The terrifying problem . . . is not that Mother is "castrated" but that she isn't. Males would be castrated, mutilated, if they had no penises, and the idea that women possess the whole range of individual powers that the male identifies with his penis and yet have "no penis," is what is so terrible. Eventually men embrace the project their socialization meticulously designs for them: To convince themselves and all the world that women are what men would be if men had no penises bereft of sexuality, helpless, incapable. And this project permeates the range of male cultural articulation from pornography to learned discourse. The very effort that goes into castrating women (both literally and metaphorically) is very convincing evidence that males do not, in their heart of hearts (or whatever place real terror is banished to), regard women as a priori castrated, despite an elaborate socialization that would persuade them otherwise.
--Susan Lurie, "Pornography and the Dread of Women"