A Patriarchal View Of Fetishism

1143 Words Apr 7th, 2016 5 Pages
Freud presents a patriarchal view of fetishism, in a way that demonizes female genitalia and presents it as not only inferior but harmful to the male psyche. In Freud’s paper Fetishism (1927) he attempts to persuade physicians and laypeople alike of the purpose and origin of fetishism. Freud uses his experience as a physician to convince the reader of the relationship between castration anxiety and sexual abnormalities. He acknowledges that fetishes are often pleasurable or satisfying and it is, therefore, treated as a less important but relationally significant issue. No matter the varying spectrum of fetishes Freud concludes that they all lead back to trauma and the fear of losing the male phallus. Freud essentially argues that fetishism is a safeguard; it acts as a defense against conflict/attacks on the male identity. He also argues that fetishism is a mental response/development, do to a failed acceptance of female castration or female anatomy. Freud reveals the twofold nature in select instances of fetishism, where fetishes are supported by both the denial and acknowledgement of the state of female genitals. Though he does not explicitly discuss the female genitalia as it realistically is, if he had, it would most likely revolve around the superiority of the male phallus and inferiority of female genitals. Freud concludes that the male phallus is the ideal and coveted source of fetishes and the female genitals act as the source of trauma and anxiety. Freud notes the…
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