Year : 2009 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 97-109
|The Feminist Perspective: Searching the Cosmos for a Valid Voice
PhD. Consultant, Behavioral Solutions, Brain Resource Ltd, Sydney, Australia
|Date of Submission||19-May-2008|
|Date of Decision||06-Jul-2008|
|Date of Acceptance||09-Jul-2008|
|Date of Web Publication||9-Jul-2009|
Level 12, 235 Jones Street, Ultimo, NSW 2007
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
| Abstract|| |
The author explores the nature of what is valid in life and what is not. This is done with particular reference to the contention that most men suffer from the conflicts that the modern world throws their way, and that their psychological nature suffers from paradoxical inputs across the lifespan. Baby boomers in particular have learned of their father's heroism, but faced their mother's wrath as the latter half of the 20 th century unwound and they found no refuge for failed heroism, but rather invalid fantasy in their choices as husbands and fathers. The author concludes with the realization that heroism demands that the starting point is a void, where all struggle is valid, and heroic, with no benchmarks.
Keywords: Emotional valence; Emotions; Family therapy; Feminism; Feminist critiques; Male development; Male health; Masculinity; Morality; Penis envy; Psychodynamic therapy
| Introduction|| |
Sitting alone with a young married couple, I watched an astonishing exchange. Whilst I won't go into detail, not yet anyway, she was planning a family event to which her mother-in-law would not accept an invitation. Despite 13 years of marriage, and several children, her mother-in-law remained convinced that her beloved son had made a tragic error in marrying this woman, and that sooner or (it seemed more likely now) later, he would come to his senses. Let's call the husband and wife Basil and Claire. Claire's dilemma though, was the following: if Claire was present at the event, her mother-in-law would not attend, and if her mother-in-law would not attend, then Basil would not attend, in defense of his mother. So by staying away, the mother-in-law effectively removed her son from his own family function, and she would only attend if Claire did not, which was impossible either way. Basil's response to me was a simple one: "Do you expect me to choose between my wife and my mother?" What saddened me most was the sheer look of agony in his wife's face as she heard him say that, her eyes filled with tears, but she said nothing. He looked back in stunned indifference, unable to comprehend her sadness. I looked on from a position of neutrality. I needed to articulate the "Yes" in her eyes, but risked taking sides. At this moment only, I faltered, with thoughts of becoming a hero-therapist shattered, irrevocably.
What has this got to do with feminism, or the feminist perspective? Well, matriarchs can be patriarchal, neutrality can be one-sided, and the political is as much personal as the personal is political. And, to paraphrase Thompson (1952)  and even Horney (1939)  , or rather distort the poor women entirely on the concept of Penis Envy, whilst the possession of a penis is not something necessarily to be proud of, the social power of its possession can be quite embarrassing when some people start waving theirs about: this angered early feminists so much that they considered that traditional family life had to be destroyed in order for women to be set free.  If families have the potential to be good or bad, my value system told me that this one was bad, and that any shattering would set her free, at a price.
On the other hand, some girls can get past that kind of thing. When the young niece of a colleague of mine was in the bath with her brother, she noted his pride in his penis. Noting her focus, he remarked "Don't you wish you had one of these?" to which she replied "No, I was just thinking how stupid that thing would look if it stuck out of your head!" which I believe is called complex castration. 
Departing from the bath and headed for her career as the new Susan Faludi  , I wondered if that little girl understood how pointed her remark was: men truly act as if their penises were part of their cognitive complex, a combination of social and general cognition predicting their masculine functioning in the real world, far from their crotches  , and really, they should extend from their heads, a kind of Unicorn Warning System. Raise high the roof beams, carpenters, here walks a tall man. 
