What Freud Said About Feminism

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Sigmund Freud, the Austrian psychoanalyst, was the first male authority figure feminists attacked.  They began their attack on him at the beginning of the 20th Century and continued it up until the present.  They then proceeded to attack practically all male authority figures, from George Washington to William Shakespeare and from Thomas Edison to John Wayne.

The attacks on Freud began early in the 20th Century and continued throughout that century.  What feminists primarily focused on was Freud’s theories about women.  Feminists absolutely could not stand his theories about women and so began the trend of name-calling which modern liberals (radicals) now commonly follow.

One the chief things that bothered feminists was that fact that Freud called attention to the biological difference between males and females; that is, to the fact that males have penises and women do not.  This difference in sexual anatomy led, Freud theorized, to differences in male and female personalities.  It was also the source of the sexual animosity between males and females.

At the core of Freud theory about women was the concept of “penis envy.”  In the 1920s, Freud wrote about this theory in several papers.  Both boys and girls developed a castration complex at about the age of three, at which point they discovered the difference in sexual anatomy.  A three- or four-year-old boy might run up to his mother, after fondling his penis and observing that it becomes erect, and shout, “Mommy, look how strong my pee-pee gets!”  Often times such a boy will not get a positive response from his mother, and he will thus develop negative feelings about his masculinity and a castration complex.

When a little girl discovers that her brother or other little boys have a part of the anatomy they do not have, they feel shocked and cheated.  They may run to their mothers and cry out, “Mommy, where’s your pee-pee?  Where’s my pee-pee?”  If their mother cannot give them an adequate explanation for this, they become depressed and angry about this fact, and it can affect them the rest of their lives.  They also develop a castration complex.

According to Freud, when boys discover that they have penises and little girls do not, boys react with guilt about having something that their sisters do not have, and they become fearful that their penises will be taken away from them—a fear Freud referred to as “castration fear,” which is the male castration complex.  Unconscious castration far can cause men to have a fear of women all their lives and to be submissive to them.  When little girls discover boys have penises and they do not have them, it seems to them that boys have everything and they have nothing.  They then develop what Freud called, “penis envy,” the female castration complex.

“From the analyses of many neurotic women we have learned that women go through an early phase in which they envy their brothers the token of maleness and feel themselves handicapped and ill-treated on account of it,” Freud wrote.  This initial wound, delivered at the beginning of life, is for many little girls, fatal.  They can never really accept that their brothers were born with a body part that they lack, and even though they later come to realize they also have a body part that boys do not have, in their primitive minds they feel that what they have and what boys have aren’t equal.  And hence, many girls grow up to be women who still, on some unconscious level, want to have a penis.  The quest for equality is a quest for a penis.

Later, Freud connected penis envy with feminism.  “Now upon this penis envy follows that hostile embitterment displayed by women against men, never entirely absent in the relations between the sexes, the clearest indication of which are to be found in the writings and ambitions of ‘emancipated’ women,” Freud wrote.  Sentences such as this were the ones that were the most upsetting to feminists.  As the old saying goes, “The truth hurts.”

Feminists did not just disagree with Freud, they demeaned him and dismissed him.  Horney, a female psychoanalyst, termed “penis envy” in a 1926 paper, “a male concept,” and said that Freud was blinded by a “male bias.”  Thompson, another female psychoanalyst, wrote in 1943 that penis envy was a “male conceit,” stemming from Freud’s “phallic narcissism.”   Kanefield, a more contemporary female psychoanalyst, spoke for many in 1985 when she said, “Freud’s view of women as castrated men, reconciled to inferiority due to their biological lack, is misogynous…deeply sexist and unfounded.”

After a century of these kind of attacks, which got worse and worse over the years, one of the greatest and wisest men who have ever lived, became relegated to the dark cellar of “evil men” that feminists have warned us never to even mention.

For many years I taught Introduction to Psychology at a community college in Manhattan.  I found that when I taught Freud, I usually got a hostile reaction.  Most professors in colleges today are feminists and many of them no longer teach Freud’s theories.  If they do, they only teach them to criticize them and dismiss them.   Many of my female students, without having read a sentence of Freud, would simply state, “He was a woman hater,” when I asked them for their opinion of Freud.  One student even stuck out her tongue at me—probably because I was a white male professor who was teaching evil.

Freud noticed the feminist attacks, which were going strong even in his day.  He advocated his fellow psychoanalysts not to be deterred from looking objectively at female psychology by angry protests.  “We must not allow ourselves to be deflected from such conclusions about the anatomical distinctions between the sexes and their psychological outcomes by the denials of feminists.”

Unfortunately, Freud’s strong stand against feminist hysteria could not be defended by subsequent psychoanalysts.  In the 1970s, feminism took over psychoanalysis just as it had taken over everything else, and today there is hardly any psychoanalyst around who subscribes to Freud’s theories.  All of them have been cowed by feminism and by the power-mad, politically correct mob.

Fortunately, there are still a few of us holding the fort, so that classical psychoanalytic thinking can be preserved for future generations.  I believe Freud’s theories about women are still as relevant today as they were in his day.

Original Story on AVFM
Author: Gerald Schoenewolf Ph.D.
These stories are from AVoiceForMen.com.
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