Saturday, April 22, 2006

Shamelessly stolen from Grannyvibe

Apropos of a few exchanges buried in the comments of previous posts: some more thought-starters:

About ten years ago, while reading a biography of the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, I came across something he said about women that struck me as uncomfortably true: women want to be wanted, not loved. He meant that women sought to be desirable rather than fully known...

I now believe that Lacan was basically right about the problem of female desire, but instead of seeing it as a normal aspect of female character, I see it as a damaging
affliction of female development in societies where women are expected to please men. The compulsion to be desired and desirable undermines self-direction, self-confidence, and self-determination in women from adolescence through old age, in all our roles, from daughter to mother, from lover to wife, from student to worker or leader, whether or not the affliction is conscious...

Wanting to be wanted is about finding our power in an image rather than in our own actions. We try to appear attractive, nice, good, valid, legitimate, or worthy to someone else, instead of discovering what we actually feel and want for ourselves....

Nor is wanting to be wanted the expression of a desire for intimacy or closeness. Rather, wanting to be wanted makes us feel as though we have no clear desires of our own...We have been culturally programmed so thoroughly to tune in to the subtleties of whether or not we are having the "desired effect" that we fail to tune in to what we really want or to see how strongly we are motivated by wanting to be wanted.
(Polly Young-Eisendrath, Women and Desire : Beyond Wanting to Be Wanted)
(via the fabulous Grannyvibe)


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