This is the kind of thing that tainted my presence with Claire and Basil. The position of neutrality of the observer, or me, as the observing system, in a system that is clearly not neutral but biased, is actually supportive of the wrongful system. In short, in order to be neutral, I had to raise someone's damn consciousness in that room, and being neutral was not going to do it. On the other hand, I risked alienating her husband if I pointed out that indeed he had to choose his wife over his mother, that is the deal in marriage, biblically anyway: "And a man shall leave his mother, and a woman leave her home, and they shall travel on to where the two shall be as one" (Mathew 19:5 or Genesis 2:24). This boy did not leave his mum, and certainly to take his mum with him to the marriage bed was a big mistake. Worse, I hated him, sort of. She was a great beauty, one of those who would have ignored me in my youth. So here I was, the spurned and castrated male, here was the anointed and chosen one, rejecting her: Oi Vai , the counter transference issues would transcend the power of calculation of a Blue Jeans IBM computer.  I hated him for hurting her, I hated her for hurting me, I loved him for shafting her, I hated me for losing her to him, so please somebody call my therapist Dr Gilligan, so I can speak in another moral voice. 
| Power, Control Issues, and Freud|| |
These are not unusual problems. For years, virtually from the time the Freudian works first began to appear, the power and control issues inherent in, literally built into, psychotherapy came under scrutiny and criticism erupted soon after. Certainly one can argue that Freud was a man of his time, a Jewish man of his time, a Victorian Jewish man of his time, a Viennese , Victorian Jewish man of his time: in short, he brought a host of value systems with him into the therapy room. The inferences he drew, and tried to reconcile with his dissections of the brain and patient's dreams, were inflammatory in a new world, and especially to a man who openly admitted that he had no idea what women wanted. If you wanted to know what someone wants, you ask them, but Freud didn't. 
It was not only women who attacked Freudian ideas, but others, from other cultures, as Freud's contentions of the universality of the Oedipal phase jelled with few outside his limited Cultural Universalist dogma club, namely the intelligentsia of pre-WWII Vienna. Freud did know about the vicious underbelly of that time, having seen postmortems on dead, raped children in Paris.  He would have known of men and their propensity to violence against children and women. But he spoke instead of neurosis and hysteria-projections, defense mechanisms, repression. The things he did best, his dissection of the brain, did not apply in such incisive ways when it came to what was at the end of the cigar, namely, women. Endless controversy continues over what he did and did not say in his meaty letters to Fliess.  One thing though, he never rounded out his impossible theories. He gave us a window to the social cognition of the brain, flawed, but an open window, remarking early in the 20th century, that one day we would find that all of this stuff was brain in origin, organic, studyable.  He was right.
Men and women are not born equal. More men are born than women, because they are fragile and die, more are born after war, their brains are different, they use them differently; one of the most important things we can do when measuring brain is control for education, and gender. But that is not what makes a difference. For some, it is as if women speak with a different moral voice. Not less moral as a result of a failure to negotiate the Oedipal stage adequately because of their castrated condition, but just, well… different. 
The Family Therapy movement emerged in the 1950s, partially because of a failure of the Freudian psychodynamic approach to deal with Schizophrenia and delinquency for instance, but more because of issues with linear versus circular causality.  Whilst Margaret Mead was committing a fraud in the name of sexual liberation in Pacific Islanders, her husband, Gregory Bateson was trying to work out the epistemology of how things end up in a muddle  without manufacturing cultural ontologies that were, well, jazzed up a bit to make a point, as his wife did, later being pilloried for her distortion of the data she collected on sexuality; or perhaps, as Freud did with Oedipus. Then again, I have watched a Zulu warrior version of Oedipus Rex, and it seems, somehow, that this Oedipus thing only works itself out in warrior cultures. 
Jewish boys in Victorian Vienna were definitely not warriors. Freud was anything but. I don't recall that Melanie Klein was either: anyone who can imagine Melanie Klein in a Karos with a shield and spear, with one breast exposed (good or bad?) has to need psychotherapeutic intervention, as a matter of urgency. Heinz Harman and the Ego Theorists certainly didn't fit that mould. 
