Femininity In Sigmund Freud's Oedipus Complex

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Lacan from symbolism and Phallus-centric ideas to the psychology of women and femininity
Freud had spent many years writing his first psychoanalytic publication, The Interpretation of Dream (1900), in which he advanced the principals of his new Doctrine (Kurzweil:13). He considered the essence of femininity in Oedipus Complex; so, after he had become convinced that the Oedipus myth is universal and that the boy’s first desires are for his mother. Based on this, he could also expect that the girl’s first desires are for her father (Freud, 1913: 257). He also believed that a girl’s negative complex is more emotionally intense than that of a boy, resulting potentially, in a woman of submissive, insecure personality (Bullock: 259). On the other
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Following Freud, Lacan also got engaged with the issue of the human infant becoming a sexed subject. For Lacan, masculinity and femininity are not biological essences but symbolic positions, and the assumption of one of these two positions is fundamental to the construction of subjectivity; the subject is essentially a sexed subject. ‘Man’ and ‘Woman’ are signifiers that stand for these two subjective positions (S.XX: 34). For Lacan, however, the Oedipus Complex involves a symbolic identification with the father, and hence the Oedipus identification cannot determine the sexual position. According to Lacan, it is not the identification but the subject’s relationship with the Phallus which determines sexual …show more content…
The book Écrits of Lacan includes an article titled “The Signification of the Phallus”, which expresses the differences between being the Phallus and having the Phallus. The symbolic Phallus is the concept of being the ultimate man, and having this is equated to having the celestial gift of God. On the other hand, Lacan mentioned that hysteria concerns the question of the subject’s sexual position. This question may be phrased ‘Am I a man or a woman?’ or, more precisely, ‘What is a woman?’ (SIII: 170–5). This is true for both male and female hysterics (ibid: 178), Lacan argued that hysteria is the question of femininity itself, which can be formulated as “what is a woman?”. This also applies to male hysterics; the term “Woman” does not designate a biological essence but a position in the symbolic order (Evans: 80). There is no female equivalent of a highly prevalent symbol such as the Phallus. So, this symbolic dissymmetry forces women to follow the same path as the man to cross the Oedipus Complex, and to identify themselves with the father, who is more complex being (ibid: 222). Lacan believes that this is more complex for the

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