The Views Of Karen Horney Essay, Research Paper
Many of today’s relationships foil because of the lack of trust in one another. There are many different scenarios, which lead to relationships ending because of distrust. Psychologist, “Karen Horney,” wrote an article titled “Distrust Between the Sexes”, and in this article she attempted to explain the problems in the relationship between women and men. She wrote that to understand the problem you must first understand that problems stem from a common background. (p. 338) Early in “Horney’s” article she defines passion and discusses why it is rare. As “Horney” moves forward, she accounts for an almost unavoidable source of disappointment in our love life. She states that it derives from intense feelings of love stirring up secret hopes for contentment. “Horney” even goes as far as to explain the later childhood-side of relationship she fears. She gives many examples of how men hold women in high esteem, but writes that they have a secret distrust of women. Many people both male and female believe that “Horney” may have some very valid analysis of the male/female relations.
One of the issues that individuals find as major stepping-stone to understanding “The Distrust of Between the Sexes” is in the excerpt on (p. 341) where “Horney” says that a feeling of disappointment is natural due to the “intensity of our feelings”. She explains that this passion affects our unconscious desires, which are so contradictory that fulfillment is virtually impossible. She states that women want “to be strong, and at the same time helpless”. This statement to some may be a look in the mirror. Women, and all humans for that matter, need a sense that they are needed, but at the same time humans need to know that they are protected. The cultural idea that men are to be protective and women helpless causes problems in the minds of women and ultimately results in a feeling of disappointment that they are not needed. The fact that we have set definitions of how a man and women should be and that these do not reach into the other things that we want is what makes up this disappointment that men and women feel.
An example that may make ones mind wonder is; vision a child taking those first few steps. The child feels independent for those few seconds until it loses balance and falls, then the child wants to depend on its parents. What really frighten the child are not the thought of injury but the thought of having to be independent. In retrospect, most people now days really don’t think that the idea of men being protective and women being helpless is a real big part of society. They are truly starting to realize that women and men can make it on their own as a child who overcomes the fear of independence.
A large amount of suspiciousness is due to people’s intensity of emotions. (Horney) defines passion and discusses why it is rare. People do not feel safe putting all of their eggs in one basket. (p. 340) Many individuals may agree with that statement, but some may choose to beg the differ. When one is not willing to invest everything that they have in a relationship the relationship struggles to succeed. By investing everything it is not to be understood as overwhelming an individual with expensive things. In fact, it is meant for on to put their whole heart and soul into the relationship. The thought of having to spend money on someone is a downfall in many of today’s relationships. If the couple would sit and express their opinion then they will be able to put their price on love.
“Horney” goes further in her article to state “source of disappointment and distrust in our normal love life derives from the fact that the very intensity of our feeling of love stirs-up all of our secret expectations and longings for happiness, which slumber deep inside us”. (p. 341) As a teenager everyone has stated what they wanted from the opposite sex and how everything was going to be in the relationship, but in fact things are never as one imagine them to be. Everyone young lady would like a stud (muscles, handsome, etc.) and every male wants a beauty queen (long hair, perfect body, etc.) but once they have grown to maturity they must look back and laugh. The thought of having the perfect mate is just that a thought. Everyone has faults, which are not interchangeable. One has to come to reality with the fact that you must accept what has been given to you and be blessed that you are open to receive it.
Near the middle of “Horney’s” article she gets into the traits of male psychology. She gives many examples of how men hold women in high esteem, but writes that “they have a secret distrust of women”. One of “Horney’s” best examples would have to be the story of Adam and Eve. The story devalues women’s ability to give birth, and make them seem to be sexual temptresses. It is the sexually attractive female that man is afraid of. Women are considered to be deeply rooted in their emotions. This reason alone to many, is often mans excuse for keeping women out of governmental positions.
In conclusion, Horney tries to explain how her thoughts can help to diminish the distrust between the sexes. The real problem is that there is no universal way to do this.