Hard and wet: Luce Irigaray and the fascist body

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Abstract

The article analyses the use of the rhetoric of the fluid body in the writingsof Luce Irigaray and traces the historical connection of this rhetoric to theimagery of the body in fascist discourse. It argues against the acceptanceof such rhetoric as constituting a genuine alternative to the patriarchalimagery of the body. Rather, the article claims that the corporeal polarityof fluid/solid is rooted in the ideological exigencies of race and its applicationto gender is a secondary displacement that erases the complex andpolitically unsavoury history of the metaphors it uses. The study contendsthat Irigaray's claims to found her discourse in the female body andto speak for the feminine difference evade the ideological implications ofcorporality and are potentially dangerous for feminism. Moreover, itanalyses Irigaray's own political vision and finds it rooted in organicistideologies which contributed to the formation of fascism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-223
Number of pages25
JournalTextual Practice
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998

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