Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), commonly referred to as "the father of psychoanalysis" was an Austrian neurologist and is generally recognized as one of the most influential and authoritative thinkers of the twentieth century. He remains a well-recognised figure and he and his ideas are still frequently referenced in pop culture. Freud has been influential in two related but distinct ways. He simultaneously developed a theory of the human mind and human behaviour, as well as clinical techniques for attempting to help neurotics. He popularised the ideas of the unconscious, defense mechanisms, Freudian slips and dream symbolism, while also making a long-lasting impact on fields as diverse as literature, film, Marxist and feminist theories, literary criticism, philosophy and psychology.
Freud's beliefs were problematicShow moreShow less
A lot of his beliefs and behaviour are considered problematic today.
Freud’s beliefs are grounded in sexism and uphold misogyny
Freud focused on the male perspective in his psychological studies, dismissing women as both inferior and amoral by nature. According to Freud, men have the opportunity to heal from their troubles, while women need a man to guide them at all times.
Freud was a legendary misogynist. Whilst he believed that homosexuality in men is neurotic but not particularly problematic, lesbianism, however, he considered a gateway to mental illness. His beliefs went like this: only men have moral sense. We all evolve from apes, so no human is born with it. But boys acquire morality through the castration complex - the fear that their fathers will emasculate them for their misbehaviour. Girls and women are essentially amoral, lying and conniving to get what they want. They must be guided through life by a father or husband. And because they choose not to marry, lesbians remain loose cannons, fundamentally untrustworthy and unstable.
Freud has been widely critiqued for his almost exclusive focus on men and for what some perceive as a condescension toward women; for example, Horney disagreed with the Freudian’s bizarre idea that girls have “penis envy”: instead,any jealousy is likely due to male privilege.
[P1] Freud's beliefs were intensely misogynist, especially when it comes to lesbianism.