Freud’s False Facts


Many times while explaining something of great importance to another person, we don’t realize that we are being biased or allowing thoughts that are our own to corrupt and the truth of the work is thus changed in the minds of others. In this way, we are negatively affecting our audience and distorting their thoughts and minds. For example, when reading The Bible you can explain it as God’s literal teachings or as mere stories, depending on your religion and beliefs. That is not distorting people minds but giving viewpoints and options for people to take in. Taking the stories and construing a negative meaning is wrong, such as when people turn The Bible into a vehicle to explain and excuse their hatred towards the gay community, claiming God hates them and spewing false truths. It is a particular problem because certain people are using The Bible to perpetuate hate in the same way that Sigmund Freud takes “Femininity” and “Female Sexuality” and creates something completely inaccurate. It is particularly grotesque that something meant to be spiritual as The Bible turns so cruel because of human interpretation. Sigmund Freud does something quite similar with his alleged research and observation in “Female Sexuality” and “Femininity”. He uses these works to just chisel away at women’s image using bizarre theories he himself claims he cannot prove. One might read these passages and say he is merely being phallocentric. An argument can be made for either Freud being phallocentric or purely sexist. However, Sigmund Freud exploited people’s somewhat gullible nature when much wasn’t known about the theories behind female sexuality in such a manner as he provides. One may come to the conclusion that he is sexist. Another may come to the conclusion that Freud is merely using phallocentric opinions. It can be misconstrued that Freud has a strong male perspective, that his comments about woman one finds offensive are just a male’s viewpoint. However through numerous examples in these two articles alone, Freud gives one enough ammunition to prove his is extremely sexist as well as phallocentric. In “Female Sexuality” he claims the woman to be inferior on the mere fact that she does not have a penis and how this causes angst through her entire life. There is never shown the other side of this paradigm, where a woman has a different sexual construction and that alone does not make her inferior. It is this difference as one example that points at Freud’s sexism.  When all the information is set and truly put under the microscope, sexism as well as phallocentricism is the clear way that Freud takes us into his mind through a series of essays, full of false convoluted conclusions. Phallocentric implies emphasizing the male view point which he does do and at the expense of all females. Through use of language, instilling fear in women and creating false truths about penis envy, and discrediting successful women Freud develops deeply flawed and unbelievably sexist statements that baffle the reader and are not constructive in any way.

Before specific examples are given, simply by reading Freud’s phrasing and language you can easily see phallocentric and furthermore sexist, which is exactly what Freud is. He makes these little snide comments that especially to a woman come off so rude and insensitive. It is his bold yet ignorant use of language that gets him in deep water with the female reader and hopefully the male as well. At first, this language can be taken as phallocentric, but when further investigations are made one realizes that he is sexist as well as phallocentric. The “atrophied penis” is a term implying that the penis is better somehow. All the adjectives he uses are really not only phallocentric but lend strongly towards sexist. The phrase “a boy’s far superior equipment” (Femininity 157) is one troubling instance of not only language but a bold claim lacking support. Furthermore, these almost cruel digs do not even help procure a valid argument for Freud. He comes off as actually less intelligent because of these jabs at women. One such comment, “There is another, far more specific motive for the turning point away from the mother, arising out of the effect of the castration complex on the little creature without a penis.” (Female Sexuality 4) Reading that, one starts losing faith in Freud because women are now subhuman by being calling creatures. This is dehumanizing and it only gets subsequently worse when Freud describes the young girl as being angry at her mother for not giving her the “proper genitals”. This strikes deeply as extremely sexist because according to Freud the proper genitals to have are clearly male. Women are just as important in society and gentially speaking if not for a woman, children could not be born and Freud’s beloved penis could not come on to this Earth because the female has to literally produce it. It is absurd to just say that the male genital is the proper one with even giving a proper conclusion as to why.  This is a huge belief for a phallocentric mindset and Freud highlights it quite well in this example. He does not have valid research and the observations he claims to have made are absurd, for such subtlies cannot be accurately observed.  Although that might further convey the sexism, Freud seems to make a lot of sexist generalizations but not explain why they are such. There is one example where he is to an extent using deeper analytical thought but arrives at a conclusion he cannot possibly prove. This is this notion that “girls hold their mother responsible for their lack of a penis” (Femininity 154) that one cannot prove. This was not studied because this notion cannot be studied, and this shows phallocentricism but also Freud being sexist and a misogynist. Many of these arguments seem to be what he believes and not what he claims to have observed which is unfair to say if truly it cannot be observed.

