking: one way of characterizing the overall trajectory of his work is as a movement from a masculine logic of the universal and its exception towards a feminine logic of a not-all' without excep- tion. However, Žižek does not simply oppose the masculine and the feminine, but rather argues that the masculine is a certain effect of the feminine: 'Man is a renexive determination of woman's impossi- bility of achieving an identity with herself (which is why woman is a symptom of man)' (p.276). That is, everything in Žižek can ultimately be understood in terms of these two formulae. As Žižek asks: 'What if

  sexual difference is ultimately a kind of zero-institution of the social

split of humankind, the naturalized, minimal zero-difference, a split that. prior to signalling any determinate social difference, signals this difference as such? The struggle for hegemony would then, once again, be the struggle for how this zero-difference is overdetermined by other particular social differences." (p. 338) But. in fact, are these two positions consistent? On the one hand, Žižek argues that man is


explained by woman: on the other, that the split between the two sexes is irreconcilable, like the two different conceptions of the same village in Lévi-Strauss.