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Carl Jung, Androgyny And The Unified Self

In sociological terms, because of the status of males in our society, in comparison to that of women, when women wear "male" clothing, they are seen to be aspiring to a higher ideal. Conversely, when a man wears "female" clothing, he is seen to be demeaning himself; thus women wearing male clothing is generally more socially acceptable, so long as the general presentation is still predominantly feminine. It is only when a woman's overall presentation becomes overtly masculine that she begins to receive negative attention.

Carl Jung proposed that we each have aspects of the opposite gender as a part of our unconcious selves. He ascribed to these the terms Amina & Animus, with the anima being the unconscious female aspects of the male personality (the "gentler" qualities - the ability to relate to others on an emotional level, creativity) and vice versa regarding the animus in females (the ability to use reason, think logically, assert physical strength and intellect).
Jung stated that the anima and animus act as guides to the unconscious, unified Self, and that forming an awareness and a connection with the anima or animus is vital in achieving psychological growth. Yet males - especially so in western societies - are discouraged from expressing their softer, feminine side (anima), even - or perhaps especially so - by women. He also claimed that, if a person does not proceed toward self-knowledge, then neurotic symptoms may arise. He further claimed that when people ignore their anima or animus complexes, the anima or animus vies for attention by projecting itself on others. For example, when a male tries to subdue his anima, he does so by projecting the negative aspects of his male self. Homophobia is a prime example of a person desperately trying to control those aspects of his self that he considers to be "feminine".

Thus, if a man has a desire to wear feminine attire and he denies himself this expression of his anima - or he allows himself to be dictated to by his significant other to deny it - then he is denying his anima and this failure to incorporate this into his personality will lead to a backlash from his unconscious. He may find himself heading down a slippery slope towards compulsion (forbidden fruits always taste sweeter), or possibly psychoses.

It may well be that women who are attracted to "feminine" men are unconsciously recognising their unconscious wholeness in this expression of their anima. Ironically, it may also be that it is only those women who have recognised and assimilated their animus (maleness) and no longer find these men to be a threat to their own femininity who are comfortable in the company of such men.

The act of "cross-dressing" is merely a physical manifestation of an emotional expression. Sometimes we "instinctively" understand things, we didn't even realise we knew. This arises from what Jung called the collective unconscious - "inherited" knowledge.

In addition, it is often during sexual encounters that we will most likely express our anima or animus. How often do we hear of women who are soft, supplicant females outside the bedroom, but become strong, strident and sexually dominant beings in the sack. Likewise, it is often only in the seclusion of the bedroom that a man will feel safe enough to be able to express tenderness he never normally shows to the outside world.

Carl Jung coined a term for true integration of the anima or animus.....Androgyny

=80)~
gr8legz gr8legz 51-55 Sep 24, 2012

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