Jung's Sage Advice To Women—Worship Your Man

Turns out Dr. Jung agreed with Bill Haley's notion of the rock-and-role of women: "Get into that kitchen, and rattle those pots and pans!"
It is a peculiar thing, how many women in the newage, and in the Tarot portion of it, have adopted Carl Jung as the standard-bearer for feminist spirituality and empowerment. Many people talk about Jung, as they do one his best-known followers, Joseph Campbell, as if they were Tarot scholars, or more to the point, that their theories of archetypes and monochrome myths, could be applied to Tarot as well as anything else—which isn't necessarily a recommendation for doing so.

When a few critics (such as myself) have pointed out that Carl Jung (and Joe Campbell as well) actually knew nothing about Tarot, and cared about it even less, it has troubled the Jungian Tarot writers, because they understood it was just be a lot better if Jung had some hands-on experience making things up about Tarot cards. Eventually evidence surfaced that Jung DID know something about Tarot, or at least he, an admitted occultist after all, did make a few things up about it.

I will write more about Jung's ideas about Tarot in a later posting. Even his supporters in the Tarot world, such as Mary K. Greer, note that he didn't know much about the history of the cards, for example he thought they originated or had early versions made in Spain, and "were originally used by gypsies", neither of which claims is true.

What has never been questioned is that Jung, regardless of his knowledge of Tarot, would certainly have been a supporter of the cartofeminist agenda of the Jungian Tarot writers. That agenda is aimed at appropriating the alleged archetypes of transformation of Tarot from the esoteric patriarchal occultists. As I have explained before, the Jungian-Campbellian writer Angeles Arrien typifies this attitude in her book, The Tarot Handbook which appropriates the Thoth Tarot of Aleister Crowley, for use as inspirations for her own archetypal insights. To justify this action, she claims she is liberating the Thoth Tarot from its esoteric and evil overlord, Aleister Crowley, to graciously give it to its true creator, Frieda Harris. Arrien of course ignores the fact that Harris was a student of Crowley's, an OTO member, who begged Crowley to write a book for the deck to illuminate the cards in the way she knew only he could.

Anyway, I wanted to provide a quotation, which I suspect will be new to most people, certainly I suspect to the Jungian cartofeminists, which shows Jung's real feelings about the proper role and place of women in society. I should point out first that there is an idea of Jung's which is relevant to the point of this quotation, which is "inflation", the notion that one's ego becomes inappropriately fused with an archetype, and thus "inflates" to fill a space that is essentially above the person's station.

Here is the quotation, which appeared in Good Housekeeping 153 (December 1961): 64, 139-41:
• Psychologist Carl Jung, in an interview before his death, relayed through Writer Frederick Sands [foreign correspondent for the London Daily Mail] some tough old-fashioned advice to modern wives: “After a day’s work having to be pleasant to people he doesn’t like, a man comes home wanting to bang someone over the head. Instead he is expected to continue the torture by being very nice to his wife. True, she also has had her day’s worries with their children and the household, but a man’s foremost interest should be his work whereas for a woman, man is her work and her business.”
Of course, the implication here is that the man's day is simply more important than the woman's, and his stress is worse than hers. Also, there is the notion that "being very nice" is torture, whether it is to all those people he doesn't like, or to the wife and kids he's supposed to love. A lot of torture of that sort is self-inflicted, by having a stupid attitude about it in the first place, which Jung most definitely seemed to have.

But Jung at least simplified things for us, in case we might be confused about what exactly he was getting at: "for a woman, man is her work and her business."

In an earlier version of this quotation (from Men, Women, and God 25-29 April 1955), Jung explains why what he is saying isn't exactly what it seems like he is saying (except it kind of still does seem that way):
A man's foremost interest should be his work. But for a woman—man is her work and her business. Yes, I know it sounds like a convenient philosophy of the selfish male when I say that. But marriage means a home. And home is like a nest—not enough rooms for both birds at once. One sits inside, the other perches on the edge and looks about and attends to all outside business.
So, there you go, the woman is supposed to sit inside, shut the fuck up complaining, and take care of the lord and master, her wonderful, center-of-the-universe MAN! Did Jerry Falwell just speak up from the grave? Nope, that was the sage counsel of Carl Gustav Jung.

And when Jung sees feminists—the real sort, not the dumbass ones who populate cartofeminism—straining to be equal in freedom to men, he sees women suffering an inflation, identifying and inflating their egos into the MAN archetype—thus the feminist movement itself was, to Jung, a sign of a certain symbolic mental illness peculiar to women and their moods.

And I would just say in closing that any woman who buys into the looney nonsense of G G Jung, whose work by the way was admired by the evil patriarchal occultists back in the day, is kind of a birdbrain.


David Thornton said…
Jung was a product of his time and his attitudes reflect those of a lot of men.
This is not to say that all of his insights or ideas are flawed irrevocably, is it?
jk said…
When we say somebody is a "product of his time", we are saying his views, in whatever field, were incapable of elevating him beyond the status quo and the safe and easy sentiments.

Almost nobody with a brain blunders in every case, but the thing is people tend to treat Jung and his ideas with an almost religious respect and lack of questioning.

In plain terms, clearly some of his assumptions do not suggest his deeper understanding, if he possessed any, had much power to change his bigoted mind.