Well, what is it about warriors? Men and the other type of sentient humans  do not equally populate the armed forces of most countries, but of course they can, technically, do much of what other soldiers do. One would think that they could do this willy-nilly, but the rise in passive feminism across the 20th century, fanned by wartime, liberating experience in the workplace, came to an inglorious end post war, when returning men wanted their jobs back, and leading later to the rise of a more militant feminism: this may in turn have led to a backlash against the surging tide of raised consciousness. 
| Susan Faludi|| |
Susan Faludi wrote about both the Backlash and against the Warrior mentality, in her following book, Stiffed .  Backlash was a treatise on the untoward side effects of the militant Feminist movement over the years, if one can call it that. In any event, Stiffed was different. Here, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author went to find out, in the Freudian sense, "what do men want?" What does Basil want? We know what his wife wanted. The tears in her eyes were crying out for him to choose.
My own girl child wants to be chosen first when it comes to the playground Soccer: choose me. There is a sense in the world, as Dale Carnegie said, that people care most about the one thing that matters most to them, their own selves. WIFME: what's in it for me? For Claire, it was for her Basil to step out across the umbilical cord and embrace her, in essence, leaving his mother for her, a noble and correct thing to do. If she was Zulu, she would have given birth, and her mother-in-law would have taken care of the baby for three months while she lounged in bed, recovering. Here, the mother-in-law ruled the son, but in a Jewish way. Claire was an Anglican, Basil a Jew, and the family occasion was the first boy's Bar Mitzvah, his confirmation as a man, and the confirmation that Claire did not belong, not without her husband's paradoxical situation becoming resolved-not even with her conversion to Judaism before their marriage, as Judaism lives in the matriarchal line. Her mother-in-law's accusation was more than judicial; it was halachical: Claire had been converted by/in a non-orthodox system.  There was a way to do things, and in her mind, it had not been done. If Claire was not Jewish, then her son's coming of age was bogus in grandmother's eyes.
What Basil wanted was never clear. Or at least, he never made it clear. He appeared to be contemptuous of his wife's position, making sure she never got him to choose her, constantly rejecting and thus abusing her, allowing the mother to maintain her intransigent position. Years later, would the son understand his coming of age was impossible? After all, you cannot come of age when your father never did, surely! How would he leave his mother, if she were not acknowledged as his mother? Would he marry by leaving the other matriarchal line on the patriarchal side? The personal is certainly political.
When I first read Faludi, the sense of embarrassment was huge. This was me, all males. I recalled lying on the grass of my home in Africa, watching a tiny speck of light cross the sky, inch by inch. All across America and the USSR, little boys were doing the same. A new brand of heroes had been born. Next to me was my father, made a hero by a war for which he volunteered. His wardrobe hosted a minor treasure trove of medals, a musty Tam O'Shanter, brass medals, propaganda photos of dead Japanese from the war in the Pacific, a lock of hair from my mother tied to a tiny Spanish Dancer Doll. They were married in 1944, just before he was ejected from the army because his bilateral pes cavus  prevented him from wearing boots, and they could not tolerate an NCO in shoes. This diminished him not, in hero status terms; he was one of the Boys that went North. This defined him: not his cockney birth, not his leaving school young, not his bicycle that he used to go courting my mother: it was the fact that he went to war. I saw pictures of his head poked out of the train carriage window, his ridiculously short haircut not stirred by the escalating coach speed. Another picture from a magazine showed him peeling potatoes, another with a light machine gun over one shoulder. A last photo: my mother's wedding dress made from parachute material, in front of an inner city synagogue, now a supermarket. The spot they stood on, him in shoes not boots, she safe from falling, he safe from war, now their picture perfect place supplanted by a place where shopping trolleys remain until freed by a 20c coin.  Then, in his turn, my father and his balding friends were supplanted by a Russian Cosmonaut and later by an American Hero. In their war, Heroes were those that didn't ever come home. Now, heroes are those that do make it home; the dead in contrast are not heroes, just an embarrassment when they touch the face of God as the Presidential review of their fiery death went anyway  .
Faludi. Men are brought up with images of such heroes and their stories, as little boys too. My hero comic books cost less than a penny. But their faces remained, until Yuri Gagarin, Superman, Spider Man, Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos, Batman,  uniformed men with no wives or children, like Bruce Willis, all powerful, cannot be defeated, cannot die, will always come back,  Lev Yashin, a Russian soccer goalkeeper, dressed in black, taking on all comers. In war, as in sport, competition, and winning, is everything. I recall somewhere that it didn't matter whether you won or lost, but it was how you played the game: such sentiments died with the British Empire. Winning, and living, was everything, but as a colonial child imbued with being almost British, you had to succeed massively. 
