In recent years, “patriarchy” has become a slogan-word, a combat phrase, that has spread like wildfire in activists’ minority communities, there, where it fell out of use.
Its signification is vague and floating – even feminists do not agree on its meaning. However, it is noteworthy that in contrast to the expressions “male domination” and “women’s oppression”, which are constative, the notion of “patriarchy” is supposed to be explanatory and cause-oriented. Moreover, the syntagm claims to represent a generality. It describes a “systemic” organisation of abuse, while “macho”, “sexist” or “narcissistic pervert” rather denote a misconduct of individuals.
How can we comprehend the new success of this term? This signifier, void of any precise conceptual content, is the object of various and contextualised appropriations. Its different uses – political, subjective and symptomatic – will be interpreted at the next Pipol congress.
At the end of the Seminar on Anxiety, when Lacan announces that he will speak about the Names-of-the-Father – in the plural form – he puts forward a paradox in the function that is attributed to the Father according to the analytical doctrine. “In the Freudian myth, the father intervenes in the most evidently mythical fashion as the one whose desire submerges, crushes, forces itself upon all the others. Isn’t there a plain contradiction here with the fact clearly afforded by experience that, on his path, something very different is operation, namely, the normalization of desire on the pathways of the law?”
It is not without raison, Lacan tells us, that in psychoanalysis the need was felt to preserve the mythical dimension in order to be able to speak of the paternal function: it is precisely because this function is neither purely logical nor purely symbolic. Lacan therefore reviews his conception of the Name-of-the-Father. The latter must no longer be considered as final cause or final term. The “father is not causa sui”, since – he himself – is caused by an object a.
Gradually, it is thus that in the structuring of subjectivity, a central place will be given to the Father’s object cause of desire. Lacan proposes to go beyond the myth and to take the question of jouissance, desire and the object of the father as guiding points. As Jacques-Alain Miller shows, Lacan’s trajectory in regards to the father, divides itself from that point on between, on the one hand a theory of nomination and, on the other hand, a theory of the object, then of the symptom of the father. These are the two pathways that are explored in an outstanding manner in the different texts that are proposed in this issue of Nobodaddy.
References from the author:
 Cf. Delphy C., « Théories du patriarcat », in Hirata H. & al., Dictionnaire critique du féminisme, Paris, PUF, 2000, p. 159-160.
 Lacan J., Anxiety, Book X, Edited by J.-A. Miller, translated by A. R. Price. Cambridge, UK, Polity Press, 2016, p. 336-337.
 Cf. Lacan J., “Introduction to the Names-of-the-Father”, On the Names-of-the-Father, translated by Bruce Fink Paris, Polity Press, 2013, p. 76.
 Cf. Miller J.-A., « Commentaire du ‟séminaire inexistant” », Quarto, n°87, p. 6-7.
Translation: Eva Sophie Reinhofer
Proofreading: Benjamin Wimmer
Picture : © Pascale Simonet