Chapter 5: The Sexual Solipsism of Sigmund Freud

April 11, 2011 | Catherine

If you are still trying to figure out what “solipsism” means, search no longer, I looked it up and Merriam-Webster defines it as:

“a theory holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only existent thing;also : extreme egocentrism”

Betty Friedan rightly names this chapter in The Feminine Mystique, since of course to Freud, everything is sexual or is caused by something sexual.

The whole chapter is about how Freudian thought eventually caused the “feminine mystique.” According to Freud, women who suffer from discontentment are actually enduring an envy for the male anatomy and a simultaneous contempt for herself. 

Friedan continues on her exegesis of Freud’s works in the chapter. Among all the tangled psychoanalysis, there is one notion that particularly struck me, that has seemed to perpetuate itself as a continuing thread throughout The Feminine Mystique, that is – why are we, as women, so often portrayed (and I would say sometimes rightfully so) as discontent and envious? How can we improve this?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Latest News

Feminist Fail: Senators Ignore Two Women

This week, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra Nomani wrote a New York Times op-ed calling out female Senate Democrats for completely ignoring them while testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. In the full committee hearing on, “Ideology and Terror: Understanding the Tools, Tactics, and Techniques of Violent Extremism,”...

Read more

UPDATE: Kellyanne Conway Will Speak At 9:30AM

Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President, will now be speaking on Friday, June 23, at 9:30am at The Heritage Foundation. The updated schedule is as follows: 2017 National Conference Agenda Thursday, June 22 2:30pm: Registration at The Heritage Foundation 3pm: Welcome and Let’s Talk Feminism: How Opportunity Feminism Is The Wave of the Future by Karin...

Read more

Get the latest gear from the NeW store!

Shop Now