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Understanding how power and the economy work over bodies and strain nerves is impossible without a critique of the phallus, emblem par excellence of patriarchy. The point here is to show that the phallus is not an abstract place, a simple signifier or differentiating sign. The phallus cannot be reduced to the penis as such. But neither is it the bodiless organ so dear to a certain western psychoanalytical tradition. This chapter discusses the phallus as that which has the peculiarity of manifesting itself as turgidity, as thrust or eruption, and as intrusion. There can be no speaking about these elements without restoring to the phallus if not to its physicality, then at least to its living flesh.

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