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Spring1978
Signs
721
women in Poland. Gender identificationmay also modifythe duties and
the rightswithina role, as in all social roles which have dual or more
extensivesubdivisions.That is, the cultural base and social circles may
than does
demand thata woman performthe duties of a role differently
a man. They may offerdifferentpersonal rights,as in the case when
for doing the same thing.
women and men are paid differently
The point I am making here is that I cannot locate a sex role, or
even a gender role, seeing only the influence,more or less pervasive,of
upon the social roles selected and
gender identificationand self-identity
entered into by men and women and upon the relationswithmembers
of the social circlesof these roles. It seems to be that being a woman is
not a social role but a pervasiveidentityand a set of self-feelingswhich
lead to the selectionor the assignmentbyothersof social roles and to the
from
performanceby women of common roles in some waysdifferently
men.
StudyofSocial Roles
of Sociologyand Centerfor theComparative
Department
Chicago(Lopata)
LoyolaUniversity,
Department
ofSociology
(Thorne)
MichiganState University
Comment on Naomi Goldenberg's "A Feminist Critique
of Jung" (vol. 2, no. 2)
BarbaraE. Chesser
What is set forthas critique is characterassassinationof Jung as sexist
and racist.Quotes are takenout of context.There is misapprehensionor
misrepresentationof basic concepts, for example, the archetype, the
animus/anima,the differencebetween the individual and collectiveunconscious, and the implicationsinherentin the factthat these originate
not in metaphysicaldeductions about the human mind but in empirical
observationsof psychobiologicalphenomena. Jung has often been attacked by those ill equipped to deal with the biological considerations
fundamentalto his thought.Misconstructionhere is so complete it cannot be discussed profitably.A paragraph,withmyinsertedcomments,at
random:
To Jungiansthe anima, the animus, and theirverbal handmaidens
Eros and Logos are "archetypes,"bydefinition,whatis unchanging
and unchangeable. [Eros and Logos are not archetypes-psychoid
structureswhich cannot become conscious-but manifestationsof
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722
Letters/Comments
aspects of the anima/animusin consciousness.1Nor are archetypes
immutablebut species specificand open to the operationof natural
selection.2]This concept of archetypeallows Jungians like Erich
Neumann and Esther Harding to writestudiesof the "archetypal"
nature of the female psyche which are based on their subjective
selection of mythologicalmaterialto document preordained conclusions. [The brain is said to contain the archetypesas inherent
structuraldominantsof the psyche;"theyare the ever-presentand
biologicallynecessary regulatorsof the instinctualsphere."3 Uncertain they could ever be pinpointed neurologically,Jung conceived theirnature as psychoid,on the bridge betweenmatterand
"spirit."4The femalepsychecannot be said to be archetypal,except
doubtfullyin one under the delusion she is Kali, Tonantzin,or the
VirginMary.] Feministscholarsmustexamine the veryidea of the
archetypein Jungian thoughtif sexismis ever to be confrontedat
its base. Indeed, if feministsdo not change the assumptions of
archetype or redefine the concept, there are only two options:
either(1) to accept the patriarchalideas of the feminineas ultimate
and unchanging and work withinthose or (2) to indulge in a rival
search to findfemale archetypes,ones whichcan support feminist
conclusions. [As Jung repeatedlystressed,the archetypesare not
ideas or images.5If theyexist,we can no more change theirnature
at will than opt out of the Order Primates. But it is gross misrepresentationof Jung's thoughtto claim that patriarchalor any
other kind of institutions,fantasies,ideas, etc., are in themselves
archetypesor follow as the result of the existence of archetypes
withoutthe mediationof culture.]
Jung is called raciston "evidence" that speaks for itself.From unpublished seminar notes viewed by Goldenberg,we are told that"Jung
virtuallyequated the Negro withthe gorilla."And his allusion in "Women in Europe" to cultural differencesin European and Chinese conceptions of the sexual divisionof labor is held to be racism against the
Chinese!6Jung did not,like mostpsychologists,
ignore the non-Western
1. C. G. Jung,"The Syzygy:Anima and Animus,"CollectedWorks,ed. C. Adler et al.,
2d ed. (Princeton,N.J.: PrincetonUniversityPress, 1968), 9:16. All citationsto Jung are
fromthisedition unless otherwiseindicated.
2. Jung,"On the Nature of the Psyche" (1969), 8:200-201.
3. Ibid., 8:201.
4. Ibid., 8:216.
5. Jung,"Instinctand the Unconscious" (1969), 8:133, n.
6. Jung,"Woman in Europe" (1964), 10:117. In the West the sexual divisionof labor
has been seen as following"naturally"fromdifferencesin biology;among the Chinese it
has been perceived more directlyin termsof hierarchicalstatusdifferences,i.e., males and
femalesare seen as similarin mentalmakeup but normallyoccupydifferentstatuses.One's
whole sex identity,then,is not on the line, as traditionalin Westernsociety,ifone takeson
Shadow(Stanford,
tasks allotted to the opposite sex. See F. L. K. Hsu, UndertheAncestors'
Calif.: Stanford UniversityPress, 1971), esp. pp. 54-74, 272-76.
