I Love to You: Sketch for a Felicity Within History
In I Love to You, Luce Irigaray moves from the critique of patriarchy to an exploration of the ground for a possible inter-subjectivity between the two sexes. Continuing her rejection of demands for equality, Irigaray poses the question: how can we move to a new era of sexual difference in which women and men establish lasting relations with one another without reducing the other to the status of object? Drawing upon Hegel, Irigaray proposes a dialectic appropriate to each sex as well as a dialectic of their relation. She argues for what she calls "sexed rights" and a right of persons based on the right to life, not the right to property. Using the results of her research into the sexing of language, Irigaray analyzes how women seek communication in discourse with the other--an other, pre-occupied with his abstract or concrete object, who does not respond. She proposes another syntax for communication, one that does not incorporate the other as the object of the subject but allows for an indirect relation. Thus "I love to you" replaces "I love you." In Irigaray's vision of the happiness possible in sexual difference, the love between a man and a woman finds its "reason" not in property or children, but in its own place within the couple. Arguing passionately for a new language of personal relations, I Love to You looks toward a future where nihilism can be overcome by "love in sexual difference."
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