- The Washington Times - Monday, December 4, 2006

Sigmund’s fraud

“From just a few sexual abuse cases, Freud theorized that hysteria resulted from sexual molestation during childhood, and that such abuse was common. Yet his charge lacked factual basis. …

“Freud built his theory of the Oedipus complex on an equally gross generalization, namely that all children want to kill their fathers and commit incest with their mothers. …

“Research that came to light only in the 1980s offers one example of the kind of trouble he caused. Freud jumped to conclusions and accused a male patient (who, on reflection, probably suffered from bipolar disorder) of latent homosexual tendencies. He told the man to divorce his wife and marry his mistress, and then told his mistress that if she refused to comply, the patient might never return to ‘normality.’ The couple took Freud’s advice, delivered more as a command, and married. They divorced three years later, both their lives ruined. …

“Freud’s reputation thrives mostly because he is still viewed as a scientist rather than as a philosopher. … Freud’s work is seen as somehow contributing to the great edifice.

“This is wrong. … Freudian analysis is not science; it is fashion, totally dependent on public acclaim.”

— Ronald W. Dworkin, writing on “Freud’s Will to Power,” Wednesday in the New York Sun

Breaking ceilings

“Former Harvard President Larry Summers set the pundits and ‘blogosphere’ howling two years ago, when he regaled a diversity conference with his theories about why women weren’t cracking the top ranks in academia. His allusions to differing intellectual firepower in math and science inspired fainting spells, but I’ve always thought it was his ‘high-powered job hypothesis’ that deserved the most attention: The most prestigious careers, he said, be they in law, academia, medicine or business, require complete devotion during your early adult years in order to get anywhere. Since women are less likely than men to sacrifice personal and family time for a job, one will not see them at the highest levels in these fields. Women, in fact, have chosen to earn and accomplish less. …

“Fortunately … ambitious women seem to be taking their own routes around the glass ceiling. The number of women-owned businesses is rising at twice the rate of firms generally. … Discrimination may not be good for the economy, but entrepreneurship is.”

— Laura Vanderkam, writing on “What Are Women Worth?” Nov. 21 at www.american.com

Double standards

“We are all by now familiar with the putrid and ugly racist rant that comedian Michael Richards … engaged in recently at a Los Angeles comedy club. …

“What remains intriguing and tragic, of course, is the selective indignation and double standards that continue to exist in this nation in regards to racism and the expected apologies for it.

“When white people engage in racism, social pressures of all kinds arise to force into endless mea culpas and compensations. In the case of apologies, that should certainly be the case. But the same social phenomenon, curiously, does not arise when racial minorities perpetrate racial hate, either against each other or against white people.

“Connected to this reality is the bizarre development of Richards apologizing to, of all people, Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson — two notorious racists.”

— Jamie Glazov, writing on “When Racists Meet,” in Front Page at www.frontpagemag.com

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