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Signs
Spring1978
723
world, nor did he rely entirelyon the writingsof others. He traveled
widelyto understandnot onlymembersof advanced civilizationsbut also
primitives.He often averred a special affinityfor black Africa and
mentioned his fieldworkamong the Elogonyis. The reader should
examine his views on non-Europeans by reading "Travels" in the autobiography,his "Commentary"to Wilhelm'stranslationof The Secretof
theGoldenFlower:A ChineseBookofLife,and "Archaic Man."7 European
ethnocentrismcan be found but equally his stand against biological
racism-both best perceived in historicalcontext.
Only a few points with regard to Jung's alleged sexism can be
touched on. It is not a lone or inaccurate observation of Jung's that
women tend to be consciouslyoriented towardrelationshipswithpeople
and men with things,but he did not see a well-developed Logos in a
woman as "unnatural" or puttingher "at a great disadvantage" except
where it was at the expense of Eros or the feeling part of her being.
Women's need of a developed Logos in combination with a wellexpressed Eros is a theme on which it is fairerto say Jung harped in
correctingthe one-sidedness he perceived in Europeans. Perhaps he
failed fullyto understand the perceptionsof women, but he repeatedly
deals withwomen's need of their suppressed "masculine" mental qualities and men their"feminine"ones. In context,this is the point of the
quote selectedbyGoldenberg to illustratehis supposed condemnationof
a developed Logos in women. What is actuallysaid is that lack of conscious development of Logos leaves women particularlysusceptible to
prejudices.8
"Women in Europe" is notJung's "dogmaticassertions"about what
should or should not be the role of "existingindividuals," but, as he
states,a psychologicalethnographyof the modern European woman as
he found her in 1927. One may faulthis perceptionsbut not claim thisis
his portraitof Woman as she is or should be in all timesand places.Jung
is exceptional among psychologistsin his cognizance of the role of culture in shaping the individual,yet Goldenberg (and others) can somehow hold that he ordains the plightof the women he describes-which,
incidentally,he compares throughoutwiththatof the slaves of Imperial
Rome.9
Jung viewed the minds of women and men as differentand com7. See the followingbyJung:"Travels,"Memories,
ed. AJaffe(New
Dreams,Reflections,
Flower:
York:RandomHouse,1961),pp. 238-88;"Commentary,"
inTheSecret
oftheGolden
Brace& World,1962),
A Chinese
BookofLife,"trans.RichardWilhelm
(NewYork:Harcourt,
pp. 81-137; and "ArchaicMan,"(1964), 10:50-73.Here and elsewhere,
Jungstateshis
cultural.He saw no
beliefthatdifferences
betweengroupsof humanbeingsare basically
inintellect,
a particudifferences
buthe didviewthemodernEuropeanmindas possessing
fromitssocialand naturalenvironment,
as
larlyhighdegreeof consciousdifferentiation
whichwerecharacterized
byparticipation
mystique.
comparedwiththoseinothercultures
8. Jung,"The Syzygy"
(1968),9:14-15.
9. Jung,"Womenin Europe"(1964), 10:121,126.
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724
Letters/Comments
plementaryin psychobiologicalfunctioning,but this cannot be equated
withrampantsexism("An inferiorconsciousnesscannoteo
simplistically
be
ascribed
to women; it is merelydifferentfrommasculine conipso
sciousness"'0). If he did not thinkthe sexes at theiroptimumconsciously
or unconsciouslyimitatedeach other, the role of woman stillwas not
decreed to be hausfrau; forexample, because of perceiveddifferencesin
psychicfunctioning,
Jung thoughtwomen mightbe bettersuited to research on the mind than men. The goal of both sexes inJungiantermsis
always individuation.
Because naive biological determinism repeatedly surfaces to
legitimizemale supremacy,we have the greateststakein not ignoringor
denyingsex differencesbut in understandingthem.One of the starting
places is the observationsof Jung. That we make ourselves, that our
mind-unlike our brain-is not the product of our evolutionaryhistory
and dependent on itsmode of neurologicalorganizationforitsfunctioning is popular fantasy.As we and other animals do not perceive the
physical world as it "is" in any direct way but through constructsof
reality,thatis, percepts (whichare partiallydependent on the structure
of the brain and partiallyon past experience, and whose nature differs
from species to species), it is likelythat perceptionsof the social environment,too, are ordered byconstructswhichreflectnotonlyindividual
lifeexperience but our evolutionaryhistory.The idea the mind is a clean
slate upon whichany behavioral programcan be writtenis one thathas
passed out of the biologicalsciences,ifnot the social sciences.Jung'sfeet
were not withoutclay nor his ideas withouterror,but his was one of the
most profound minds of the twentiethcentury.Because his work deals
with issues painful to many of us, that is, the projection-making
capacities of the mind and the significanceof sex differences,we cannot
subject his work to unwarranteddismissal.
Department
ofAnthropology
University
ofCalifornia,Los Angeles
Reply to Barbara Chesser's Comment on "A Feminist
Critique of Jung"
NaomiR. Goldenberg
According to Jungian lore, Carl Jung once said he was glad to be Jung
and not a "Jungian."As Junghe could be a thinkerwho testedideas and
10. Jung,"Anima and Animus," 1sted. (1953), 7:204.
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