Social Sources of Performance Anxiety

Harry Berger Jr.

in Manhood, Marriage, and Mischief

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225569
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240937 | DOI:
Social Sources of Performance Anxiety

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The phallus is artificial, and it may be that—like Pinocchio's fabulous nose—the bigger it is, the more it lies. It signifies the desire for a power its bearer lacks and must try to control the domestic perimeter dominated by woman's productive and reproductive powers. Mothers do not need ancestor-centered ideologies or other imaginary appurtenances to keep the domestic system of reproduction going. But male cults have to resort to intergenerational myths, sending factitious lines of filiation back into the past, making their ancestors their children. Bryan Wolf goes on to suggest that the efforts at policing women were symbolic displacements of unsuccessful efforts to police the market. The Dutch traffic in women consisted not “in the literal bargaining for wives” but in the symbolic procedure of addressing a variety of issues tied to the period's social and economic upheavals as if they were matters of gender.

Keywords: Bryan Wolf; phallus; mothers; women; gender; performance anxiety

Chapter.  5011 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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