Faludi pointed out that most of us, however, will live in the personal hell of the failed hero. The best we can hope for is to survive the plunge from the garage roof in our dishcloth and bath towel superhero outfit without permanent physical damage. However, the metaphor for the men Faludi saw was clearly driven by the moment of realization, as we throw ourselves from the garage roof, that we could not now, nor would we ever, fly. Fly. It was not the hitting of the ground that hurt, it was that frozen moment, as cartoons make fun of, when the onward and upward surge fails, and we hang in space for a brief second, then plunge into the rest of our lives as mortal men. That desperate moment, in our first moment as a player, when we realize that we are not the next Lev Yashin. As we crash to the ground, as we hear the sound the soccer ball makes as it hisses along the back of the net, as we raise the rifle butt to the right cheek and feel the dreadful 7.62-mm bullet recoil, we realize we have to spend the rest of our lives as failed heroes. So few of us are chosen, but all are called.
Faludi notes that in the absence of War stories, we have no stories. The Baby Boom generation that spawned modern feminism was born to men and women who had war stories and could speak with the moral voice of those who survived the war. Grandmothers with tattooed arms were heroes, kept alive by their bitter desire to tell the story of those whose voices were silent.
In my garden, I fought with Trevor and Stephen and Mark, we practiced for the day when we would become heroes, with bat, with ball, with plastic guns and mud on our faces and our reputations. When my motorcycle arrived, I would smoke up the road, desperately avoiding the large dog that ran from Claire's house to unseat me. The 50 cc capacity was not enough, and so from time to time he would grab the cavalry hem on my Levi Jeans and divert my bike to the left, until I could free it. This takes me back to Claire, as I saw her from my therapist's chair, emasculated by the code of ethics, not a man, or woman, just a therapist.
Claire. I was 18, and set up by a friend to take her out on a date.  The car was washed, the clothes laid out, the sun was sinking, my heartbeat steady and rapid, waiting for the time to go, but she phoned to cancel, and Basil got her instead. A week later I went to the Air Force to become a hero. I never saw her again until the day in my consulting rooms. As I mentioned, the counter-transference was something to conjure with.
I am not entirely sure when the realization kicks in. I think it is different things for different me. What I do know is that it makes them, and me, angry. Mediocrity is not its own reward. But don't get me wrong, it's not the sense of mortification that comes with the realization that you will never be a hero that causes the despair; it's the contradiction.
Faludi understood that being brought up to be a hero, and then not becoming one was not the problem. It's the contradiction, or rather, the ambivalence, of the male situation. Going to war is not the problem; it's coming home again. Easy to die and not come back, that is not paradoxical. What is paradoxical is being expected to face the enemy, and kill them easily, in glorious combat, and then to come home to the demands of being Husband, Father, and sensitive, normal, banal.
A girlfriend, ostensibly waiting for me to return from the military so we could be together, gave me a soft, stuffed Frog, and the blueprints for a house she was designing for a Mouse. I wrote a letter of complaint from the Mouse to her, and kicked the soft toy around the room like a football, I was so angry. How can we be both? Hardened soldier and sensitive lover and father. Claire's husband and Doreen's son. These are not dichotomous; these are paradoxical, one sense easily negating the other-creating ambivalence, two truths, equal and opposed, instantly and on all levels contradicting each other yet bound to co-occur. If the personal is the political then one cannot be neutral; one has to take sides, or be invaded. I could be soldier and father at different times, but not simultaneously. And then she takes her frog and leaves me for the Rich Boy, who can live the Masculine dream, and I seek prestige in degrees, not money.
