Thursday, October 22, 2015

phallic monism

In response to Freud's alleged phallic monism.

An anatomical man can have fantasies that he is "castrated" and has no phallus.

It also appears that even in the masculine lines of development that an object altruist can have a pregnancy fantasy (i.e. one which doesn't come from his OE or SA positions).

A anatomical woman can also have a fantasy of having a penis that doesn't come from her masculine positions (SE OA).

I try to spell this out in The Economics of Libido; the phallus is the symbol for both the masculine and feminine positions since it represents the not-mother.

In Greek mythology Athena has a spear, Artemis has an arrow, Hermes has his caduceus, Dionysus has a cone scepter, etc....

Freud avowed that he didn't understand femininity and therefore he can't be accused of totally covering up femininity because of his misogyny/psychosexual fixations. I do think misogyny was at play in him, but he was at least strong enough to admit he didn't understand women and not give into his weakness at all times.

Representations of being castrated in women is real (but also in men).

What Freud seemingly neglects when he talks about women's castration and the inferiority of her genitals is that men often feel like their penis is small and inferior too. I think Freud would acknowledge that, but his failure (and possibly his misogyny) was not to fully record the parallels.

This is also a point from Chasseguet-Smirgel and I posted it to the list too:

For example, She points out that Freud later changed is Oedipal theory so that both girl and boy take the mother as the primary object:

The boy enters the Oedipus phase; he begins to manipulate his penis and simultaneously has phantasies of carrying out some sort of activity with it in relation to hismother, till, owing to the combined effect of a threat of castration and the sight of the absence of a penis in females, he experiences the greatest trauma of his life and this introduces the period of latency with all its consequences. The girl, after vainly attempting to do the same as the boy, comes to recognize her lack of a penis or rather the inferiority of her clitoris, with permanent effects on the development of her character; as a result of this first disappointment in rivalry, she often begins by turning away altogether from sexual life. (An Outline, p. 155).

Although Freud's language is "inferiority of clitoris" here, Chasseguet-Smirgel points out that the boy will also feel his small penis is inferior to the adult one too. There are many ads/emails for penis enlarging pills and inventions on the internet that bear this out.

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