Sigismund Schlomo Freud—born on May 6th 1856 in Pribor, Moravia and passed away on September 23rd 1939 in London, England—is one of the most respected and at the same time debated physicians in modern medicine. He was one of the earliest founders of Psychoanalysis and his pioneering work in the intricacies of the Unconscious mind still perturbs us all deeply.  He was definitely the first man that considered women as human beings with their own particular sexual desires and listened eagerly at what they said.

If you peek briefly at our screen presentation, you will see a depiction by Brouillet of a theatrical class by Jean-Martin Charcot in the Neurology clinical ward of the Pitié-Salpetrière hospital of Paris, where he had showed the power of the techniques of hypnosis to extract information from “hysterical” women that expressed neurological symptoms. Charcot dismissed the sexually-related complaints of women—“la chose genitale”—as not relevant to the therapy. But there was one Austrian physician in the public that, after spending time studying with Charcot, went back to Vienna and teamed up with Joseph Breuer to design the free association and interpretation of dreams. The recall of the early psychological traumas uncovered the origin of clinical neuroses.

In the puritan social atmosphere of early 20th century Vienna, Freud was considered a dangerous, rebel practitioner and he struggled to make a living. Even today he still has many ardent detractors that view him as nothing more than a clinical impostor that has been unfairly idealized by the public. Frederick Crews writes in his book “The making of an illusion” that we must strip Freud of his perennial image as “a lone explorer possessing courageous perseverance, deductive brilliance, tragic insight, and healing power.”  He even claimed that Freud had plagiarized the data of Pierre Janet, a French psychologist, in his articles, which is refuted by the fact that Freud gave due credit to his colleague in his early writings about the origin of neuroses.

Keenly trying to disparage him Crews writes about Freud’s experimentation with cocaine, a new drug then, his Victorian views of women and even his purported affair with his sister-in-law. He questions his whining about being a “lone outcast” dismissed because he was a Jew, considering that 20 % of the student body in his medical school class were Jewish, even though only 10% of the city population professed that faith. As a member of the Italian-American community, I understand how Freud wanted to assimilate while at the same time  keeping a resilient sense of “not belonging.”

What really flustered me when I was reading this book is that the author claimed that Freud had little contact with patients and that he fabricated his clinical data. In the Library of Congress, we can see Freud’s 1886-1889 patient record book where it shows that he treated almost 500 of them regularly. There is no way that Freud could have learnt so much about women and their ideation without going through the slogging task of actually listening to them. I know. I have been there. In a humble physician’s office like Freud’s inner sanctum.

What really prodded me to write about women’s emotional frustration in my novel “Madame D.C.” and in my 2nd manuscript, is that, after stoically listening to them in my office for years, something has percolated through my brain. In our male-dominated society, that caring predisposition to really listen to them can make you a lot of enemies.

What do you think? Please tell us.

Don’t leave me alone.

 

 

 

 

28 thoughts on “The first man that listened to women

      1. Do you know that women were considered physically weaker yet morally superior to men in the 19c? But alas! Separate spheres remained separate spheres, only coming together at breakfast and again at dinner.
        I can’t help but wonder how they made kids (bu then again, they were equally horny so sex could have been even better).

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    1. Oh dear! Thanks for the compliment but you forgot the “O” in the middle of my name. I am extremely proud of it because my mother Gladys gave me the name “Oliverio” after falling in love with a Ftench film where the main character was named “Olivier.”

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    1. First greet someone,anyone, properly. Then introduce yourself. Finally you ask for a favor. So let’s recap your message:
      Good evening Dr. Laplume. I am X. I loved your article. May I re-blog it PLEASE ( the magic word the world over) I am listening…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think so. Did you try on the page of your article? I’m sorry I’m still new and trying to figure how everything works 😅

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes, Freud was an intern at the Pitié-Salpetrière hospital of Paris with Professeur Charcot. I am proud to say that many years later, I graduated from the Faculté de Médecine Pitié-Salpetrière de l’Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris

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  2. Dr. Sahib, I wish you for the success of your book titled “Emotional frustration”. I too have sent the manuscript of my book titled “INNER THOUGHTS” based on my write-ups on my website, which you have commented. Will it be a too much of expectation, if I request you for a FOREWORD for my book, which is in advance stage, I think you would be the best one for the foreword for mine book. If you want any other information, please let me know. HARBANS

    Liked by 1 person

  3. An impressive write up on a person who contributed much to the future generations. As far as my knowledge about Sigismund Freud goes, he was infact a gifted physician who did pioneering work in Psychoanalysis and the role played by unconscious mind – a study which stirs us even today when we study the conscious mind and sub-conscious mind. He was, in fact, ahead of his time. His study on the woman and especially so in information on hysterical or neurological symptoms or psychological trauma including sexual desires; their likes and dislikes. Despite Freud’s opposition, he had exhibited grit and determination which enabled him to give to the world on which even now studies are going on despite many impediments in his path besides his health problems.
    I really appreciate your own contribution to build a research encyclopedia on women ‘emotional frustration’ and work on remedial measures. Your work is really on-dot which is commendable. May you succeed in your endeavors.

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    1. Dear Harbans: good morning and thanks for this superb, focused commentary. What should I add to your enlightened words? Nothing at all. Regarding my series called “Emotional frustration” you must know that it’s the necessary scaffolding that allowed me to set up, brick by brick, the foundation of my second book called “Emotional frustration-the hushed plague.” I am writing this manuscript now and I would like to invite you to write the foreword once it’s finished, hopefully by June 2018.
      Arrivederci!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dr. Sahib, my word of thanks to you for your invaluable comments. But one thing is clear when you conduct a sincere research on the fair-sex is really called for as they need the attention to ameliorate their state of health so that they could utilize their time and energy on their loved ones as the women are the formidable force for putting in their best for uplifting the society as a whole with their soft touch. As far as your manuscript is concerned, it would a whiff of fresh air. Do you consider me as a fit candidate for writing foreword for your book? I wish your endeavor a huge success.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Fear Harbans: thanks again for your reply. Of course I consider you a “more than just fit candidate” to write that foreword. Having been nurtured in a spiritual house, with the occasional visit of a brahmin relative, has certainly gifted you with spirituality aplenty that overflows in your writings.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear mpanchuk: good afternoon and thank you for liking and re-blogling my article. Please take a few minutes whenever you can to write a commentary. I am seeing patients now, including women, and I will check your page later. Arrivederci!

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