Tuesday, December 18, 2012

displacement downwards from above

My interest is piqued.

I've written before on the displacement upwards from below, of the genital to the head, that occurs in perversion. I think I've also mentioned displacement downwards from above in relation to orality cathecting the genitals. The latter was Rank's coinage and though there is the figure of the vagina dentata that shows this process I want to talk about this process in relation from genital to foot!.

I've had too many patients now who have had disgust in relation to their feet and who definitely have strong anal fixations. Additionally, it is popularly known that boots, binding of the feet, etc. are popular forms of perversion.

Body psychotherapists point to the skinny, tight legs that accompany many pre-oedipal characters (oral, psychopath, etc.) and the 'armouring' here between the genitals and the feet may make their connection salient.

What is theoretically relevant here is the notion of both the anal and the phallic stage involving a representation of castration of the genitals.

It's already clear that the trito-anal or urethral stage involves an awareness of the lack of a penis and the active castration wishes of the woman (Kestenberg) and envy of the male's ability to urinate upright (Horney). However, I thought it was the phallic-Oedipal in which the phallic mother is castrated and power/phallus was transcribed fully to the father, that the lack of the penis or castration is important.

So, either castration happens twice and we must chalk it up to poor reality testing on the child (i.e. castration occurred earlier but the child thinks the penis magically grew back on the mother), or the phallus is understood to be a retroactive signification on the relationship of power itself and not to belong to any bodily dimension. This means that the child only sees that its mother is overpowered by the father in both the anal stage and then in the phallic stage and uses the symbol of castration for these events. This means that power (i.e. transference) is initially upon the mother and then passed to the father but then upon the mother again in the phallic stage.

The bodily comportment of gender in the anal stage (i.e. moving or walking like a girl or a boy)
would be related to castration along with the primitive versions of the ego ideal/drives involving a transference to an omnipotent or 'perfect' father.


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