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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Political Correctness and Organizational Decision Making: The Power of the Virgin: Sexual Politics and the Issue of Women in Combat

The idea of using women in combat positions in the US military has little support among those who would be affected by it, but it seems to be moving inexorably to its realization. The forces behind it are political correctness and extreme feminism. They derive their power not from reason, but from emotions. This paper addresses the nature of these emotions. It begins by exploring some of the unconscious dynamics of the feminist response to the Tailhook scandal of 1991, then develops a psychoanalytic model that would account for them. According to this view, political correctness and extreme feminism arise from an identification with a primitive image of an omnipotent, sexually self-sufficient mother, which renders men helpless, infantile and emasculated. Some of the implications of having these dynamics operating within the military are discussed. The prognosis for the military, if this analysis is correct, is exceedingly grim.