Prejudices against women and gay people

Jung's view of women is problematic for many contemporary feminists. On the one hand, Jung was relatively untroubled about accepting women as academic colleagues and trainees. He collaborated with Toni Wolff, Emma Jung, and M. Esther Harding, and trained such well-known analysts as Jolande Jacobi and Aniela Jaffe. On the other hand, some of Jung's attitudes toward women are tinged with misogyny. As noted earlier, Jung had an uneasy relationship with his mother. Jung commented that his younger sister "was always a stranger" to him, even though he respected her for her orderly and composed nature. Many of Jung's comments about the contrasexual part of the human psyche—the anima in men and the animus in women— reflect gender stereotypes that are no longer accepted without question. Jung tended to emphasize the negative aspects of the animus in women, stating that it made them quarrelsome and opinionated. As for the anima in men, Jung once remarked that it is inclined to "everything that is unconscious, dark, equivocal, and unrelated in woman, and also for her vanity, frigidity, and helplessness." Most contemporary Jungian analysts have modified Jung's concepts of gender roles, usually by observing that they are historically conditioned rather than timeless and unalterable.

Another aspect of Jung's view of women that troubles contemporary feminists is the tangled connection between the development of his concepts and his extramarital relationships with his patients and trainees. The discovery of Sabina Spielrein's diary in 1977 revealed that Jung's characterization of the anima as "seductive," as well as his accounts of some of his conversations with the anima, derived from his relationship with Spielrein. Likewise, his discussion of the sudden eruption of archetypes in Symbols of Transformation is a veiled description of the impact of the affair on his consciousness. Jung appears to have made similar use of his relationship with Toni Wolff in his exploration of his own unconscious in 1913-14. In his published works, however, he speaks of the development of his thinking as if it took place purely within his own mind, without any mention of his interpersonal involvements. The ethical implications of these relationships will be discussed below.

Jung's attitude toward homosexuality is much more of a concern than his views of women for contemporary Jungians, because many of his basic concepts depend on a conception of heterosexuality as normative. His notion of psychic wholeness as the product of the reconciliation of opposites, and his definition of the contrasexual part of the psyche, are based on the notion that masculinity and femininity represent a pair of opposites. In addition, Jung regarded homosexuality itself as a sign of immaturity associated with mental disturbance. At one point in his autobiography, he noted that during his student years, only two of his friends were open admirers of the philosopher

Nietzsche. "Both were homosexual; one of them ended by committing suicide, the other ran to seed as a misunderstood genius." In another passage, he remarked that "the role homosexuality plays in modern society is enormous." Jung attributed this prominence to a combination of "the mother-complex" and a desire to limit human reproduction. One of the most lively debates among contemporary Jungian therapists concerns the possibility of modifying Jungian theory to include homosexuality. Some maintain that it cannot be done without taking apart the entire system of analytic psychology; others are more hopeful.

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