'If [...] a history of Western discourse seemingly strips the female body of its anus, we might see that repetitive discursive act as a means by which the male subject’s exclusive claim to symbolic reproduction remains more securely in place. We might speculatively look to God as an example of how the gendering of anal eroticism in cultural representation works to forge a relation between the male subject’s penis and power. The penis only gets to be the phallus through a system that endows the penis with all the privileges of anal creation. If God for example is the ultimate sign of the phallus it is by virtue of his status as creator of the world and the word; he has magical and mystical powers and means through which he can create a universe of material and meaning from nothing, from chaos, from fantasies of cloacal creation. He is in the first instance a voice that speaks from nowhere and everywhere — like, I could say at the risk and pleasure of offending, a fart. If read through the unconscious and conscious powers we grant the anus, we can easily say that his omnipotence is, in its most terrifying and sublime aspects, an anal force. He creates because he is the anus — dog spelled backward is God25, or as the Wolf-man himself insistently thinks “God-shit.” If God is also the father and not the mother of the world, he signifies a hybridization that embodies an associative link between that anal power and the male member. When Luce Irigaray reads our symbolic economy as analphallic, she too sees this crossing of embodied fantasies of power and in so doing has already allowed us to see the ways in which the phallus might better be approached not head on, as we have been doing by focusing so much attention on the power of the veiled phallus, but from the proverbial back-door, the anus; for clearly the phallus just wouldn’t be the phallus that it is without the anal power it appropriates under its name; it is not female ‘liquidity,’ as Irigaray argues, that explicitly challenges a patriarchal(anal-phallic) symbolic, but female anality, an anality whose erasure enables and upholds the very distinction she makes between the liquid and the solid across genders. This anal power can only be kept within the father’s terrain if it gets insistently linked to the penis; phallic (anal) power can only be read as phallic (penile) power by a complete removal of the mother’s anus from the scene of symbolic creation or by a fantasy of its reburial. If shit turns into the sacred by means of what looks like the father’s phallic (penile) claim to the word of law, that claim’s security demands the price of the mother’s anus; if her anus continues to exist in all its creative glory, the penis would find itself devoid of the underlying foundation upon which its significance as the mark of the male subject’s superior birthright rests. God’s anal system of creation can only turn into a system of phallic creation if the cloacal theory of birth remains an affair between men or becomes a legacy of the father and the father alone, or of the father and the son. The body and blood of Christ is nothing if not a fantasy of resurrection via a
fantasy of divine digestion.'

  'If the female anus is said to “mean nothing,” that is of course at some level right; but in other ways it is an attribution of value, a disavowal of the relevance of scenes such as the ones above to discourse and to the creation and recreation of ideological systems of gender, sexuality, creativity, and power -- and, a performative speech act. If the disappearing act of the female anus is nonetheless quite notable in our discursive histories, however, I would suggest that this disappearing act becomes even more pronounced when questions of female anal creation walk onto the theoretical main stage where we seem to forget that we ever knew anything about female anal eroticism (even in discussions about anality or the female anus); this is where we routinely tend to disavow knowledge we already have -- knowledge which tells us that female anal eroticism not only means but means powerfully.'


Denise Fulbrook, Medusa’s Tails and Leonardo’s Heads: Fantasies of Anal Creation in 19th Century Literature and Psychoanalytical Theory, Unpublished Phd Thesis: Duke University

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