Saturday, 17 December 2011

Male / Female - a priori / empirical diagram in relation to Irigaray's Speculum of the Other Woman

OK, I love a good diagram, I drew this whilst thinking about the Luce Irigaray text last Tuesday. I feel it sums up the predicament that Irigaray was performing -  using Platos Cave to outline. This was also outlined very well be Adriana's demonstration of male introversion/a priori stance and feminine outward gaze for a male reflection:
F is either M, following the masculine tradition of a priori introspection (like the dudes in the cave, Plato) or F is empirical in which case the reflection is that of the male framed world, F asks M, so F=M through being M by being a priori OR F=M empirically by outwardly looking for a M tainted response/reflection.

I feel this sentiment is the bones of Irigaray's performance - the birth analogies, the uterofication of the cave are, for me, secondary to this, they elucidate the same sentiment.

Thinking back to Echo and Narcissus it's easy to see this dynamic, especially the empirical side. Echo as outwardly expressed is Male. Narcissus reflection is also Male, and Narcissus' love, his introspection is Male, and all of Echo's sentiments, her words are male words, she can only be male, she can only echo, and the love of the story is also a male reflection.

Being a little provocative now. Echo is male, doomed to only being an echo of the male because of another woman, namely Hera. Hera cut Echo's tongue out and cursed her to only echo others words after Echo acted as a distraction for Hera whilst her bo Zeus enjoyed the pleasures of all the other mountain nymphs. I find this aspect of Echo fascinating, she kept Hera talking, gossiping and whispering solely so that Hera was unaware of Zeus' infidelity. Hera ought to have punished Zeus, or the other mountain Nymphs - but she did not, she punished Echo, who merely acted as a distraction, so that her fellow nymphs and the all powerful Zeus could enjoy one another's company. Hera, turned Echo into the Female void, Hera is the cause of why Echo can only hope to be an acoustic reflection, and a male acoustic reflection or a silent void.


  1. If Echo relates to Irigaray, then Hera, is oh so related to Andrea Dworkin's Rich Women! (Actually even if not...)

  2. this does, in itself, have all the typically phallogocentric determinateness luce is trying to subvert, or even many ways we go right back to where we started