Still Crazy after All These Years: Women, Writing, and Psychoanalysis

Still Crazy after All These Years: Women, Writing, and Psychoanalysis

Still Crazy after All These Years: Women, Writing, and Psychoanalysis

Still Crazy after All These Years: Women, Writing, and Psychoanalysis

Synopsis

One of feminism's most dynamic critics brings together psychoanalysis, critical theory and cultural studies to look at how texts construct possibilities and limits for thinking what a woman is, and where women might be going.

Excerpt

Introduction The woman in the street

This book is about women moving, by direction and indirection, by their own volition or by others’ representations, on the street and on the page. It is about motions for change, movements that disturb. Like Shopping with Freud, the companion volume to this one, it brings together feminism, psychoanalysis, consumerism and literature. Here, however, the starting point (there is no conclusive end to the trip) has to do with a question of feminist rhetoric. How do women write what they want (and what they don’t want)? And how do the texts written about them construct possibilities and limits, openings and impasses, which set the terms for the ways in which we think about what a woman is, or where women might be going, whether individually or collectively?

For the woman in the street is no neutral opposite or complementary number to that figure for sociological averageness, the man in the street. First of all, the woman occupying this place—in the phrase, on the road—reveals the bias of ‘the man in the street’ who was supposed to stand or speak for men and women at once. The second point follows from this: that the woman in the street is somehow out of place, at least out of her place, viewed primarily in terms of her sex—in the same way that the ‘streetwalker’, openly sexual, is always assumed to be female, despite the neutrality of the word. In this context, feminism might be looked upon as women’s attempt to move themselves into this place on other terms—whether to claim the right of an equal access, or to change the aspect of a scene in which their differences have been disregarded, devalued, or only imagined from masculine points of view.

The first section of the book is concerned with the woman in . . .

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