The Flight from Womanhood: The Masculinity-Complex in Women, as Viewed by Men and by Women : 1926 : Karen Horney

by Julia Evans on January 1, 1926

Published

International Journal of Psycho-Analysis (IJPA) : 1926, Vol 7 : p324-339

Available here

Referred to by Sigmund Freud

in Female Sexuality : 1931b : SE XXI p221-243 : Quote p391 of pfl : Quote : Thus, for instance, Karen Horney (1926) is of the opinion that we greatly overestimate the gitl’s primary penis-envy and that the strength of the masculine trend which she develops later is to be attributed to a secondary penis-envy which is use to fend off her feminine impulses and, in particular, her feminine attachment to her father. This does not tally with my impressions.

Referred to by Jacques Lacan

Probably P77 of Jacqueline Rose’s translation of  The Meaning (or Signification) of the Phallus (Munich): 9th May 1958 : Jacques Lacan  : See here : Quote : … not that interesting transmutations of the object from phobia into fetish do not occur, but their interest resides precisely in the different place which they occupy in the structure. There would be no point in asking these authors to formulate this difference from the perspective of object relations which is currently in favour. This being for lack of any reference on the matter other than the loose notion of the part object, uncriticised since Karl Abraham first introduced it, which is more the pity in view of the easy option which it provides today.

The fact remains that, if one goes back to the surviving texts of the years 1928-32, th now abandoned debate on the phallic phase is a refreshing example of a passion for doctrine, which has been given an additional note of notalgia by the degradation of paychoanalysis consequent on its American transplantation.

A mere summary of the debate could only distort the genuine diversity of the positions taken by figures such as Helene Deutsch, Karen Horney and Ernest Jones, to mention only the most eminent.

Availability of some of Karen Horney’s references

P324 : Ref 1 : Freud: ‘The Infantile Genital Organization of the Libido’. Collected Papers, Vol. II, No. XX. :

The infantile genital organization: An interpolation into the theory of sexuality : 1923e : Sigmund Freud : SE Vol XIX, p243-58

P324 : Ref 3 : Freud: ‘Einige psychische Folgen der anatomischen Geschlechtsunterschiede’. Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanaluse, Bd. XI, 1925. : Also GW, vol 14, p26;

Some Psychical Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction between the Sexes : 1925j : Sigmund Freud : SE, Vol XIX, p254

P329 : Ref 11 :  S. Horney, ‘On the Genesis of the Castration-complex in Women’, International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, Vol. V, 1924.

See On the Genesis of the Castration Complex in Women : September 1922 (Berlin) : Karen Horney  or  here

Karen Horney is quoted by Sigmund Freud in the last sentence of Psychical Consequences : see above

P330

– In this discussion I have already touched on a problem which Freud has recently brought into the foreground of interest:12 namely, the question of the origin and operation of the desire for a child. In the course of the last decade our attitude towards this problem has changed. I may therefore be permitted to describe briefly the beginning and the end of this historical evolution.

The original hypothesis13 was that penis-envy gave a libidinal reinforcement both to the wish for a child and the wish for the man, but that the latter wish arose independently of the former.

- 12 Freud: ‘ber einige psychische Folgen der anatomischen Geschlechtsunterschiede’.
:

See Some Psychical Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction between the Sexes : 1925j : Sigmund Freud : SE, Vol XIX p241-258

- 13 Freud: ‘On the Transformation of Instincts with special reference to Anal Erotism’. Collected Papers, Vol. II, No. XVI. :

On transformations of instinct as exemplified in anal eroticism (1917d) : Sigmund Freud  : SE XVII : p179-204

P335 :

Quote : We should then instead have to conceive of the libidinal interest in the penis as a kind of ‘partial love’, to use Abraham’s term. : 17 Abraham: Versuch einer Entwicklungsgeschichte der Libido, 1924. : A Short Study of the Development of the Libido, Viewed in the Light of Mental Disorders : 1924 : Karl Abraham :  See here   http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=11974

Quote : We might explain the process too by an analogy from later life: I refer to the fact that admiring envy is specially calculated to lead to an attitude of love.

With regard to the extraordinary ease with which this regression takes place I must mention the analytical discovery18 that in the associations of female patients the narcissistic desire to possess the penis and the object-libidinal longing for it are often so interwoven that one hesitates as to the sense in which the words ‘desire for it’19 are meant.

– 18 Freud referred to this in The Taboo of Virginity.  See The Taboo of Virginity (Contributions to the Psychology of Love III) : 12thDecember 1917 (Vienna) (1918a) : Sigmund Freud : SE XI : p193-208

– 19 German: Haben-Wollen.

 

Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, Earl’s Court, London

 

Other texts

Of the clinic here

Use of power here

Some Lacanian History : here

Topology : here

Lacanian Transmission : here

By Karen Horney here

By Sigmund Freud here

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud : here

By Jacques Lacan here

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here