The Relationship between Psychoanalysis and FeminismJune 29, 2021
Psychoanalysis tries to explain the difference between men and women psychologically.
Freud’s experimental work to determine the roles of men and women in the family, more importantly, the description of the sexual identity process of the child during his/her upbringing constitutes one of the most important cornerstones of contemporary feminist theory. Freud merely diagnoses the conditions that the women’s rights movement aims to correct.
According to Freud, in the Oedipal period, “in the child whose sexual desires are awakened, an intense sexual desire and attachment to his mother develops. This desire causes him to see his father as his opponent… Seeing his father as a rival also develops the fear of castration (castration) in him. “. Fear of castration outweighs the desire to establish sexual bonds with his mother in boys. “This occurs when the boy strongly identifies with his father, preferring the father and thus the phallic (male genitalia) power and power in relation to other men over the maternal bond”. In short, this stage is the child’s sexual fantasies towards the opposite-sex parent and their suppression.
This is explained as part of the deep suppression of sexuality in Victorian bourgeois homes. “They also place importance on the penis as the symbol of the child’s sexuality and the source of future power, or in the case of girls, power poverty.” According to Freud, the male reproductive organ is biologically superior to the female reproductive organ. Feminists believe that Freud’s views, such as the libido as masculine, are pro-male. Karen Horney describes Freud’s views as “masculine self-love” and criticizes his views: “Psychoanalysis is the creation of a male genius, and almost everyone who develops his ideas is male. Therefore, “female psychology” has so far only been considered from the male point of view and women psychology actually forms a residue of male desires and frustrations. Horney argues that what we really need is to “free ourselves from this masculine way of thinking” in order to create an authentic depiction of female psychology.
Shulamith Firestone “Dialectic of Sexuality”. In his book titled, he argues that Freud, in accordance with the purely scientific tradition, observed psychic formations without considering their social context. Oedipus complex is valid in the environment of patriarchal family order. “We should not forget that Freud saw this complex as a complex seen in normal individuals brought up in the nuclear family in a patriarchal society, but that patriarchy is a social order that exacerbates the inequalities that exist in the nuclear family structure. Some evidence showing that the effects of the Oedipus Complex decrease in societies where men are less dominant. The weakening of the patriarchy also means that it will lead to many cultural changes.Juliet Mitchell Michell Lacan defined the patriarchal order as the symbolic “phallus order” and women were excluded from this symbolic order (language, law, cultural order, etc.).
“In this order, women and their realities are rejected and destroyed. Women stay in a different space because they are at the borders of the discourse, outside the symbolic space.” In this area they stand as destroyers trying to unravel the symbolic order of the phallus. At the same time, women have to affirm their values and views on their other fields of experience, patriarchy is death-oriented and theirs is life-affirming. According to Xaviere Gauthier, if women affirm this symbolic order and enter this order, they become schizophrenic and unwittingly turn into the so-called second sex. J. Kristeva, on the other hand, draws attention to the dilemma that women experience in the face of the symbolic. Either she will get into it and turn into functional men, or she will escape from everything that is considered phallic and take refuge in the courage of the silent undersea creature, thus giving up her place in history. French feminists argue that women’s development of their own discourse as the other will overturn the patriarchal order. In addition, they see the erotic pre-oedipal period of the mother as the source of the unrestrained feminine imagery. As a result, it is only a matter of cultural revolution that women who are on the edge of culture create their own culture.
Feminists, who adopt the psychoanalyst approach, treat all women as “different” from men, but similar to each other. The differences between the life experiences, emotions, values and psychology of women in different cultures, strata and societies are ignored, and it is not emphasized that these differences can sometimes be even more pronounced than the differences between men and women in the same society. While the process of women’s gaining their social identity in the West is tried to be explained with different theoretical approaches, in Turkish society, the process of women and men gaining identity is your own by carrying the traces of the Ottoman social structure.