Staying Alive: Matricide and the Ethical-Political Aspect of Mother-Daughter Relations

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In this article I argue that an account of nonmatricidal relations between mothers and daughters should include an account of the transformative process through which mothers and daughters can overcome the damage of phallocentrism. I further argue that as a lived experience, mother-daughter relations are always actualized in relations with a normative background, authoritative discursive practices, and social institutions, all of which constitute motherhood in different contexts. Transforming this space means challenging these contents and practices. Thus, it follows that creating nonmatricidal relations includes an aspect of witnessing in which the mother addresses to the daughter her refusal of phallocentric practices and values. By becoming the addressee of the mother’s subjectivity, as expressed in her ethico-political refusal, the daughter constitutes relations of difference. Reading the biblical story of Lot’s wife and her daughters, I suggest that the act of witnessing the violence of divine law has constituted a space between Lot’s wife and her daughters wherein they could create a lineage based on resistance to phallocentric law and affirmation of an alternative ethics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-253
Number of pages12
JournalStudies in Gender and Sexuality
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016

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© 2016 Taylor & Francis.


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