The Fallacies of Freud and Fox

Before I start this, let me just clarify that I’m meeting Freud where he was: The cisnormative culture of the early 20th Century. Work with us here.

If you had asked Sigmund Freud, in the early 20th Century, what women want, he would have told you a penis. He was wrong. We do not want a penis.

If you ask Fox News what Democrats want, they will tell you a country just like Venezuela. Democrats want Venezuela like women want penises. That is to say, we don’t.

If men wanted to know what women wanted, they should have asked women, not Freud. Women wanted property rights, suffrage, equal pay, stuff like that. We still like all of these things.

If you want to know what Democrats want, ask your friends who are Democrats. Don’t ask Fox. Or Breitbart. Or, really, any conservative news outlet if it is currently trying to convince you that we want the U.S. to be just like Venezuela.

We do not want socialism as in the government owns all businesses. Most of us like capitalism for many things. We think it needs some regulation to protect workers, consumers, and the environment. We don’t want children laboring in factories, adulterated milk, or the air quality of pretty much any major city in Freud’s era. We support unions and tax codes that encourage businesses to invest in their workers rather than rewarding the hoarding of wealth. Hey, you’re management and/or the investor? Great. Go on lovely vacations and drive nice cars, but not if your employees are working 40 hour weeks and qualifying for food stamps. That’s all we’re sayin’.

Fox will also tell you that we want a healthcare system just like England’s. Hmmm. Well, in the U.S., the average life expectancy for both sexes is about 79. In the U.K., it’s around 82. That’s better than ours. Deaths of infants and children under five in the U.S. is roughly 6.5 in every 1,000 live births. In the U.K., it’s about 4.3. Again, better. Maternal mortality rates? In the U.S., it’s about 19 in every 100,000 live births. The U.K.: 7. I will take not dying in childbirth over a penis any day. 

Still, while some of us might settle for the U.K.’s system, most of us want better. Like what? The average life expectancy in Hong Kong, Japan, and Macau is around 85. Switzerland, Singapore, Italy, Spain, Australia, the Channel Islands, and South Korea all come in around 84. Infant mortality rates in Monaco, Japan, Iceland, Singapore, Norway, Finland, Bermuda, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, South Korea, Macau, France, Spain, Aguilla, Italy, Luxembourg, Austria, Belgium, and Germany all fall in below 3.5 in every 1,000 live births. In Belaruse, Poland, Norway, and Italy, 3 mothers die in every 100,000 live births. In Greece, the Czech Republic, Finland, and Israel, it’s around 4. (Remember, in the U.S. it’s 19.) There are anecdotal horror stories of medical screw ups in every country; these statistics reveal the bigger picture.

So yeah, I’d take England’s system over ours, but what I really want is to look at other countries that provide free or very low cost health care, like Switzerland, Singapore, Italy, Spain, Australia, South Korea, Monaco, Japan, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Bermuda, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Macau, France, Luxembourg, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Belaruse, and Poland (do the names of any of these countries seem familiar, like maybe you read them in the previous paragraph?) and see what we can learn from them.

You’ll note that what I want (not will just settle for) does not include England, Venezuela, or a penis.

Don’t ask Fox what Dems want; don’t ask Freud what women want. They’re both clueless.

Life expectancy; infant mortality, maternal mortality, health coverage

Addendum: My bad. According to a number of conservative FB posts, if we Dems can’t get the U.K.’s system of healthcare, we want Canada’s, where people wait in lines until they die. Oh, wait… Average U.S. life expectancy: 79; Canada: 83. Child under 5 and infant mortality rate in the U.S.: 6.5 in every 1,000 live births. Canada: roughly 5. In the U.S., 19 women die in every 100,000 live births. In Canada, it’s 8.3. Apparently, Canadians wait for some things but get to live. In the U.S., survival generally depends upon income. Push comes to shove, I guess I’d rather have Canada’s healthcare than our current system or a penis, but that’s not saying much.

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Paula is an author of historical fiction as well as a wife, mom, and teacher.
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2 Responses to The Fallacies of Freud and Fox

  1. Michael Stuart Cummings says:

    When I taught Freud in my graduate seminar in Political Psychology, I taught him critically, the way I taught every great thinker in Political Philosophy (e.g. Plato, Rousseau) and American Political Thought (e.g. Jefferson, Hamilton). A very bright Ph.D. student’s reaction to Freud’s theory of penis envy was her own tongue-in-cheek theory of penis pity! But in addition to his errors, Freud (like all the other cited thinkers) has had much to offer us in understanding our psyches and our beliefs, especially with the corrections and enhancements to his theories offered by the many brilliant women psychoanalysts whose careers and thinking he nurtured, including his daughter Anna Freud (who further developed his theory of ego-defense mechanisms that so aptly explain Trump and his supporters), Karen Horney (who incorporated socio-environmental and cultural factors into psychoanalysis in her path-breaking book The Neurotic Personality of Our Times), Melanie Klein (pioneer of and insightful contributor to our understanding of attachment disorders), and Juliet Mitchell (whose book Psychoanalysis and Feminism explains the major contributions of Freud to feminist theorizing). With therapeutic tools originated by Freud, therapists have broken with professional tradition and diagnosed Donald Trump as a clinical narcissist (by reference to every dimension of narcissism specified in either the DSM-4 and the DSM-5) without having him on the couch–because he impulsively reveals his wounded, loveless, fragile inner psyche so readily on a nearly daily basis. Just as I like to ask Christian conservatives “What would Jesus do?”, I now ask what Freud would do in November of 2020. He would vote for the Democrat!

    • admin says:

      Oh, Freud definitely had wisdom to offer. It’s just that, as my conservative friends on FB (a number of whom we have in common) kept posting articles about Venezuelan socialism and U.K. healthcare, I kept wishing they’d actually ask their less conservative friends what they really wanted. I realized they were kind of operating in the same world as pretty much anyone who thinks cisgender women want penises!

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