Abortion and Woman’s Choice: The State, Sexuality, and by Rosalind Pollack Petchesky

By Rosalind Pollack Petchesky

A holistic realizing of abortion from a feminist point of view, together with the background of its perform and nation regulations to include it; the social, financial, and cultural stipulations less than which girls put it to use; and the criminal, ethical, and political battles that encompass it.

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Ariadne’s love for Dionysus recalls the “love for savoir” that guides the transference, the love for the signifiers of the Other that makes it possible for the subject to embrace the erosion of the narcissistic ego to which they lead. I suggest that Nietzsche’s Dionysus figures what Lacan calls the “jouissance of the Other,” which takes possession of the human being and leaves in its wake a fragmented body [corps morcelé] that can no longer appeal to a coherent self or unified body image. Both authors suggest that this divided, fragmented, or objectified body is the true site of the subject.

Mauss notes that the notion of the “person” is created out of the notion of the “one,” which is in turn conditioned by the unity of the divine persons: It is the quarrel concerning the Trinity, the Monophysite dispute, which continued for a long while to exercise men’s minds and which the Church resolved by taking refuge in the divine mystery, although however with decisive fi rmness and clarity: Unitas in tres personas, una persona in duas naturas, the Council of Nicea pronounced defi nitively. Unity of the three persons —of the Trinity— unity of the two natures of Christ.

I show that this subjective division is both sustained and obscured by the function of the hostess (Sarah, Lot’s wife) whose incredulous attitude in relation to the divine guest underscores the incommensurability of God and man. She participates in the host’s subjectivity as excluded from or foreign to it, in such a way as to simultaneously affi rm the patriarch’s covenantal identity and insist upon his inadequation to the divine law he upholds. When Sarah erupts in laughter on being told by her divine guests that she will bear a child late in life, her laughter is ethical insofar as it insists upon her incommensurability with God.

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