There is indeed reason to question the theoretical paradigm of a subject-object dialectic, whether Hegelian or Lacanian, that subtends both the aesthetic and the scientific discourses of Western culture; for what that paradigm contains, what those discourses rest on, is the unacknowledged assumption of sexual difference: that the human subject, Man, is the male. As in the originary distinction of classical myth reaching us through the Platonic tradition, human creation and all that is human– mind, spirit, history language, art, or symbolic capacity– is defined in the contradistinction to formless chaos, phusis or nature, to something that is female, matrix and matter; and on this primary binary opposition, all the others are modeled.

-Teresa de Lauretis

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