(the following is an excerpt from my thesis)
Thus there is ‘nothing’ outside of the metaphysical system. ‘Nothing’ in one sense, that if meta-physika already implies an a priori and ideal abstraction away from the physical and material body, then there can be ‘nothing’ outside of this abstraction since an ideal ‘nothing’ would already be included within such a metaphysical system as just another ideality that exists within it, reduced in quality to the sameness that regulates all meta- physical concepts; concepts that are abstracted away from the physical without reference to the material difference of bodily marks. This would reflect the potency of an ideal eye that is incapable of being met with any form of resistance to its omni-penetrative gaze, for idealizations would know no limits- it knows the limits of ‘no’, of nothing- for by speaking it and re-form-ulating it in language, hence giving ‘form’ to ‘nothing’, ’nothing’ becomes yet another concept reduced to the sameness of all other concepts which receives their quality in representation from the gestalt91 of the phallus.So in one ‘sense’, there is nothing outside of metaphysics by virtue of everything-ideal being inclusive within meta-physics and its boundless imagination. However, in an-other sense, there is ‘nothing’ outside of the metaphysical system, that which is itself physical, that against which the gaze is met with blinding resistance, the barriers of the skin/membrane/hymen that marks the limits of his gaze and the beginnings of her body and blood. ‘Nothing’ would demarcate this inside that is outside metaphysics for it does not give itself to be seen. Within his system “there would be no such thing as woman. She…might be found in the betweens that occur in being…These gaps reopen the question of the ‘void,’ and…give rise to vigorous, horrified rejection and move to plug the hole with speculative… ‘organs.’”92 But even if man’s ideal eye could penetrate woman’s sex organ it would still be only an imaginary survey, an imagination which would be necessary to defer and repress his castration at the over-sight of ‘nothing.’ Thus this ‘nothing to be seen’ that is inside, the inside in which man is born and out of which he comes to-be-seen, would remain outside all metaphysical impositions and imaginings, relegated as refuse to be expelled, a social manifestation of an anal-eroticism that must be controlled, deferred and expunged outside his system, by phallic mandate.93The ‘nothing-to-be-seen’ that constitutes woman, both her lack of a sex organ on the outside and her darkness inside, would be the ‘unconscious’ of man; she would be that which he cannot ‘see’ par excellence, his blindspot. However, the ‘nothingness’ that constitutes woman, both inside and outside, is contingent upon the pre-existence of a passageway, an interval between the inside and out, a passage that permits the ‘coming- to-be’ that man is incapable of specularizing, a memory of his actual beginnings forgotten and expelled from his consciousness, from his metaphysical system, due to the evasion of an obvious paradox that he cannot resolve.94 Hence the imposition of a law, or the myth of law, to negate this truth in favor of an illusion? In her function of being that which allows man to symbolize his ‘unconscious’, woman will serve as a mirror through which man is able to see his backside- never mind that it’s an imaginary or reflected ‘truth’; for the further the abstraction, all the more the idealization holds true, and the closer one is in con-form-ity to the Good, to the Phallus.
It is not that female sexuality isn’t theorizable but that it involves something which can’t be seen (from the perspective of man) and hence not imaginable and without the possibility of being represented, at least not from an exterior position, nor from a distance that the gaze cannot wholly traverse. But the ‘thing’ that can’t be seen by man that woman ‘posseses’, the lack that she possesses, is the phallus, which would be his thing and not hers; in other words, what man cannot see is not her sex organ which is clearly there, but his own sex organ, and since he does not find the same thing there in her, he will label her as ‘other’, lack, absence, and nothing. So it is not that she has ‘nothing’, but only that the ‘nothing’ is what signifies her sex organ- for man- man identifies her sex organ as ‘nothing’, representing her sex organ in the concept ‘nothing’, thereby killing two birds with one stone- simultaneously overcoming his castration anxiety and nothingness. For man in actuality does not see ‘nothing’ but ‘something’ which he is unwilling to admit that he sees- the possibility of a passage between inside and out, a thing which he does not possess nor could ever understand. But instead of submitting to his own castration at the sight of her sex organ as that which he does not have nor can see, he idealizes this otherness into language. Man is able to come to grips with the unknown by naming it in language. The ‘nothing’ that man sees there is indeed something but it is not ‘nothing’ nor is it woman’s sex organ. It is nothing other than his own image- a castrated image, a castrated existence. What man sees there is that which constitutes his Being, a fragmented and disembodied image, a being castrated from itself; a castrated being that can only see his own fragmented and incomplete image, the lack of his own penis there. What he sees, or projects, onto woman is the lack of his penis, his penis missing on her which would only reflect his own lack; which exposes a search for his phallus that has been underway since his violent abortion and abstraction from the primordial m/other, an act of violence perpetrated by the father and maintained by the big Other, acts done in advance of his ‘coming into being’, the truth of his pre-history concealed from him by the repetition of the same phallic myths that society and politics uphold, by law. So man himself is searching for that which would represent himself, and he will delude himself into thinking that he has that which would grant him access to representation, a phallus, confirmed and reflected in the image of woman, albeit a fractured, damaged and disembodied image since woman represents lack. He could thereby only constitute his identity via a negative function, a mirrored inversion, and she will be that against which he can posit himself as presence and substance in opposition to her who has nothing to be seen.
Fractured and damaged, his is a his-torical condition that reflects the ‘lack’ inherent to masculinity, a lack that is the lack of a relation to the place of his actual origin, a relation to the m/other that has been prohibited by the father. Such is the necessary result of an abstraction that distorts, mirrors, and idealizes his own origin. Thus man finds his origin not at the sight of his thing, but at the sight of her thing reflect his, that refracts and confirms his image back to him. So then not only would woman constitute a lack (for man), but man himself would also be signified by an underlying lack that exposes the facade of that which supposedly represents his presence- the phallus, representative of the mask that conceals his lack.So long as both man and woman are constituted by lack, they will perpetually elude each other. So long as lack is determined by a privileged pole of subjectivity that itself is lacking, the interval and sexual-difference by which man and woman come to be without reference or reduction to the other will remain concealed. Sexual-difference can help us think through the ‘ideals’ that man values most, and temper these phallic ideals with a less nihilistic form of political discourse; and perhaps that which would resist such nihilism would not constitute a discourse at all. Intersubjectivity would remain possible only if reducing the other to the self-same is impossible; impossible due to the ‘nothing’ of the other that swallows up and renders impotent any gaze. Thus reducing alterity to the self-same would be impossible if two poles of subjectivity exist, and exist outside the purview of the metaphysical gaze.