The Hasty Rejection Of Alice Bennett Essay

The Hasty Rejection Of Alice Bennett Essay

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The first female psychiatrists working the asylums were not were not as McGovern put it “movers and shakers” (541). These women faced constant discrimination in their work. Being viewed as less ambitious and incapable of performing as well as a man, female psychiatry, unsurprisingly, rarely had a position of authority. Male assistances received special training opportunities which in turn led them to be promoted while women were stuck in low paying positions. In 1881, Alice Bennett, one of the earliest females to be appointed “Female Physician”, found herself in a small controversy regarding surgery. Despite the fact that Bennett made great strides for the improvement of patient treatment in asylums, she faced brutal attacks from people who legitimately disagreed with her opinion of surgery as well as people that refused to accept women in the study of psychiatry (543-544). The hasty rejection of Alice Bennett represented the oppositions and delicate nature of women studying psychiatry.
Theories created by men carried a far greater influence than theories from women. Sigmund Freud is an excellent example of male authority taking charge of a subject that he does not understand. Although Freud is largely recognized as a prestigious man of psychoanalysis, he had many outlandish ideas towards women, and he admitted to not understanding the complexities surrounding women. He clung to gender stereotypes and depicted the female as an inferior being, eternally jealous of men (Lax 394). The weak and incapable portrayal of female in Freud’s psychoanalytical theories treated the ability of women ever entering this new study of psychology. Freud’s arrival to America in 1909 began America’s fascination with psychoanalysis. The American Psych...


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...etal norms as the cause of women feeling inadequate. Both Horney and Thompson worked to empower women in psychoanalysis and attempted to overcome the dogmas created by egotistical men not just through their their work but though their actions and example. Clara Thompson was described as having a “deep well of energy” (McGovern 546). She was well respected for her ability to teach while managing a large patient load as an analyzing instructor at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and then perform her job exceedingly well as head of the William Alanson White Institute in Washington. Karen Horney has a complicated personal life that would have been enough to overwhelm most people. Instead, Horney worked hard to maintain a successful professional life and fought to overcome the discrimination she faced as women not just for herself but for all of womankind (McGovern).

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