The Universal Refusal: A Psychoanalytic Exploration of the Feminine Sphere and its Repudiation

1st Edition

Jacqueline Schaeffer

Published December 31, 2011
Reference - 284 Pages
ISBN 9781855758438 - CAT# K378928

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Freud spoke of the “repudiation of femininity” as being an “underlying bedrock”, part of the “enigma” of sexuality. The enigma is not so much the refusal of the feminine dimension as such; it has more to do with rejecting its erotic and genital aspects, as well as its creation through sexual ecstatic pleasure. Equality between the sexes is a legitimate demand in the political, social, and economic spheres, but forming a masculine–feminine relationship as a couple is a creation of the mind, exalting the acknowledgement of the otherness which is part of the difference between the sexes. There is a conflict in woman – and the feminine dimension itself is rooted in it – between a sexuality that demands “defeat” and an ego that abhors this. It is the man’s masculine dimension – the antagonist of the phallic one – which creates the feminine dimension in women, by tearing away their defences and generating sexual ecstasy. The quality of the sexual, emotional, and social relationship that is set up between a man and a woman bears witness to the “work of civilization” (Kulturarbeit).


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