Undoing Matricide as Maternal Radical Care

Miri Rozmarin, Shlomit Simhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The concept of matricide theorizes the marginal position of the mother within a phallocentric and patriarchal society from a psychoanalytic perspective. This article seeks to contribute to the understanding of transformative nonmatricidal processes by analyzing the relations between the psychic and political aspects of these processes. We argue that nonmatricidal spaces can be created through the mobilization of a maternal affect as a care practice that transgresses social and normative boundaries. By reading the biblical story of Moses's birth and childhood, we depict the emergence of a nonmatricidal space and the ways in which this space defies and disturbs social boundaries forced by a heteronormative, phallocentric, and patriarchal law. We draw on Luce Irigaray's and Kelly Oliver's concept of a loving look to theorize how maternal affect is mobilized as an ethical and a political commitment, which affirms alternative positions of subjectivity and agency. We conclude by arguing that an integrated account of nonmatricidal relational spaces and maternal radical care practices might offer a wider understanding of the political effects of maternal politics as radical care practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-586
Number of pages15
Issue number3
StatePublished - 4 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Hypatia, a Nonprofit Corporation.


This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation [grant No. 2540/20].

FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation2540/20


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