When a soldier is shot and wounded, lying dying, it is for his mother he cries, not his wife. All ambivalence is a thing of the past. So when talking to Basil, I was not neutral, as I watched him, wounded, crying for his mother. As she had wounded me, so she wounded him. My mother like his, wanted me to be a man, to be strong; these women pursued this, but making sure we would always be their little boys.
Faludi stumbles on this realization late in her life-that we are all failed heroes, that there is a paradox in the way we are brought up and the way we then live our adult male lives, court, marry, father children, parent them too sometimes. We speak with a conflicted moral voice. Faludi helps them tell their stories, in her book of their humiliation at the hands of wives, bosses, organized religion.
| Carol Gilligan|| |
Using Gilligan's  words (p161), patriarchy drains pleasure because patriarchy leads us to cover vulnerability in order to become. The symptoms of this loss of our masculine "voice" are similar to dissociation, living life "as if," a feeling of alienation, from which only the sensation of pleasure allows for associative relationship with ourselves, a reuniting of cognition and emotions. Gilligan encourages women to tell their stories. So, like Faludi, Gilligan investigates the choices made between being in a relationship and having a relationship, between living in synchrony with another person and fitting oneself into a form, in paradox after paradox of moving forward, but sustaining loss along the way, leading to anger, as we lose our male voice that creaked into life as puberty threatened us with Claire.
Gilligan reminds us of how powerful the voice is. She reminds us that as Freud's father awaited burial, he was ordered in a dream to close the eyes of the corpse, as Oedipus closes his eyes forever when he realizes he has had sex with his mother, displacing his father, blinding himself. So the wounded son becomes Psyche's lover, and so the story becomes the "polestar" of democracy, the road, not royal, to freedom, equality between male and woman, the conditions for the birth of pleasure; the Oedipus tragedy becomes the lodestar of patriarchy  (p228), and as any repressive theory must, it must carry out repression in order to maintain itself.
Gilligan finds the echo for men's masculine voice to hear so that we can hear ourselves. "It is also true that men's histories frequently chronicle a sacrifice of relationship made earlier in childhood, often in the name of love and for the sake of manhood. We know this story; it is the quest story, the hero with a thousand faces. It is the quintessential story of patriarchy, the story of men's initiation into the battle between the good and the bad guys"  (p162). How did Claire choose, and how did Basil? Here, Gilligan believes, he would sacrifice his relationship with his mother for the sake of love and for the sake of manhood; but he does not, he will not set out on a quest, to find out if he wears the right coloured hat when it reaches high noon. He baulked. At that moment, Basil blinked. If we draw the line that separates us from mommy, then we run the risk of infidelity in the paradox between then and now, us and them, hero and failed hero.
| Basils and Claires|| |
How do the Basils answer the Claires? Men, like woman, distrust debate, because it threatens the dissolution of relationships. This is counter to the argument of the earlier feminists, who argued that woman, unlike men , distrust debate. We have the same problem, no different to women, as Faludi points out, and Gilligan certainly provided the arguments that hardened that sloppy, earlier feminist position. As Gilligan notes, interviewing the fathers of young boys, they articulated there is a problem keeping boys sensitive, and yet preparing them to defend their territories, homes, bodies, without becoming hard, humiliated, disappointed, or dead. This is why Basil was so clued into his mother's voice and emotions, but could not do this with his wife. Basil, like me, went to war. Then he chose a woman who could not take him away from his mother, not totally, and would not convert her to the perfect wife, the perfect foil for his mother, one trained by a Jewish Mother to cut him from the herd.
Claire stays to pay the bill. "I hope," she says, "that you will choose your wife over your mother." I tell her my mother died a week before my wedding. She looks up at me, and says, "Your mother was a wonderful woman." My mother died a hero in Claire's eyes.
So Basil and Claire go away. I sit for a while before writing in my own voice on my session notes. Like many others, I speak in a different voice, trying to be a hero in the battleground of psychotherapy, marriage and children, realizing that in this war, being a hero is more difficult, preparing my children for a harsh and unforgiving world, while trying to be a loving and caring father, pushing emotions to the fore, keeping them loving me, while pushing them steadily onward, trying to guide them, while giving them space to discover their own voices.
