(18) Certainly a potential starting point for disruption of the rigid, naturalized tautology of phallicism (masculinity = rigidity = masculinity) is active inquiry into what "natural" means, but that potential (as we see with Sartre) is wholly contingent upon how thoroughly phallicism has already corrupted one's position as a seeker of knowledge, with what rigidity one conducts one's inquiries, and finally, how rigidly one clings to the a priori.
If the sexual philosophy underlying such remarks seems quite flexible for a time of rigid sexual and gender ideologies, then we should allow our own metaphors to capture that fluidity in ways that "phallicism" cannot.
If, during the mid- to late-nineteenth century, the forces of phallicism demanded rigid roles defined by the binaries heterosexual/homosexual and masculine/feminine, then clearly here something else is allowing slippage in and among the behaviors commonly associated with those terms.
A recognition of this high degree of overlap empowers much of the commentary to date on the issue of "phallicism" and is my starting point for a discussion of more fluid forms of male behavior.
(2) See especially Irigaray for a delineation of "phallicism"'s key characteristics.
Nothing reveals this crude, physical phallicism
more than the fact that the gun, the machete, and the cudgel (for wife-beating and child beating), three over-literal extensions of an aggressive, neurotic masculinist identity, are Okonkwo's ultimate answers to any and all crises, and we see this in several incidents in the novel: the incident with the beating of his second wife during the peace week; the episode of the severe beating of his son, Nwoye, when the unhappy youth was spotted among the new community of Christian converts; and the climactic moment of the novel which results in Okonkwo's beheading of the first in the line of the advancing party of the hirelings of the colonial administration who had come to break up the village assembly at the end of the novel.