By Fintan Walsh (auth.)
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Additional info for Male Trouble: Masculinity and the Performance of Crisis
Queer Satan exerts a constant threat to the state and also to the success of Jesus’s sacrificial project. S/he first appears from the shadows in the Garden of Gethsemane while Jesus is praying, crucially, for strength.
117 Central to Lacan’s paradigm of subjectivity is a masochistic relation, with castration (submitting to the Law of the Father) ultimately affording the male a masculine position within the Symbolic. While this pact is first forged on a subconscious level, it is also practised in the misperceptions, over-estimations, and over-determined identifications of normative masculinity and patriarchy. It is also revealed in what Butler refers to as performative slippages,118 or those acts that reveal a subject’s failure to fully internalize its social contract.
However, the perpetuation of male dominance through the construction of masculinity and patriarchy demands certain sacrifices from its would-be subjects. That is to say, the success of the male subject within the Symbolic is dependent upon his compliance to certain normative codes of behaviour initially encountered in the Imaginary stage. First, in order for the male subject to be fully assimilated by the Symbolic order and later privileged by its ruling system of patriarchy, he must submit to the Law of the Father and be symbolically castrated.