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The representation of patriarchy in Freud's Dora

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Published on March 2, 2014

Author: ZakariaAamou

Source: slideshare.net

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it is a presentation about Toril Moi's article "the representation of patriarchy in Freud's Dora" in which she tries to offer a feminist critique and a scrutiny of Freud's well know hysterical case stud "Dora" .
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The representation of patriarchy: sexuality and epistemology in Freud’s Dora By : Toril Moi presented by : Aamou zakaria Copyright © Wondershare Software

Overview: • • • • • • • Introduction Who is Dora Fragment or a whole ? Transference and counter transference Patriarchal prejudices Sexuality and epistemology Discussion Copyright © Wondershare Software

Introduction • The article revolves around the psychological disorder that Dora suffered from Hysterical symptoms. • This Psychological disorder was due to her social background :  She had a little scope of independent activity.  Her father’s treatment: he decided to give her up to Heer K. ( he is the husband of Dora’s father’s mistress) in exchange for his wife. • If i get your wife you will get my daughter !! Copyright © Wondershare Software

Introduction • According to Moi, Freud’s treatment to Dora was a fiasco mainly due to his sexist beliefs and his alliance with the male power game conducted against Dora. • Some feminists regard Dora’s hysteria as a form of protest, a silent revolt against male power. • Moi deploys a variety of critics who tried to tackle this issue through a rich review of the literature that examines Dora’s case : Copyright © Wondershare Software

Introduction  1.Dora’s hysteria may be seen as a political weapon through which she rebels against patriarchy.  2.what has worsen Dora’s problem is her unconscious belief that femininity, bondage and debasement were synonymous which means that if she could only differentiate between the three concepts she could be liberated. Copyright © Wondershare Software

Who is Dora ? • Dora is just a pseudo name, her real name was Ida Bauer (1882-1945). • Dora suffered from various hysterical symptoms (nervous cough, loss of voice, depression,….). • These Hysterical symptoms were due to the patriarchal frame that surrounded her life. Copyright © Wondershare Software

Fragment or a whole ? • Freud delayed the publication of this case for four years. This was due to his unusual degree of uncertainty, doubt and ambiguity. • Freud’s suggests three reasons for calling his text as a fragment:  First, Dora interrupted the treatment before its completion.  Second, Freud didn’t offer a complete analytic result of the process of interpretation.  Finally, Freud stresses that no case study can provide a complete answer to all problems embedded within hysteria. Copyright © Wondershare Software

Fragment or a whole ? • This, as a matter of fact, proves Freud’s obsession with his incomplete status of his text. • Hence, the fragment can be presented as a complete book, yet, a complete case history could not. Copyright © Wondershare Software

Transference and counter transference • little did Freud know that Dora was transferring the emotions she felt for Herr K onto Freud himself. • It is completely normal in the course of psychoanalysis and the analyst must be aware of it so that the analysis won’t go awry. • Freud started transferring his unconscious emotions onto Dora, which could be referred to as counter transference. Copyright © Wondershare Software

Transference and counter transference • According to Lacan, the reason behind the failure of Dora’s analysis is Freud’s excessive interest in the alleged love that Dora felt towards Herr K, the thing that made him blind to any other explanation. • In the same vein, Freud believes that the protagonist of this case develops hysterical symptoms as she represses sexual desires towards her father : Electra complex Copyright © Wondershare Software

Transference and counter transference • These sexual desires were rejected as her father has got himself a mistress. Subsequently, Dora started despising her father and steering those desires to Herr K. • Freud pushed Dora into confessing her feelings toward Herr K. the thing that Dora resisted as best as she could. • Freud tried to interpret this “alleged love” through the fact that Heer K. Attempted to kiss Dora when she was fourteen years old in his office. However, Doura had a moment of violent feelings of disgust and rejection. Copyright © Wondershare Software

Patriarchal prejudices • In this section Moi deduces the paradox that Freud falls in:  He asserts the existence of sexual desire in women (he believes that females are sexually active and therefore they have some independent drive).  At the same time he refuses all the above mentioned ideas considering that females are mere passive recipients of male desires (Dora in this context is considered as a sexual object of a male desire, Heer K.). Copyright © Wondershare Software

Patriarchal prejudices • In this sense, Dora’s rebellion against Freud is in a sense a revolt against patriarchy at large. Hence, when she dismissed Freud, we may say that she dismissed the patriarchal frame that surrounded her life. • However, her hysteria is not to be taken as a solution to break free from patriarchal prejudices, but rather “a declaration of defeat, the realization that there is no other way out.” • The psychoanalysis project of emancipating women has failed because Freud, the liberator, is himself politically and socially on the side of oppression. And thus he is unconsciously a patriarchal. Copyright © Wondershare Software

Sexuality and epistemology • The author epistemologically criticizes the analysis on which Freud based his interpretation and elucidation of Dora. • “Why would Freud be so obsessed with these sources of knowledge?” = fragmentary material of Freud is very tormenting because of the lack of completeness and information. Copyright © Wondershare Software

Sexuality and epistemology • The struggle here is over the possession of knowledge. In other words, the claim of Freud that he discloses and unlocks Dora’s secrets is a mere fallacy. Hence, they both have their own secrets. Dora had a homosexual desire. Freud is afraid of not winning the battle of knowledge. • Moi had a deep belief that the failure of solving the riddle of Dora will result in Freud’s “castration”. Copyright © Wondershare Software

Sexuality and epistemology • Hence, Freud's epistemology is clearly phallocentric as it looks at the male as the bearer of knowledge, he alone has the power to penetrate woman and text; women’s role is to let herself be penetrated by such truth. Copyright © Wondershare Software

Discussion • Can we deem Dora’s hysteria as a revolt against male power? • Did Freud the man or Freud the Psychiatrist deal with Dora’s case ? • To what extent is Freud obsessed with Dora’s case ? Copyright © Wondershare Software

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