How Sexism Affects the Legitimacy of Freud’s Work
Freud adheres to strict gender roles to which people should no longer be limited. This adherence shows a lack of psychological understanding on Freud’s part due to his refusal to acknowledge the fact that women are just as mentally capable in every facet of life as men. Because his work lacks a sense of equality, one could criticize Freud’s understanding of the human mind and civilization. There is no proof, even within primitive humans, that females had lesser mental capabilities than males. The only differences between males and females are physical, a fact that Freud tends to dance around but never includes within his theories. Therefore, Freud makes hasty, false assumptions in the creation of his theories, which proves detrimental to the overall legitimacy of his work as evidenced by his lack misunderstanding of female capabilities, his misunderstanding of gender roles, and his misunderstanding of love. Despite Freud’s disdainful attitude towards women, he concedes that they play a pivotal role in the development of civilization. However his views on their role are quite paradoxical. Freud’s studies were conducted in a time where cultural focus was on what males and females should do and not what they were capable of doing. Freud writes that, “…women soon come into opposition to civilization and display their retarding and restraining influence” (Freud #). On one hand he concedes that women are the foundation of human society, while on the other hand he undermines the potential of women within that society by saying that, “The work of civilization has become increasingly the business of men, it confronts them with ever more difficult tasks and compels them to carry out instinctual sublimations of which women are little capable.” He gives no fact to back up this statement, he is purely stating his opinion and expressing it as it is factual. This causes Freud to lose a lot of his legitimacy....
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