Masculinity

From No Subject - Encyclopedia of Psychoanalysis
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The subject is inherently divided and can never be satisfied. The subject is plagued by the anxiety that its jouissance - its pleasure or enjoyment - is never enough. The subject is driven by an inherent dissatisfaction and sense of insufficiency.

Phallic jouissance is the jouissance that fails us, that disappoints us. We constantly ahve the sense that there is something more; we do not know what this is, but we have the sense that it is there, and we want it. Phallic jouissance is that form of enjoyment that the subject experiences. The subject, even after it grasps its object of desire remains dissatisfied. The subject is disappointed and has a sense that its desire has not been fully satisfied. This sense of dissatisfaction that always leaves something wanting is precisely what Lacan calls phallic jouissance and defines the masculine structure. A masculine structure is characterized by turning the Other into an objet a, and mistakenly thinking that the object can fully satisfy its desire. Phallic jouissance is experienced by both men and women and is defined as phallic insofar as it is characterized by failure.


/ 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. 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)