So I leave my home country, taking my wife away from her mother, her sister, her father, her brothers, hoping that I alone will be enough, hoping I am right, fleeing, saving them from an uncertain fate, crucifying myself as I run, hoping I will have and give enough. I leave my chance for heroism behind, choosing banal safety, starting again with little more than what I have learned, none of which applies, never to sing a familiar song in a strange land.  In that way, I strive for the hero, becoming, at 47, a nothing.
Amy Lee writes, finding her life invalid: "Bid my blood to run, before I come undone, save me from the nothing I've become… bring me to life."  Freud would have understood, as he is reported to have said that we need three things in life to be content: to live, to love, but most importantly, to have something valid to do. 
| Concluding Remarks|| |
Voice to a psychologist means always knowing that what you do makes a difference, a way of breaking the unbearable ambivalence of being, of running the gauntlet of alienation and infidelity, of keeping it real, but more importantly, keeping it valid, from a feminist perspective. And to do that, we have to seek out the wilderness, and find out if we are truly afraid of the dark.
Take Home Message
If there is anything to take home from a hundred years or more of feminism, it's that the time to be a man has come and gone, in the traditional sense. As women have found their voices, men have found a void. Unless we create wars, abuse, violence, wars, we have no role that makes sense. We can't come home heroes if we don't go somewhere to become them; and as heroes, we need to work with nothing, but self made, not privileged; but then we cannot come back, for heroes are those that die hard. Our relevant picture book literature, our movies, demand it of us, demand that we do not sit in a neutral position, without a voice. But still we do, conflicted between failed heroes and failed men. If life is a journey, then the vehicle is gender. While the environment is patriarchal, the role of the psychologist is one I continue to love. But I can no longer be one.
See also : http://www.msmonographs.org/article.asp?issn=0973-1229;year=2006;volume=4;issue=1;spage=139;epage=153;aulast=Sugarman
Conflict of Interest
The author discloses no conflict of interest
This work is the original, unpublished work of the author. It has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere.
| Questions Raised by the Paper|| |
About the Author
- Are the comments raised by the author as a young man and adult a common experience across cultures and ages?
- Is it valid to say that without war and warrior mentalities, modern men have little to base their ego development on?
- Are modern men stricken by conflicting demands, gender role dysphoria?
- Are there males out there who write of males and masculinity the way Faludi and other feminist writers do? What is their opinion?
- How can a psychologist or psychiatrist take a neutral position in therapy in the face of abuse, or their own history, or culture?
- Has the author read correctly in his opinion of the impact of feminist thought on masculinity and violence?
Roy Sugarman, PhD, holds degrees in Clinical Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology and has practiced as a psychologist for nearly two decades. He is currently Consultant: Clinical and Behavioral Solutions at Brain Resource Ltd in Sydney, Australia, working with large corporations internationally to build resilience in their human capital by integrating brain and body vitality programs into the workplace.