Sigmund Freud writes his arguments in a way that is cause for actual fear among women if we truly underwent and subscribed to these theories he has. Many of his “observations” something I must place in quotes because it is not valid to claim the complex sexual development of especially very young children could be observed. This concept mentioned on multiple pages of a women or young girl, depending on what stage he refers to is at a disadvantage is completely unfair because he is the one creating these extra steps in the sexual maturation process that a girl needs to go through. The man seems to have his sexuality as explained through the Oedipus complex wrapped up in a nice little bow. Giving this sense of worry to the women is very sexism, as if we really are so defined by our lack of a penis. Why is it that the woman must go through this struggle of sexual confusion and inadequacy? It makes for a lack of balance and a lack of understanding when the woman is constantly being belittled and attacked and furthermore takes a direct hit at Freud’s credibility. This brings us to the notion of penis-envy something Freud is quite confident about to an obnoxious degree. It is repulsive to think that once a girl discovers a penis on her father, she does not have one and laments this through her entire life even in her subconscious until she bores a baby boy, whom she considers to have fulfilled her ultimate dreams (Femininity 159) which is sickening that through having a child with a penis her own dreams have come true. Why do women need to be defined and furthermore crushed by the notion that they do not have a penis? Freud never gives a starting point for this argument that makes sense. The previous mentioned moment when a girl sees a penis on her father is not a captivating argument for this soul-crushing feeling Freud goes on to claim.  According to Freud, it is in these loosely based arguments. It is offensive and very cocky for Freud to think that a woman’s whole life is spent wanting a penis. As previously stating women provide sex organs crucial for conceiving a child something Freud omits from his theories. It is not the male perspective about female that is bothersome. It is the complete and utter disregard for the woman and furthermore for the truth that one can so clearly establish is not only Freud being phallocentric but Freud stating awful things and furthermore not able to back them up other than to say these are his observations. Can Freud really understand what is going on in a child’s mind or even an adult? One can go as far to say that his general way of thinking and “researching” is deeply flawed and attempting to prove anything in the fashion he tries to attempt this complex concept will end with a bad result in addition to the phallocentric and sexist notions he places throughout his essays.

Lastly, Freud claims something that are purely his beliefs not those of his alleged studies. In the four step process of a woman’s sexual maturation Freud mentions many things, none of which have any basis in reality. Freud states “the development of a little girl in a normal woman is more difficult and more complicated since it includes two extra tasks” (Femininity 147) and he goes on to explain them in such a way that is puzzling and illogical. The two extra tasks are a girl switching her “love object” from her mother to her father and her erogenous zone from her clitoris to her vagina. What is never put into light is why these things are even necessary or make any sense. Why doesn’t the boy need extra stages? This seems to imply the boy’s stages are better and more complete.  What is worse in when Freud claims that things can go awry in the maturation of these two stages and one of the most puzzling is a woman getting an education being a failure in her quest to “femininity” by saying that “a capacity for instance, to carry on an intellectual profession- may often be recognized as a sublimated modification of this wish” (Femininity 155). This is incredibly unbelievable that an educated woman did not grow correctly sexually and thus chose education as a way to compensate for the fact that they are lacking a penis. Why are those things linked? In today’s world many, many women are well educated but have still developed sexually. It can actually be argued that lack of education and knowledge can negatively impact a young girl’s sexual journey so just the opposite of what Freud claims is true. It appears that Freud has taken the liberty of the most blunt and outright sexism and placed it here. One could make a clear argument against Freud but he shoots himself in the foot by claiming to be defenseless. (Female Sexuality 6) He is defenseless for his claims are extremely sexist because it is the woman that has something wrong with her and this maturation theory cannot be proved because it is the loose theory in the mind of a twisted man through being phallocentric finds nothing wrong with the young male’s development.

In conclusion, Freud tries with vigor to explain female sexuality and femininity but succeeds in offending us and leaves us to question deeply the true value of the research he claims to have done and the observations that would be so crucial if they were feasible. He is using these little digs at women that are so incredibly sexist as well as phallocentric. His language alone is enough to say that hey, this Freud fellow is a complete misogynist! Phallocentric is a part of who Freud is. Also through his flawed theory of penis envy as well as claiming a woman’s education means something went awry in sexual development just are crazy for all the aforementioned reasons. Freud took on a concept with a deeply flawed bias. He was about to create many theories but ones people of the general public should be able to see past because he is just incorrect through everything I have previously explained. Furthermore, it is unfair that men get this preferential treatment while women are at the mercy of whatever sick theories Freud has to offer.