Danielle Ramsey: A Radical Feminist Analysis

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Danielle Ramsey (2000), in the course pack, described psychoanalysis’s presence in feminist theory, as mainly in the position of the enemy. With many feminist adopting the idea that Freudian theory based female sexual identity around the thought of “passivity and, in particular, penis envy” (Ramsey, 2000, p.168), the idea that women, of all races (to be more accurate), suffered inferiority, from both the psyche and physical body, became acknowledged as harmful to feminist and their work in gaining equality (Ramsey, 2000). Although it was not until the 1960s, with the rise of radical feminist and the work of Juliet Millet in the 1970s, that drove the public criticism of Freudian theory against femininity (Ramsey, 2000). This is because, as …show more content…
Which can be attributed to the radical feminist criticism, of Freud centering woman’s development and sexual identity around that of a male. Radical feminist such as Kate Millet (1970), criticised Freud for his “attempts to rationalise the invidious relationship between the sexes, to ratify traditional roles, and to validate temperamental difference” (Ramsey, 2000, …show more content…
As wrote in Ramsey’s article (2000), feminist Juliet Mitchell, points out that it is the viewpoint of an individual which moulds psychoanalysis “as the justification of the status quo” (Ramsey, 2000, p.168). For Mitchell (1974), her viewpoint of “psychoanalysis is not a recommendation for patriarchal society but an analysis of one” (Ramsey, 2000, p.168). A popular use for Freudian theory, both in its time and now to date, was its use to argue against the biological model. The biological model, proposed the sexuality identity, as innate, that one was born either male, being a masculine, or female, being a feminine. This model, discarded other factors such as social and cultural contexts, along with subjectivity of emotions and unconscious desires, which Freud based his theory on. Thus, for feminist, this rejection of the biological model makes it possible to “argue against certain ideas of feminine as natural” (Ramsey, 2000, p.169). For feminist, Freudian theory “meant that adult sexuality was not the result of biology” (Ramsey, 2000, p.170) and that such traits attributed to either gender, emerged because of personal experience. Furthermore, “feminist sociologist-anthropologist Nancy J. Chodorow (1999)” (Manual, unit 9, p.207), argued for Freudian theory. This is because, as similarly pointed out by multiple theorists, Freud’s research acknowledged variations in sexual identities (although queer

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