| References|| |
|1.||Both feminists argued that although one didn′t envy men their possession of a penis, one could certainly envy them the social advantage that they could wield, being possessed of such an organ. [Thompson C., (1952), Psychoanalysis: Evolution and development . London: George Allen and Unwin. Horney K., (1939), New ways in psychoanalysis. London: Routledge and Keegan Paul. For comments on the early feminist views on family, see Pilalis J., and Anderton J., (1986), Feminism and family therapy: A possible meeting point, Journal of Family Therapy, 8, p9-114]. |
|2.||This is a play on words of the Castration Complex concept, put forward by Freud as a major component of the Oedipal stage. In this way, females could not negotiate the whole stage as they were, in a mistaken sense, already castrated, and hence could not develop the same moral voice as men could, hence their lesser moral capacity in Freud′s view, one that led to multiple, complex attacks on his theories. Freud was unaware that in fetal development we are all already castrated, until the male hormones develop the phallus. So the male status was the unusual one, anyway. |
|3.||Susan Faludi is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of such books as Backlash and Stiffed (see references 18, 19 below). |
|4.||Emerging in modern integrative neuroscience is the concept that the best predictor of overall psychosocial function is a combination of social and general cognition. The Journal of Integrative Neuroscience [http://www.worldscinet.com/jin/jin.shtml] provides just one avenue for these theories to be published and validated. |
|5.||In a short story, J.D. Salinger, who wrote the Catcher in the Rye and other books, speaks of the need to raise the roof beams higher than usual, as a man of great moral stature is about to emerge in his story, hence the metaphorical need to lift the beams of the roof further so he can clear the overhead. See th http://www.freeweb.hu/tchl/salinger/carpenters.html for the full The New Yorker story. |
|6.||IBM has computers so fast and so expensive, that they need to be used by companies who share the time available, known for some reason by this catchy name. |
|7.||Carol Gilligan addressed Freud′s belief in the lesser moral capacity of women, saying that they didn′t speak with a lesser moral voice, but merely a different voice, a different morality [ Gilligan C., (1982), In a different voice: Psychological theory and women′s development . London: Harvard University Press]. |
|8.||Freud admitted he had little idea, ′ Was wil das Weib?′ As quoted in Sigmund Freud: Life and Work (1955) by Ernest Jones, Vol. 2, Pt. 3, Ch. 16. |
|9.||Freud has noted that in his time in Paris, he witnessed the autopsy of a child, dead in that hideous fashion, and as his letters to Fliess show, he knew [see Masson J., (1990), Final analysis . London: Fontana Books.] |
|10.||Investigated by many, Freud′s letters to his friend reveal much about his thinking, often in contrast to his published views. |
|11.||Freud noted several times that one day all of our mental capacities and emotions would be proven to be the product of underlying brain processes. |
|12.||This is again in reference to Gilligan and the idea of a different moral voice, not a weaker one, but a different one. |
|13.||In terms of second order, cybernetic mechanisms, derived from the science of mechanical engineering, a linear system is where one entity in an ecosystem is said to directly affect another entity in a linear fashion, like a billiard ball crashing into another. In circular causality, the first entity affects change in the second entity, but the result of that is an effect on the first in its turn, providing circular feedback. So the actions of a rock on a front bicycle wheel is countered in turn by the force of the hands on the handle bars, cancelling out, or at least altering the effects of the collision in a recursive feedback loop, reminiscent of a self-regulating, dynamically homeostatic system. |
|14.||Gregory Bateson, married to Margaret Mead, was himself renowned, but in his case, for his theories on mind and brain, and systems theory applications to mental health. His thinking marked a departure from the linear signs and symptoms approach, the linear germ theory of medicine as applied to behavioural health issues, and was adopted across the western world, even by such groups as the Milan School, leading to novel approaches to psychotherapy in heretofore limited applications, such as in schizophrenic and anorexic families. |
|15.||Freud felt his Oedipal theories were universal, but few cultures demonstrated the kind of dynamics within families that Freud suggested. However, some cultures with a history of being warriors and retaining a warrior culture, such as the Zulus in Southern Africa, appeared to have moments in their history where such dynamics were played out sufficiently to inspire play writers to expropriate from the western European culture in this instance. So the play Oedipus Rex has been translated into Zulu, and university papers on the history of the Nigerian leaders constantly make reference to Oedipus and the death of kings who carry within them the seeds of their own destruction. Klein is also well known for her contributions, and also, in object relation terms, for the idea of the ambivalence of love for one′s mother, a good and bad breast at times. |
