... the knife that with obsessive frequency slashes the tree of Numbers hones itself as a phallic threat: the phallus is both threatening and threatened by the very instrument it is (Derrida 301).

The phallus, that overinvested symbol of powerful manliness and fear of castration. The Achilles heel of mankind. But look at the little guy again. Is it really some powerful knife that cuts and slashes? If the symbol is inadequate, perhaps the concept is inadequate also. Locating the binaries wholeness/lack, power/weakness, voice/silence in the the body of man not only denies women access to the preferred half of the binary couple, but oversimplifies these complex and not mutually exclusive concepts.

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