chapter  9
14 Pages

Silent love

On Irigaray’s suggestion of cultivating sexual difference 1
BySilvia Stoller

This chapter shows how Luce Irigaray's concept of silence can be connected to her theorizations of sexual difference, that is, a culture of two subjects. It also shows how Irigaray regards silence as a condition for love between the sexes. Silent love comprises an ethics of sexual difference through love. The order for love between the sexes to take place, Irigaray claims that silence must be generated, protected, and cultivated. The cultivation of silence in the name of love is yet to emerge in our society. The call for a cultivation of silence is not only a matter of an immediate practical implementation by each and every individual. Rather, Irigaray's suggestions are always inextricably linked to a paraphrase of the western patriarchal culture. Contrary to Irigaray, 'silent love' does not only work as a criticism of patriarchal love, in which woman in Irigaray's view does not yet exist. It comprises an ethical attitude relevant to all kinds of loving relationships.