‘The Enigma of Woman: Woman in Freud’s Writings’ by Sarah Kofman

Published by Cornell University Press in 1985. Download link updated on 17. December 2021.


Didn’t Freud himself predict it? Feminists would take to the warpath against his texts, which, on the subject of women, would be seen as rife with masculine prejudice. The woman question has indeed provoked opposition not only from without but from within the very heart of psychoanalysis, has unleashed a veritable internecine war: women analysts are turning psychoanalysis against its founder, accusing him of taking sides, of siding with his sex, because of his sex.

In brief, they say, on the question of woman, a man, even a Freud, cannot produce objective, neutral, scientific discourse: he can only speculate, that is, philosophize, construct a system destined to justify an idee fixe, a tendentious view based not on observation but on self-perception. . .

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