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Diamond, M.J. (2020). Changing notions of the feminine: Confronting psychoanalysts’ prejudices: edited by Margarita Cereijido, London and New York, Routledge, 2019, $39.95 (paperback), 136 pp., ISBN 978-1-138-36051-8.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 101(1):230-234.
(2020). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 101(1):230-234
Changing notions of the feminine: Confronting psychoanalysts’ prejudices: edited by Margarita Cereijido, London and New York, Routledge, 2019, $39.95 (paperback), 136 pp., ISBN 978-1-138-36051-8.
Review by: Michael J. Diamond
In this timely, edited volume from the Routledge Series on Psychoanalysis and Women, 10 prominent psychoanalysts (nine female, one male) mostly based in the eastern United States
though representing European, Latin and North American perspectives, explore the socially constructed and culturally varied notion of the feminine. In aiming to make analysts more aware of their prejudices pertaining to female sexuality and feminine gender—specifically the ways in which stereotypical and mistaken ideas impact clinical practice—the authors embrace fundamentally new and different conceptions of the feminine. Many changing ideas are explored, including those pertaining to: the earliest mother–daughter relationship; psychic bisexuality; female genital anxiety; primary and secondaryfemininity; the Freud–Jones debate on female sexuality; the role of penis envy, lack, and positive femininity; maternity itself; the feminine/masculine binary with respect to power dynamics, parenting, as well as to assertiveness, ambition and aggression; women's role in cultural, historical and phallocentric contexts; feminine narcissism and masochism; and the psychoanalytic impact of new reproductive techniques and changing gender roles.
Theories and practices with regard to sexuality and gender are in widespread transition and nuanced consideration of the concept of the feminine (and the masculine) must include biologically sexed bodies, gender assignment at birth, multiple identifications, bisexual fantasies, fields of desire and varied object choices, and changing gender roles.
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