What makes the textual image of a woman with a penis so compelling,malleable, and persistent? Although the figure of the phallic woman isin no sense unique to our age, Every Inch a Woman takes noteof a proliferation of phallic feminine figures in disparate NorthAmerican and European texts from the end of the nineteenth centuryonward. This multiplication, which continues today, admits of acorresponding multiplicity of motives. The phallic woman can be aribald joke, a fantastical impossibility, a masculine usurper, anultimately unthreatening sexual style, an interrogation into theI of the author, or an examination of female culpability.Carellin Brooks takes up the textual figure of the phallic womanwhere Freud locates it, in the imagined mother that the little boy, infantasy, credits with a penis of her own. It traces this phallic-womanmotif backward to the sexological case study, and forward to newspaperaccounts of testosterone-taking third-sexers. Brooks examines both highand low literature, pornography, postmodern theory, and writing thatwould seem to answer Lacan's injunction to move "beyond thephallus." Witty and engaging, Every Inch a Woman makes aninnovative contribution to sexuality, gender, and women's studies,as well as psychoanalytic theory and criticism.
Every Inch a Woman
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