Sexuation 1– The Logic of the Signifier
from Larval Subjects. To be-the-phallus (the feminine position) was to be the object of the Other’s desire, while to have-the-phallus is to possess signifiers of mastery with respect to identity (money, power, knowledge, strength, intelligence, wisdom, prestige, etc)... Thus, in the example of Monica Lewinsky, Clinton had the phallus in the sense of political power, but in her intimate dealings with him she discovered that he was a castrated subject, requesting, as my friend Tim jokingly put it, the ultimate rejoinder to Freud’s claim that “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”. Despite having complete power, Clinton still had a desire for something else and was still haunted by a structural incompleteness. What Lewinsky discovered is that Clinton, while having the phallus, also did not possess it...
Two Political Observations
On the basis of the foregoing, it can be argued that masculine and feminine sexuation also correspond to two different types of social and political organization. On the masculine side we get centralized and hierarchical forms of social organization often associated with nationalism, totalitarianisms, authoritarian leaders, etc. In my next post I will outline the jouissance that corresponds to these structures. Corresponding to the feminine side of the graphs of sexuation, we get networked, non-linear, decentralized forms of socialization. It can indeed be said that today we are moving from masculine based structures of the social to feminine based structures. However, it should not be presumed that these structures do not possess their own deadlocks and antagonisms. Indeed, it could be said that network based social relations are far more resistant to critique and engagement than are masculine based structures.