chapter  6
26 Pages

What does woman want?

The question Sigmund Freud posed at the end of his life, ‘Was will das Weib?’ [What does woman want?] is even now a burning question that has not been robbed of its topicality in any way whatsoever. Just as art historians continue to scrutinize the ‘Mona Lisa’ in search of the ewig Weibliche [eternal feminine], so psychoanalysts keep digging into the history of female development, hoping to reveal her psyche. In spite of the divergent views, the participants in this debate agree that both the separation between mother and daughter and women’s sexual development can generate problems. Moreover, restraint of aggression and feelings of guilt and shame are again and again linked to female development.1