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Manhood, Marriage, and MischiefRembrandt's 'Night Watch' and Other Dutch Group Portraits$
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Harry Berger

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823225569

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823225569.001.0001

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Social Sources of Performance Anxiety

Social Sources of Performance Anxiety

(p.125) 8 Social Sources of Performance Anxiety
Manhood, Marriage, and Mischief

Harry Berger Jr.

Fordham University Press

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

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