Thinking With Glands – Jouissance of Women's Writing

Alma Jeftiċ


This article seeks to explore the area of  women's writing as to provide additional material for a discussion on the psychoanalytic perspective of gender development and the importance it has in the formation of female identity. With the attempt to review old debates on the existence of phallic and ovarian art, this article will contribute to it by providing a comparative study of Freudian and Lacanian theories of gender development. Oedipus myth and Freud's theories based on the phallus will be confronted with Lacan's theories. The main innovation of this article compared to the previous achievements in this field is the introduction of Lacan's term jouissance and its connection to female identity and the understandings of the childbirth metaphor. Jouissance represents surplus of enjoyment that can be explained through the resistance to prohibition, while the childbirth metaphor illustrates how gender creates and forms inscriptions of rules in female discourse. What can be concluded is that the significant number of female authors follow three phases: she tries to imitate her masculine colleagues, then she experiences the great feeling of resistance, and at the end she creates her own discourse, born through the processes of obedience and rebellion. While male writers can only create, women are able to both create and procreate. The childbirth metaphor has also served for centuries as a linguistic reunion of what culture and patriarchal literary tradition have sundered. By linking missing parts together, this article serves as a metaphor for one psychoanalitic movement towards jouissance of women's writing. 


jouissance; childbirth metaphor; phallic and ovarian art; Oedipus myth

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