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Freud's Idea Of Penis Envy And How It Has Evolved Through The Years - Essay Example

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Concept Of ‘Penis Envy’: Creation Of Patriarchal Mind Name of the of the University Introduction Women have achieved great heights in the society today. They have proved that they are capable of handling any responsibility, and can compete as fiercely as men can, in any field of work…
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Freuds Idea Of Penis Envy And How It Has Evolved Through The Years
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Download file to see previous pages Women have always been a victim of humiliation, torture and inferior treatment at the hands of men. Blaming the victim, that is the women, for their miserable condition, victimization and suffering has been in practice since along time (McLellan, 1995, p. 73). However, what really gave a valid acceptance to this practice was Sigmund Freud’s concept of ‘penis envy’. The practice of blaming women for their suffering became a sort of legitimate practice after Freud introduced his idea of ‘penis envy’ (1904) based on the study of his female clients (McLellan, 1995, p.73). The art of ‘blaming the victim’ (women) was so strongly legitimated by this concept that it became a psychological law of mainstream therapy even in the developed and modern world (McLellan, 1995, p. 73). Women were often treated in such a negative way that they subconsciously used to feel that they deserve the misery. However, due to lack of evidence and weak logic, the concept of ‘penis envy’ was criticized and rejected very strongly by feminists and some male psychologists. Due to the timely and intelligent contribution from feminists and male psychologists, the concept of ‘penis envy’ was weakened and uprooted from the minds of the people so strongly that today, it has got reduced to nothing but a mere ‘concept,’ and is known as a theory which was once introduced by Freud under his misogynist, narrow minded and patriarchal attitude. The Concept Of Penis Envy The concept of penis envy has been an integral part of Sigmund Freud’s theory of ‘Oedipus Complex’ (Kahn, 2002, p.72). Freud described the Oedipus complex as girl’s “erotic desire for father coupled with confusing, ambivalent, angry rivalry with mother” (Kahn, 2002, p. 72). More importantly, one of the major reasons for the development of this complex in girls is the lack of penis. According to Freud, both boys and girls think that it is a sign of inferiority and incompleteness not to have a penis (Kahn, 2002, p. 68). Girls think that as they do not have penis, they are inferior to men and are the owners of incomplete body (Kahn, 2002, p. 68). Hence, they always suffer from identity crisis as they have to live with a body that they feel is incomplete and weak. Also, the lack of penis makes them feel ‘different’ from their father and hence, incapable of forming a similar camaraderie with them as boys do (Kahn, 2002, p. 68). This further increase the feeling of inadequacy in them as girls do not find any other means of getting close to their father, which they subconsciously desire (Kahn, 2002, p. 68). Hence, girls develops a feeling of ‘penis envy,’ which becomes a life long struggle for them and makes them suffer from psychological and emotional problems (Kahn, 2002, p. 68). In this way, Sigmund Freud developed a concept of penis envy and in doing so, devalued women and their existence as nothing but a weaker and inferior version of men. However, it did not take long for the feminists and male psychologists to thwart his idea as completely illogical and immature. Feminist Reaction Freud’s concept of ‘penis envy,’ because of its patriarchal approach, became well known as the theory of ‘sexual politics’ (Boles & Hoeveler, 2004, p. 143). Feminist Kate Millett coined the term ‘sexual politics’ to explain her views on patriarchal system, which influenced Freud’s concept (2000, p.178). According to Millett, Freud’s approach towards his work was anti-feminist and boasted of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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