Luce Irigary: Expanding her symbolism for Aotearoa – New Zealand

Betsan Martin
Vol 18, Number 1, p.49
Sexual difference, and the question of how to rebalance the relations between men and women for fecundity in love are central to the philosophical, ethical and aesthetic concerns of Luce Irigaray. lrigaray contends that such a balance will only be possible through addressing the representation of the feminine in the arena of the symbolic systems of culture. Feminism has necessarily been directed to the material conditions of womens' lives. Irigaray exposes the continuity between the material and the symbolic systems of culture, and draws attention to the symbolic as the anchorage of material culture. Symbolic representation of the feminine is one of the major oeuvres of Irigaray' s work. In this essay I am endeavouring to extend lrigaray' s attention to sexual symbolic re-ordering, which she regards as necessary to the institution of a new ethics, to suggest that attention to the symbolic systems of culture will be necessary to engage an ethics for cultural /ethnic difference. This symbolic extension is made in reference to Aotearoa-New Zealand.