Suspicious circumcisions: a psychoanalytic exploration of the connection between Antisemitism and Misogyny.
journal contributionposted on 16.05.2016, 00:00 by P Cantz
The historical dominance of Classical Greek attitudes, beliefs, and meaning structures has directly contributed to the “otherness” status of women, establishing an implicit misogynistic undercurrent in the history of Western society. The privileging of certain Greek ethos within the foundation of Christendom has likewise amplified and institutionalised Antisemitism, solidifying the Jew as an “other”, atavistic and vestigial nation of people. The biblical world view, in contradistinction, offers an important reappraisal of masculine and feminine ideals, undercutting misogynistic attitudes and in so doing delimiting space for an authentic feminine other to find expression. The alternative gender conceptualizations endorsed by the Bible and more generally embodied in Hebraic thought render Jews a target for displaced misogynistic rage. Particular attention is given to the domains of rationality vs. irrationality, activity vs. passivity, and the dramatically different ways that the Graeco- Roman, psychoanalytic, and Jewish traditions understand ritual circumcision, specifically how after being filtered through a Hebraic lens ritual circumcision can be psychoanalytically re-conceptualised as a potent mechanism for forging intergenerational connectedness.