...every upbringing is partisan; that it strives to fit the
child into the prevailing social order without considering how
valuable or stable this order may be in itself...
Sigmund Freud, An Outline of Psychoanalysis
Freud suggested that children should perhaps have contact with an
analyst even if relatively well-adjusted, and that this could have a
profound effect on education as well as society. He suggested that
educators should be trained analysts, and have undergone analysis
themselves. Educators would ideally take into account each child's
individuality when working out the necessary balance of encouragement
Should parents themselves train as analysts/undergo analysis before
If the prevailing social order needs to be questioned, then it would
seem that employing analysis to help children fit in is not a goal
that makes sense.
At present, children are under a lot of pressure from a young age to
think of the future. How well do schools help them to identify their
own individual interests and abilities? If children are under
pressure early on to get grades that will help them get into certain
schools (or to get grades that will make their schools 'look good',
maintain prestige or funding), at what point do they have time to
seek out what truly interests them, to learn for the love of
...It takes a great deal of courage and independence to decide to
design your own image instead of the one society rewards, but it gets
easier as you go along...
Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch
I have also come to this conclusion.
...The houses all being identical added to this impression of an
institution where all variations in the human personality would be
treated like eccentricities and symptoms of disintegration...
Anaïs Nin, A Spy in the House of Love
Many personality traits may not currently be 'in fashion', yet may
serve or have served evolutionary purposes. We now make judgments
regarding adaptations that may not fit a narrow selection of what is
currently deemed acceptable or normal.
The need for personal autonomy and to resist submitting to others
can account not only for the many different branches of psychology,
but also for difficulties with therapy or analysis itself. Even
within therapy, there may exist subtle, or not so-subtle,
conscious or unconscious struggles toward self-assertion.
...the unsuspecting creature seeks aid because she feels
unhappy, anxious and confused, and psychology persuades her to seek
the cause in herself. The person is easier to change than the
status quo which represents a higher value in the psychologists'
Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch
If the therapist represents mainstream aims, and getting a person
back into her 'proper' role, it may do more harm than good to seek
If women are conditioned to seek guidance rather than do their
own problem-solving, are stereotypes of female dependence reinforced?
But, we don't live our lives completely isolated - it may be
necessary to seek help from time to time, and to be able to figure
out what the best forms of help for us are. It is rational to seek
help for a problem that you do not know how to solve on your
In my own case, I sought help and was not helped, possibly because
the system itself was sick or not sufficiently advanced, or because I
was not articulate or assertive enough. At present, the idea of
therapy would represent mainly a chance to converse with another
person in a situation in which someone will listen and offer
feedback. I find it difficult to find others who want to discuss in
detail my complications as well as theirs. I would not be seeking a
therapist in order to bow to their expertise, but because it would
offer a chance to go further into particular areas, offer my own
ideas in response, and possibly increase my own knowledge or insight
through practical discussion.
...desire can take as many shapes as there are containers. Yet
what one pours into those containers is always the same inchoate
passion, entirely lacking in definition until what holds it shapes
it. So let us break the world's pots, and allow the stuff of desire
to flow and intermingle in one great viscous sea...
Gore Vidal, Myra Breckenridge
The model of the nuclear family still exerts a great deal of
pressure, as do the myths of monogamous lifelong marriage and ideal
romance. The myths tie people to houses, cars, possessions. We need
more than one model. The model that exists is not a realistic model
of happiness for everyone.
Mainstream ideas about sex and love are restrictive, and don't
represent the range and creativity that are possible in human
sexuality and relationships. Many people don't realize that it is
possible to pursue alternative relationships or families.
I am not advocating that GLBT couples adopt the old heterosexual
values and myths for themselves, but I admit that I am embarrassed to
be living in a country (Australia) that will not at least grant such
individuals the same rights and possibilities.
...The years pass and one has only one life. If one has a thing
at all one must do it and keep on and on and on trying to do it
better.. I do not believe that I would improve if I wrote less. The
only result of that would be that there would be less of whatever
there is. And less of me...
Iris Murdoch, The Black Prince
Content on the internet is pretty much impossible to erase once it's
out there. I realize that I do not have a chance to come across as
'normal'. It's not that I don't care what others think, but it has
become essential to me to try to express as many layers as I am able
to perceive regarding my circumstances, experiences, thoughts and
feelings. Xesce.net represents the most comprehensive expression of
...I would ask you to write all kinds of books, hesitating at
no subject however trivial or however vast. By hook or by crook, I
hope that you will possess yourselves of enough money to travel and
to idle, to contemplate the future or the past of the world, to
dream over books and loiter at street corners and let the line of
thought dip deep into the stream...
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own