Deconstructing the Feminine: Psychoanalysis, Gender and Theories of Complexity

Author(s) : Leticia Glocer Fiorini

Deconstructing the Feminine: Psychoanalysis, Gender and Theories of Complexity

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The guiding thread of this theoretical review is the illumination of the impasses of binary thought and of the essentialist conceptions of women and the feminine. In this trajectory, the author's ongoing dialogue with Freud is connected with one aspect of his way of thinking: multicentred and complex. The text addresses questions relating to love, sexual desire, maternity, beauty and the passing of time and highlights current debates concerning women, the feminine, and sexual difference as well as some controversial topics that have been discussed throughout the history of the psychoanalytic movement.

One of the most relevant subjects is the notion of 'feminine enigma' and the conceptions of the feminine as the negative of the masculine, which means going into the nature-nurture debate, as well as into considerations of the feminine seen as the other of the masculine. The author points out that the notion of 'feminine enigma' is a displacement of the enigmas inherent to the origins, to the finite time of life (the inevitability of death) and to sexual difference. The basic misunderstanding stemming from this enigmatic condition is an equation of the feminine to otherness.

This text is the result of a line of work that the author has been developing for several years, based on her psychoanalytic training and practice as well as on her reading and interests relating to women and the feminine in other fields: philosophy, epistemology, anthropology and history. It is part of her interest in the modes of thought underlying conceptualizations on women in psychoanalysis. Advances in the relation between psychoanalysis and the feminine involve considering the complex relations around the question of sexual difference and the always problematic construction of sexual identity.

Reviews and Endorsements

'In Deconstructing the Feminine, Psychoanalysis, Gender and Theories of Complexity, Leticia Glocer Fiorini offers us a comprehensive picture of the feminine development in which we can follow with growing interest several ways of approaching this challenging issue. Among its many valuable insights, this book has the special value of using contributions from different psychoanalytic authors, as well as from other areas of knowledge, in such a way that the reader can follow not only historical contributions but also recent challenges as the new reproductive techniques. With this book, Leticia Glocer Fiorini offers a systematization of the current "state of the art" and brings also her own contributions, as well as possible new lines for future developments. I strongly recommend Deconstructing the Feminine to all readers interested in psychoanalytic studies, gender studies, human cycle development and to therapists who deal, in their practice, with both women and men and their interactions.'
- Cláudio Laks Eizirik, from the Foreword

About the Author(s)

Leticia Glocer Fiorini is a training psychoanalyst of the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association. She is the author of The Feminine and the Complex Thought (2001), editor of The Other in the Intersubjective Field (2004) and Time, History and Structure. A Psychoanalytical Approach (2006). Among other contributions in psychoanalytic journals concerning feminine sexuality she published: 'The enigma of the sexual difference' in Feminine Scenarios""(2000), 'Assisted fertilization, new problems' in Prevention in Mental Health (2002), 'The sexed body and the real, its meaning in transsexualism' in Masculine Scenarios (Karnac, 2003), 'Psychoanalysis and Gender, Convergences and Divergences' in Psychoanalysis and Gender Relations (2004) and 'The bodies of present-day maternity' in Motherhood in the Twenty-first Century (Karnac, 2006).

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