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Speculum of the Other Woman: New Edition

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really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  373 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Speculum of the Other Woman by Luce Irigaray is incontestably one of the most important works in feminist theory to have been published in this generation. For the profession of psychoanalysis, Irigaray believes, female sexuality has remained a "dark continent," unfathomable and unapproachable; its nature can only be misunderstood by those who continue to regard women in m ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published by Cornell University Press (first published October 1st 1974)
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Andrew
Sep 30, 2011 Andrew rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
What a ride! The first section where she basically tears apart the assumptions of Freud (emasculates him...? castrates him...?) was enough, but the rest of the book moved well.

I get the sense from reviews that maybe Irigaray is an "angry feminist" to some. I would ask for a reconsideration. Angry? Not at all. A point of the book is to to uncover how angry and reactionary male-dominated theory has been through history. Irigaray argues that this has gone un-minded since the era of the Greeks. She'
...more
Rekha
How's THAT for a title? Gross.

Once I got passed that, I got a lot out of this book. Knowing that Irigaray was a student of Lacan who got booted out for their philosophical differences that are in this book (drama!) made me all the more interested in reading this. It's one of those books where you have to read a paragraph (or even a sentence) and then put it down and think about it until your head wants to fall off, but you know, it was worth it. It mainly talks about how the female subject posit
...more
Bryan
Jul 12, 2008 Bryan rated it it was amazing
Take that Plato and Lacan. You fuckers are pigs!
Maggie Roessler
Irigaray upsets traditional words, syntax, and value hierarchies. Supposedly. She does accept fundamental sexual difference, it's just that men and their cocky eyeballs have all misconstrued the terms of that difference. Okay, so what's real femininity? She never got to that explication, instead spent the whole book censuring tradition. Is femininity wordless? So why did she choose the form of an argumentative academic text? Or maybe femininity's only power is to insert question marks and s/lash ...more
Robert Wood
Feb 12, 2014 Robert Wood rated it really liked it
a remarkable book, particularly the first chapter that closely reads Freud's claims on feminine sexuality, revealing their patriarchal conventionality, and then reading them against their grain precisely to reveal how fragile the masculine subject, and how dependent it is on the construction of this non-subjectivity to prop it up. Irigaray builds her reading of western philosophy off of Lacan's concept of the mirror stage, the misrecognition of the subject as a completed, and self-inclosed ...more
Tory
Jan 15, 2015 Tory rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminist
This book, like many other examples of post-structuralist French criticism, features an opaque writing style and wide-ranging references to the Western philosophical canon, which makes it difficult to read. However, this one is worth it. Irigaray's argumentation is problematic at times, but always compelling, and her account of the Western subject is a revelation. I particularly respect her guts in going after not only Freud, but Plato and Hegel as well. This book, while over 3o years old, has ...more
Maura Brewer
Aug 09, 2007 Maura Brewer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminism
I think some people find Luce Irigaray annoying, but she is probably my favorite feminist author. This book is mostly impossible to read straight through - but the individual chapters are beautifully wirtten, and truly radical in their world view. I find myself coming back to this book all the time. It has been a major source for my studio work.
Adam
May 04, 2008 Adam rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-s-studies
This distinct flagship of Post-Modern Feminism delivers a whopping blow to naysayers and conservatives of the feminist movement. While "Speculum" may not hold the historically significant weight of "Second Sex" or "A Vindication of the Rights of Woman," it definitely merits a place of distinction in the canon of Feminist non-fiction.
Natasha11
Feb 17, 2013 Natasha11 rated it it was amazing
Forewarning, Irigaray can be difficult to get through. Her theories can sound a bit odd, nonetheless she is incredibly profound and in my opinion one of the most substantial true Feminists in the past 30 years. Highly respectable.
Laura
Feb 08, 2008 Laura rated it liked it
Read this as an undergrad for my comprehensive exams. Interesting take on Freud's psychoanalysis of men and women, penis envy, etc. Dense reading, but if you're feeling adventurous, give it a try.
Red
Sep 17, 2007 Red rated it really liked it
Shelves: inthewind
this is where my love of french (feminist) philosophy began. (i'm not counting satre or lacan or ....)
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Haley
Jun 27, 2009 Haley rated it it was amazing
studied this over an entire summer course.
yes just this.
i broke it down, beyotch.
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Luce Irigaray (born 1932 Belgium) is a Belgian feminist, philosopher, linguist, psychoanalytic, sociologist and cultural theorist. She is best known for her works Speculum of the Other Woman (1974) and This Sex Which Is Not One (1977).

Irigaray received a Master's Degree in Philosophy & Arts from the University of Louvain (Leuven) in 1955. She taught in a Brussels school from 1956-1959. She mov
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