Freud at CPAC: The GOPs obsession with sex
By Hal Brown, MSW
Here are the two articles in the order I read them which led me to write this:
Donald Trump, Matthew Kacsmaryk and 'the man who hated women' by Thom Hartmann
This is about Thomas Comstock, a man who believed sex in any form was repulsive, and the influence of what is usually called the Comstock Act. He thought sex was so horrible this is one of the things he did:
Comstock spent decades scouring the country collecting pornography, which he enthusiastically shared with men in Congress, and harassing “loose women.” For example, when he visited a belly-dancing show (then a new craze) in Chicago at the Cairo Theatre during the World’s Fair of 1893, he demanded the show be shut down.
Here't the other article I read:
After-school Pride event canceled at Portland elementary school due to threats
Reading these made me think of Sigmund Freud and his theories about sexuality like, for example, positing the existence of the Oedipus Complex.
This was graphically described in one of my undergraduate class in adolescent psychology taught by Bertram Karon, author of Effective Psychoanalytic Therapy of Schizophrenia and Other Severe Disorders among other works, as the universal desire at a certain ago among boys of wanting to f*ck their mothers. This got the attention of the some 100 students sitting in the large auditorium classroom at Michigan State University's Olds Hall where since I was a psych major I took numerous classes. Karon, perhaps needles to say, was very popular professor.
Whether it's the banning of the book "And Tango Makes Three" which is the true story of two male penguins raising a female chick, the firing of a Wisconsin school teacher over protesting the banning of the song Rainbow land sung my Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton, another teacher who works, no surprise, in Florida who may lose her job for showing her fifth grade students a Disney film with a gay character it seems like one can't look at the news every day without seeing a story about the GOP's obsession with sex and sexuality.
How much of the anti-abortion mania among men is fueled by the belief that life begins at or soon after conception and how much involves wanting to control women and their sexuality is impossible to determine.
There seems to be an anti-joy juggernaut when it comes to sex. I am old enough to remember when the publication of The Joy of Sex and The Feminine Mystique led to a combination of enlightenment in one group of people and outrage among others. See: 50 years on, The Joy of Sex is outdated in parts but still a fun ‘unanxious’ romp and The Powerful, Complicated Legacy of Betty Friedan’s ‘The Feminine Mystique’.
The Feminine Mystique was published in 1963 and The Joy of Sex in 1972.
In the 1980's we had Ruth Westheimer, or Dr. Ruth, who was sometimes referred to as Grandma Freud" and the "Sister Wendy of Sexuality". This is from Wikipedia:
Dr. Ruth helped revolutionize talk about sex and sexuality on radio and television, advocating for speaking openly about sexual issues. She fielded questions ranging from women who did not have orgasms, to the best time of day to have sex (the morning), to men with premature ejaculations, to foreplay, to oral sex, to sexual fantasies ("embrace them"; "If you want to believe that a whole football team is in bed with you, that's fine"), to masturbation, to erections, to sexual positions, to the G-spot. She stressed that: "anything that two consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedroom or kitchen floor is all right with me." Asked a question as to having sex with an animal, she responded: "I'm not a veterinarian." She spoke out against engaging in any sexual activity under pressure, and against pedophilia. She spoke out strongly in favor of having sex, in favor of contraception being used, in favor of the availability of abortion as an aid for contraception failures, in favor of sex within relationships rather than one-night stands, in favor of funding for Planned Parenthood, and in favor of research on AIDS, and educated her listeners about sexually transmitted diseases. She became known for giving serious advice while being candid and funny, but warm, cheerful, and respectful; and for her tag phrase: "Get some".
The term incel wasn't used at the time, although no doubt there were people who met the definition of being involuntarily celibate living their silent unhappy lives. First used in 1990's, currently every informed person knows what it means.
From CNN: What dose the term "incel" mean?
The term “incel” is everywhere. What was once a niche piece of internet slang now populates international headlines and is a frequent topic in discussions about gender, misogyny, violence and extremism.
“Incel” is a portmanteau of “involuntary celibate.” In its most basic form, incel describes someone, usually a male, who is frustrated by their lack of sexual experiences.
The Anti-Defamation League, which works to address hate and extremism, defines incels as “heterosexual men who blame women and society for their lack of romantic success.”
Of course we won't see Sigmund Freud at the next CPAC conference since he died in 1939. I doubt I'd be invited to speak about sexuality there, although on the remote chance that I was I might bring along a poster showing Freud's phallic African statues.
Addendum: A psychoanalyst friend contributed this to my blog: