Stevie Schmiedel: With or Without Lacan? Becoming-Woman between the Language of Organs and the Anorganism of Language
Stevie Schmiedel writes: There seem to be two “camps,” two ways of reading Gilles Deleuze’s and Félix Guattari’s concept of “becoming-woman” as described in their Thousand Plateaus. My own reading of Deleuze and Guattari’s work confirms an anti-psychoanalytic and anti-dialectical understanding that turns against the psychoanalytic feminism presented by Luce Irigaray, and even against Judith Butler’s Foucauldian re-reading of Lacan with which she defines a political practice of parodic performances. Some recent articles by Deleuzean feminists, who wish to deconstruct molar feminism in order to pose a Deleuzean molecular becoming-woman against it, aim to fuse Lacanian feminisms and Deleuzean methodologies. To me, read close- ly, these fusions are counter-productive. When Jerry Aline Flieger writes, for example, “cultural feminists, such as Judith Butler, who see gender as a largely performative effect, will probably welcome the Deleuzean notion of ‘becoming,’”1 her reading of at least one of the two theorists dif- fers strongly from mine. After introducing my critique of psychoanalytic feminist approaches, which, for the purpose of this paper, I will restrict to the feminist politics of Luce Irigaray and, to some extent, Judith Butler, I will criticize the attempted fusion by concentrating on two examples: Jerry Aline Flieger’s synthesis of Lacanian and Deleuzean concepts in her “Becoming-Woman: Deleuze, Schreber and Molecular Identification,” and Dorothea Olkowski’s fusion of Luce Irigaray and Deleuze in “Morpho- logic: Deleuze and Irigaray,”2 which closely resembles Rosi Braidotti’s combination of Deleuze and Irigaray in her Nomadic Subjects and hence will be referred to.