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Masculine Protest

  Masculine Protest is a concept of Alfred Adler\'s Individual Psychology, which is partly a theory of psychological hermaphroditism and partly a way of explaining the presence of patriarchal society. Adler\'s clinical experience showed him a frequency of what he came to call secondary sexual characteristics belonging to the opposite gender among his neurotic patients. This he supposed to be the source of the feelings of inferiority they experienced, and the striving for compensation either in aggression or its opposite passivity. The first was equated with masculinity, the second with femininity. He called this striving masculine protest, and equated it with the need to surpass the father at the Oedipal phase.

Following Bachofen and Bebel, Adler assumes that the superiority of man over woman is a status with a history, a reaction against the ancient period of matriarchy, which men suppressed. Since that time in prehistory, this attitude has been perpetuated and reinforced by education and unconscious suggestion. Adler saw this masculine protest as one of the main causes of neuroses. Sexual perversions and differences were also seen as an expression of increased psychological distance between men and women. MJ

Further reading Alfred Adler, In Freud\'s Shadow; , P.E. Stepansky, Adler in Context.



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