Freud was amazing successful for a cocaine addict who once thought you could solve everyone’s psychological problems with nose operations, wasn’t he?
You didn’t know that? Most people don’t. Sure, this “father of modern psychology” thought outside the box and came up with some fascinating theories about the subconscious mind and dream interpretation, but he also cooked up a ton of crackpot theories, most of which are never mentioned when everyone is singing his praises.
I’m convinced that Western culture celebrates this pervert because his theories are incredibly flattering to the male ego. It’s all about the penis. Everything is about the penis. Fancy cars, missiles, guns, the Washington Monument? All penis substitutes. Men’s basic fear of women? They’re afraid they’ll take their penises.
That’s got to feel spot on to all the little boys out there, doodling penis drawings in class. Men are obsessed with penises. Size, shape, sending junk photos to random women as though we’d give a shit…
Newsflash: Women can see a penis anytime they want, so it’s hardly as thrilling an opportunity as you think.
I’m sick of hearing about penises. It’s like those celebrities that have so oversaturated the media that you just can’t stand to look at their stupid faces anymore. I’m tired of knowing that I’m eventually going to have to watch men pissing in any movie to television show with more than two guy characters.
Get over yourselves already. So you can piss? Every animal on the face of the planet can piss. I don’t understand why you’re so goddamned proud of it.
How about from now on, we put a shitting scene into every movie with a few female characters? They can be sitting on the john, talking about business, and wiggle their butts when they’re done to shake off any clingers. Maybe they can even yank out a tampon to remind everyone that they are women, since they need to be reminded every ten seconds. Sound good?
Of course not, because our bodily functions are “icky,” whereas yours deserve a medal.
But out of all the bullshit Freud spouted off, probably the most beloved log was this one:
The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is ‘What does a woman want?’
This quote tends to pop up in an amirite context of joking about female inscrutability. Because women are so crazy, so illogical, that it’s impossible to understand them. All you can really do is throw up your arms in bafflement and accept that women are an impenetrable mystery that you are nevertheless forced to deal with by the commands of your penis.
Well, I hate to break it to you, but we ain’t that big a mystery. Freud’s problem was that he viewed absolutely everyone through his own phallocentric lens. For a guy whose job it was to get inside other people’s heads, he sure had trouble putting down the Penis-cam.
Take, for example, the basic foundation from which he tried to understand the female psyche. Supposedly, little girls are running around happily, doing girl stuff, until they first catch a glimpse of that magnificent organ we call the “penis.”
Suddenly, the little girl is wracked with frustration over why the cosmos would deny her such a glorious organ. She has something missing, and desperately needs to get it back. Her “penis envy” becomes the defining psychological event that shapes her entire female identity. Anything stereotypically masculine that she will do, for the rest of her life, is actually prompted by the twisted wish-fulfillment fantasy of having a penis for her very own.
What a crock of horse shit. I’m sure this theory was amazing ego-gratifying for many men, who could now believe that any problems they have with women should be blamed on the female obsession with the coveted penis, but it ignores an essential shift in perspective:
Men grow up with a penis. They have had a penis for as long as they could remember, and consider having a penis to be the normal state of affairs. If a little boy sees someone with no penis for the first time, it would make sense for him to conclude that that person is missing something. It’s like seeing someone with only one arm after you have grown up with two.
But women don’t grow up with a penis (it really seems like I shouldn’t have to point this out, by the way). So, seeing someone with a penis for the first time doesn’t make them panic about missing something, it makes them think that person has something extra.
Kids are pretty much stuck in their own mental universe, during the first part of their life, and consider themselves the norm. That’s why they make fun of anyone “different” instead of seeing that difference as a bold and innovative new approach.
When little girls see a penis for the first time, it’s like the equivalent of a boy seeing someone with three arms. They wouldn’t think, “Whoa, and extra arm! That’s so awesome! How come I don’t have another arm? I need one!” They aren’t going to assume that extra arm is a magical arm with life-altering benefits.
No, that little boy is going to think the three-armed stranger is a freak with a deformity. He’s used to two-armed people. It’s all he knows.
And that’s pretty much how little girls react upon seeing a penis for the first time. The thought that probably sums it up best is, “EWWW, GROSS!”
I remember making fun of penises as a little girl. We would put a stick or finger in front of our groin and swing it back and forth, laughing hysterically. Finding out that little boys pee through their penises didn’t make them any more wondrous than if little boys discovered that girls shit through a tube hanging out of their backside. It just made it seem even freakier.
We have our own organs, tucked neatly into our bodies. A penis is just an inside-out vagina, and that didn’t make us worship it any more than if you found out someone had a liver hanging out of their belly-button.
Ridiculous. That’s how penises look to the uninitiated.
Now, do some women eventually develop penis envy? Yes, but not because at first sight they were blown away by the majesty of the penis. No, it’s because as we grow older, we leave the nirvana of our own imaginations to start picking up on social cues and cultural values.
Somewhere along the way, we become sensitive to the idea that sons are more desired than daughters, that men are by default assumed to be more competent, more rational. We see that men’s sexuality is something to be celebrated and bragged about, whereas our desires only dirty us. We see attractive women demeaned and unattractive women reviled, and many women struggle to prove they are nothing like the others.
By then, many girls are wondering what it is that men have that we don’t, as we navigate a binary world divided by Possession of The Penis. We see every detail of masculinity, anything that divides them from us, held up as a badge of deserved esteem. Even if that detail is as trite as being able to aim while pissing.
And many women’s identities collapse under the weight of The Great Penis Universe. They naturally wonder if they would have a better life if they had this thing that everyone else thinks is so awesome.
Freud’s perspective won out and changed the filter through which generations upon generations have seen the universe. Every tower is a penis. Every wand is a penis. But I suppose there is something for the gals: every dome can be a breast.
Great. We could celebrate the life-giving, pleasure-producing awesomeness that is the vagina, but let’s just focus on the decorative baubles that give men pleasure instead.
I’m tired of every arc or line representing a tit or penis.
It isn’t real, at any rate. It all depends on the perspective of the beholder. One time, I got into an argument with a Jewish guy about the relative merits of Freud. Let’s call the guy “Dan.”
I’m not trying to slam the Jewish, but the way. They tend to be brilliant and I appreciate the fact that they will even enter these types of intellectual debates without giggling inanely the entire time.
But in this case, we were arguing about Freud’s tendency to assign the universe to genitals. Dan argued that this was, in fact, exactly how our psyche interprets the world and used a violin (which happened to be nearly) to prove his point.
“Just look at this violin,” he said. “This is a penis. It has two round lobes that look like testicles and a long neck that is clearly the shaft of a penis.”
Disgusted, I fired back with, “That’s ridiculous! A violin is a vagina. You have an hourglass-shaped figure with a vaginal hole in the center, and magic happens when you drag a long, skinny bow across that hole.”
I guess it all depends on your perspective, doesn’t it?