Who is Luce Irigaray?June 25, 2021
Contemporary French feminist philosopher.
“Parlern Est Pas Jamais Neutre” (Never Neutral Speech), “La Sexe linguistique” (Linguistic Gender), “Sexes et Geneologies” (Genders and Genealogies), “Je, tu, nous: Pour une Culture de la Diffarance” He is famous for his works (I, You, We: Towards a Culture of Difference).
Irigaray, who came to philosophy from the field of psychiatry or psychology, is one of the most important female thinkers of the age. Inspired by Derrida’s account of the suppression and marginalization required by metaphysics, Irigaray turned his full attention to the oppressed by culture. As a matter of fact, she argues that women are excluded both in metaphysics or philosophy and in culture. Women do not exist in the cultural architect of the West. Western culture is built on a mother story that is much older than the patricide of Freud’s “Totem and Taboo”.
Accordingly, Irigaray primarily searches for the forgotten woman in the history of philosophy. In this context, he criticizes the whole tradition of Western philosophy, starting with Plato, which moves away from the sense of sight and knowledge of objects and makes the essence of existence and form the measure of reality. Not only that, Irigaray also researched sexual orientations in language. According to the philosopher, who argues that women are not represented in the phallic language, women have to either speak the language of men or create their own language in order to communicate and relate to others, that is, to be social. Irigaray, who repeatedly stated that the woman, whom the tradition sees as an incomplete Gestalt, the eccentric, irrational, and never complete reflection of the male subject, is not represented in language, tried to place the old/new words of the specific feminine discourse on the cornerstones where the dominant order was destroyed in various ways. Accordingly, he made fun of the phallus of psychoanalysis by introducing completely different structures regarding the shape of the female genitalia, and attempted to break up or empty the image that the male thought created for the woman in the mirror.
After Irigaray stated that the same thing applies to the social status of women, she developed an ethic of difference where women can never be men and men can never be women. According to Irigaray, who argues that an ethic of sexual difference should re-establish its ties with women’s genealogy, rebuilding or reviving women’s geneology means supporting the suppressed woman, giving her an opportunity to express herself, and returning her unique culture. He claims that most of the rights that women have gained in recent years are those that allow them to dress in men’s clothing. According to her, against the myth of equal rights and the impartiality of the legal order, the difference must first be made evident by making a distinction in rights for women. Because in this case, it would be to force women to equality in the face of the male, stigmatized form of the classical law. Secondly, the sexes have to present themselves in law for the first time.
– Wisdom and desire
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook