chapter  Chapter 3
10 Pages

Corporeality and Divinity

Irigaray and the Problem of the Ideal
WithJudith L. Poxon

This chapter explores Irigaray’s theorisation of feminine corporeality — along with her claim that women need to give birth to a new feminine imaginary, a new feminine morphology in light of her call for a reconception of divinity in a feminine mode. For Irigaray, then, women need a feminine conception of divinity to embody specifically feminine ideals of perfection, ideals that will serve as foundation for feminine subjectivity. To preserve the infinity of becomings that Irigaray envisages for women, in other words, it is imperative to move beyond the oppressive and repressive founding of subjectivity in an idealisation, whether divine or imaginary. In ‘Divine Women’, Irigaray takes up Feuerbach’s claim that God provides for humanity a mirroring of the possibility of its perfection, and in so doing guarantees the human genre, the identity of the human as distinct from the animal.