XVth Study Days of the Escuela Lacaniana de Psicoanálisis (ELP)
Colegio de Médicos, Madrid
19th and 20th November 2016
special link ties psychoanalysis to women. For Sigmund Freud, women opened the
door to the unconscious and led him to the creation of psychoanalysis. Since
then, the Freudian question, “What does woman want?” is central to
have always meditated on the question of femininity. However, they are not the
only ones to have sweated over this “mystery”. Women are affected by it too.
demonstrates that femininity, “by the nature of things, which is the nature of
words” (1), constitutes the prototype of otherness for every speaking being.
exist. They frequently turn to psychoanalysis. Women are as varied as they are
numerous. The more “The Woman” does not exist, the more diverse.
enigma of the feminine stills questions the so-called universality of ideals
and values. Psychoanalysis of the Lacanian orientation reveals that any attempt
to reduce the multiplicity of the feminine to a universal may cause irreparable
damage to subjectivities and cultures.
Miller –interpreting contemporary time—has pointed out that the “virile”
aspirations Freud described have been substituted by an aspiration to
femininity. This change is not only the result of feminism and women's greater
inclusion in culture, economics and politics. It is fundamentally due to the
advance of a society that is getting used to the dissolution of ideals,
particularly those that want to regulate the relationship between the sexes.
same time, hatred and rejection of women are still in force. The effort to stop
gender violence through educational and prevention campaigns produces more case
statistics rather than actual results. Let’s not forget those places in the
world where women are the object of culturally -licensed rejection and
degradation at all levels of public and private life.
in contemporary Western societies have modified women's traditional roles.
Today’s woman can play the game of life within a male logic both in the fields
of love and work. However, this strategy has its drawbacks: the more she play
like men, the more she loses herself. Clinical experience shows us that
separating love and sex leads women to suffering. Certainly, love –in multiple
ways—is still essential to women.
necessary sequence in a woman’s love life is often Speak-Love-Enjoy. A woman
can repeatedly address her demand for words to a walled-off partner or be blown
away by the one whose words take her to a state of extra-ordinary happiness.
limit, we find a certain feminine “madness” derived for the search of an
absolute love for which some women will sacrifice everything-her dignity, her
goods, even her life. The ravage, understood as unlimited devastation, is the
price that those women pay for their insatiable demand of love.
short, the relationship between the sexes is an eternal discourse. Desire is a
never-ending quest and love a way “to get round” difficulties. In this sense,
the present is not different from the past or from the future. Femaleness is,
and will continue to be, an object of constant interrogation.
new is that the master discourse is not interested in posing these big
questions. We live in a time of answers -for-everything: answers about genetic
and neurological causes from science, answers about behavioural adaptation from
psychology, and those from technology with its move to act limitlessly over the
most intimate spheres of human life.
It is a
mirage to believe that the truth of the speaking being can be revealed
through the study of the genomics or the brain. In fact, no knowledge can
account for the existence of an insurmountable limit. The Woman is one of the
names of that limit. On the other hand, we find new semblants and unknown forms
of “matching up”. We find women who become men, women who become mothers
through sperm or egg donors, women who marry other women and those who remain
alone, or who manage big corporations or command an entire army.
Psychoanalytical practice shows us that it is possible for a woman to find her
own solution in one of those labyrinths. It is a matter of finding one’s own
orientation according to one’s singular way of jouissance- and of granting this
solution the dignity it deserves.
Lacan invites us to let ourselves be questioned by the feminine, knowing that
the all of the feminine can never be completely said. This does not prevent the
psychoanalytical discourse from providing some references on women, one by one.
Translated by Neus Carbonell and Sheila Power
Quotes: Lacan, Jacques: Encore, 20th February 1973.
New Lacanian School
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