By Teresa Brennan
The `riddle of femininity', like Freud's connection with women's sexuality as a `dark continent', has been taken care of as a romantic apart or a sexist evasion, instead of an issue to be solved. during this first entire learn, Teresa Brennan means that by way of putting those theories within the context of Freud's paintings total, we'll start to comprehend why femininity was once this kind of riddle for Freud.
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Additional info for The Interpretation of the Flesh: Freud and Femininity
More precisely, it is the belief that wishes or fears are real. For example, when the infant hallucinates the breast because of the unpleasure contingent on its absence, it founds psychical reality. But it also founds the situation where it believes that whatever it does to the breast or mother in phantasy is real. If it devours the breast, for instance, in phantasy, it unconsciously believes that this event has occurred. The belief that a phantasy is not merely a wish, but something that took place, involves the expenditure of psychical energy precisely when it involves repression.
However I do not agree with this, and besides, the Triebe are elaborated by Freud in a manner that excitations are not. He referred to the theory of them as the indispensable ‘mythology’ of psychoanalysis. Yet it is the earlier quantitative theory of excitations that will have more ultimate bearing on the riddle of femininity, partly because it owes less to biology and more to physics. And while Freud first described the conflict in the drives in terms of the struggle between ego or selfpreservative drives and sexual drives, where it was the ego drives that did the repressing, he subsequently refined the conflict in the drives in terms of life and death drives, and this redefinition echoes the ‘excitations’ model of the Project.
Yet an insufficient repression of the boy’s feminine attitude towards his father could none the less be made to account for femininity in men. But to stress this, as Freud did not, excepting in the remarkable case of the Wolfman (1918a), would have a theoretical price. The theoretical price is that it shifts the emphasis from anatomical sexual difference to identification. Accordingly, it opens out the question as to why identification could not provide a sufficient explanation for the formation of femininity in women, as well as men?