In modern art we need to keep track of who has the penis…

Freudian interpretation of fetishes (in its simplest terms) states that the fetish object represents the penis of the castrated mother and allows the child (usually male) to ‘know’ that his mother doesn’t have a phallus whilst not being forced to confront the idea. The fetish object allows the woman to have been castrated but does not destroy the phallus but displaces it. Female fetishes are seen to be the desire for that which represents her denied phallus. Hence why she becomes so attached to her children, especially a son. Dadoun and later, Creed suggest that a fetish is not the result of a fear of the castrated mother but of fear of the castrating mother.

How does that work? Does this fetishised phallus then represent a second penis for the child in case she cuts his off? Or maybe the removed penis of a female child? Or the result of her own cannibalistic castration? Or some abstract notion that someone has been castrated *somewhere* so there are all these surplus disembodied penises wandering about?

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