Hole 3: One Divides


The true contrary of black is not white. It is grey, patriarchal society—of which woman, as the antagonistic pole, is a notorious element. The famous contradiction of man/woman is a limited structural scheme that remains within the bounds of Western dualism: mind and body, reason and emotion, transcendence and immanence, form and content. All binaries privilege one pole so that the other becomes its negative counterpart, but any binary is a violent suppression of the dialectic, masked under the composed stability of empirical approximations. With the appearance of the Other appears torsion; this torsion is the dialectic. The political project of woman is not to define man, whether through affirmation or antagonism. It is the abolition of any place in which woman, as the negative of man, can be installed. The project of women is the disappearance of the space of placement of the Other, the destruction of a gender hierarchy.

This destruction will not be affected merely by opting out of the category woman. If one has come to find the strength to resist responding to the hail of the police(man), does that mean that the police, or the street as a place of state power, has been dismantled? Even if one’s symptom has been cured in the world of the psyche, there still remains the carcass of history and its apparatuses to surround and constitute a “free” subject. To be merely satisfied with our individual non-complicity with the identity applied onto us by the point of power leaves no room for solidarity with others stuck in subordination to the forms of oppression we abandoned but did not destroy.

While turning away from the master/hailer, we subtract from his naming, but as we do this we must also tread over the shells of the hollow name we leave behind. Not destroying the space of placement along with the name leaves too much chance for the repetition of power. It is possible for ideology, if temporarily hollow, to relapse right back into the same repetition. We cannot leave the symbolic uninhabited and yet we cannot leave its forms of oppression unshattered. If evacuating the name alone is not sufficient for the destruction of this name’s space of placement, then what would it mean to properly destroy the name?

The name describes the subject in the symbolic, but the subject is a knot that crosses the symbolic, the imaginary, and the real. To subtract from the name leaves the imaginary in place and doesn’t touch the real. The irruption of the real destroys the space of placement of the name and unties the knot, but a knot untied can be tied again to enforce the same structure; it can fall back into repetition. Repetition is a form of reflection—one in which the mirror unifies the known object and results in knowledge as pure passive image. But in actuality the mirror produces a gap between the subject and its reflection. This gap is a remainder, we trace its space asymptotically. To properly destroy the name we must create a new space of placement; we must abstain from reflection as repetition and instead detain reflection within the asymptotic becoming of a new concept. It is also necessary to tie the knot. The insurrection causes something to disappear; to be in fidelity to this hole we must replace the phallus with a vessel. This operation describes a feminism of castration and recomposition.

 
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