Friday, September 15, 2006

Help stamp out this filthy word

To those of us who care about the English language, Help!

Phallogocentrism, n.

1. A term coined by Derrida (blessed be his name, Oh great postmodernist thinker) indicating a (usually spoken) discourse, especially in Western culture, whose meaning(or truth, from logos) is inherently phallocentric (biased towards the male).

"Used by Derrida to recognise not only a cultural emphasis on the spoken word (logocentrism), but particularly the gender based power structures of the spoken word. Phallogocentric language is rule-based, linear, structured, directive, and assertive." (At least, according to the Feminist Lexicon)

2. A term used by bitter old feminists, gay studies scholars, and leftists to indicate their extreme displeasure with evil Western male-dominated society whose males act like men and whose females don't act like men.

Of course, as enlightened scholars we all understand that men continue to hold women back, and that most poor women (sheep that they are) don't understand they're held in place not only by things like babies and families, but by the very words that they speak every day. That eminent feminist, Luce Irigaray, explains to us that "women's social inferiority is reinforced and complicated by the fact that woman does not have access to language, except through recourse to 'masculine' systems of representation . . . The feminine is never to be identified except by and for the masculine."

Women don't have access to language? What have I been using to talk with all this time? Morse code?

No comments: