“She says ‘jump’, he asks ‘how high?’.”
In 1997 Berkeley sociologist challenged the Freudian theory of masculinity development with the death of mothers, for a century western psychology, have urged men to reject their mothers in order to achieve manhood. Sigmund Freud the father of psychoanalysis insisted that the disassociation from the mother as a necessary step in the development of masculine identity. And for the first time, in a one of a kind anthology a sociologist from the university of California at Berkeley brought together a series of memoirs that call this well worn theory into question, titled ‘Our mothers ‘spirits: On the death of mothers and the grief of men”, the book brought together 42 writers to explore the bond between mothers and sons. The essay includes writings by many well known male writers.
The purpose of this book was to expose the extent to which psychological and spiritual health in men, more so in later years of life, depending upon their ability to retrieve the love and close bonds the experienced and felt with their mother. Berkeley professor who has been teaching a course on men and masculinity in 1976, making him pretty much the go to man , in terms of ‘men’s life and masculinity’, he insists , “ men don’t have to psychologically separate from the mother to be masculine. Everyone must leave home and become their own person, but you don’t have to overreact and reject the mother”.
A negative stereotype that has made way into our vocabulary is the term ‘mama’s boy’, this term not only targets men who maintain a close relationship with his mother but also men with dominant to slightly dominant feminine personalities.
The theme that runs throughout the anthology is that the rejection of mothers is isolated to the Caucasian population, Asian and African descent men maintain close bonds but grow up to be effective men in the world. The men in the book spoke of yearning for a spiritual reunion with their...