|16.||Appalled by the Freudian emphasis on pathology, Hartman and his contemporaries began to develop a psychology of normal human development, ego psychology, which focussed outward, as opposed to Freud′s introspection, to find out how we deal with the outside world. |
|17.||Namely, women. |
|18.|| Faludi S., (1991), Backlash: The undeclared war against American women . New York: Anchor Books. |
|19.|| Faludi S., (1999), Stiffed: The betrayal of the American man . New York: HarperCollins Publishers. |
|20.||Jewish Orthodox conversions can take years, and a more efficient way is to go via the more Progressive communities, which takes a few months. Halacha is the law that directs the religion. |
|21.||This is the rigid arch that bows upward, one of the core features of Club Foot congenital deformities, although he had no other signs. Regulations said that as an NCO, he had to wear boots, not shoes, but this caused problems, as the boots were inflexible. Unable to sanction his wearing of shoes, the army released him on medical grounds, so he married. She lied about her age to avoid asking her alienated parents′ permission. |
|22.||As the Jewish community left South African inner cities for the suburbs, or immigrated to other countries, inner city Synagogues suffered varying fates. In this case, the Central Synagogue became a supermarket, and on the spot where they stood for their marriage photo, the supermarket trolleys are chained up, one to the other, freed only by a coin in the chain lock. |
|23.||On 28 January 1986, the space shuttle Challenger took off and exploded shortly after. President Reagan, in his speech that day, noted that they had touched the face of God. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slG0C3y27pU |
|24.||One can only engage in conjecture when thinking about why these men have to be secretive, take on little boys as apprentices, have relationships with women that are secretive and where, like James Bond, when they fall in love, the woman is doomed to die. Many are orphans, like Spiderman and Batman, and Superman famously isn′t even human. These men must struggle with the ambivalence of their position, but it is noble. Fundamentally, they are heroically unhappy and alone, unable to deal with complex emotion. |
|25.||The Die Hard movies feature again a man with a broken marriage, troubled children, who have problems with authority, men who can absorb huge physical punishment, and yet keep on coming against all adversity, equipped with an ability to take on impossible odds, and make bad jokes along the way. |
|26.||In the 1950s and 60s most of the influence in the colonies was British, and so the comic books and what were termed boy′s "Annuals" emanated from Britain, and imparted British values (Roy of the Rovers for instance) as did books such as Biggles , Billy Bunter, and so on. It was "play up and play the game" with lots of red coated British soldiers fighting Zulus, Afghans, and so on. Bunter was a refreshing change, as was "William": these anti-heroes were either fat and lazy, or dirty and dishonest, always in trouble, again reflecting on the duality of growing, albeit ambivalent, boys. For me, as a soccer goalkeeper, it was a Russian who provided me with my role model, a strange choice for an Anglophile. Yashin was voted the greatest soccer goalkeeper of the 20th century. See th http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lev_Yashin and of course, he wore black. Another influence from my British background was a character called Biggles or Bigglesworth, a fighter pilot of WWII. I do not recall that he ever had a woman is his life. Romance is not for boys. Later I switched to James Bond paperbacks, only to see his new wife Tracey, gunned down within minutes of the wedding; nothing is sacred. Then again, my sister had heaps of "love comics" all of which looked like Kandinsky penned them, trickling tears and woman going "oh" when kissed. The contrasts gave me a throbbing headache. |
|27.||Recently this friend surfaced, tracking me down on Skype. To my horror, his life had turned nasty on him in every way, despite the massive promise as a young man that gave him access to the blonde beauties of our youth. So many times, when one is tracked down by someone from the past, it is a middle aged attempt to recapture and re-analyze the glory days of youth, by those who miss it most. |
|28.|| Gilligan C., (2002), The beginning of pleasure: A new map of love . New York: Knopf. |
|29.||Exiled to Babylon after the destruction of their temple in 586 BCE, the Jews wept, for they remembered Zion, from whom they came. They wondered, how could they sing their favourite Zion songs, in the strange land that is now Iraq? See Psalm 19:14, Old Testament . I too gave up everything, somewhat by choice, at 47 years old, and left my homeland to live in a strange part of the world, by most standards-Adelaide, Australia, a banal but safe place, relatively. Full of Babylonians with British heritage and old boy ties forming an impenetrable barrier for a Jew. |
|30.||Amy Lee is the creator and soul of the Gothic Rock Band, Evanescence . The words to this song are " Wake me up inside/Bid my blood to run/ Before I come undone/ Save me from the nothing I′ve become/ Bring me to life" from a song by Moody, Lee & Hodges, ©Wind-Up records, 2003. |
|31.||There is little reference to this in Freud′s works, but Adler reports, and Erikson later seems to confirm, that this is what Freud alleged or alluded to. |