For, after all, what is man in nature? A nothing compared to the infinite, a whole compared to the nothing, a middle point between all and nothing, infinitely remote from an understanding of the extremes; the end of things and their principles are unattainably hidden from him in impenetrable secrecy.
Equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed.
—Blaise Pascal, Pensées, 199
…a single paradox….underlies every aspect of Lacan’s theory, the “sexual impasse.” At first blush, this phrase invokes naive feminism, condemning “phallocentrism” and embracing idealized womanly values. Nothing could be further from the truth. Lacan’s concept is divorced from both anatomy and “gender.”
The terms masculine-feminine do not refer to persons either biologically or socially identified as male or female. Rather, they refer to incompatible ways of confronting alienation and contradiction. The “masculine” attitude is denial. It attempts to resolve contradiction in order to create a complete and closed social universe. The feminine attitude is acceptance of contradiction’s inevitability.
…The masculine does not merely fail to hear, it affirmatively refuses to acknowledge the feminine. Indeed, the masculine side of personality creates itself through repression of the feminine. Based on these definitions, no individual could be exclusively masculine or feminine.”
Jeanne Lorraine Schroeder, Turning Law Inside Out (via sinthematica