Activists have been working to dismantle patriarchal structures since the feminist and civil rights movements of the last century, and yet we continue to struggle with patriarchy today. In their new book, Why Does Patriarchy Persist? (Polity, 2018), Carol Gilligan and Naomi Snider use psychoanalysis and psychology as frameworks for understanding the vexingly enduring power of this social structure. They offer a cogent and eye-opening theory addressing the fear of loss against which patriarchy aims to protect us, and the consequent impingements on our ability to enter into genuine relationships. In our interview, Carol and Naomi talk about how this book came about and what their ideas offer for our understanding of current political events.Carol Gilligan is a writer, activist, University Professor at New York University, and the author of In a Different Voice, one of the most influential feminist books of all time.Naomi Snider is a research fellow at New York University, co-founder of NYU’s Radical Listening Project, and a candidate in psychoanalytic training at the William Alanson White Institute.Eugenio Duarte is a psychologist and psychoanalyst practicing in Miami. He treats individuals and couples, with specialties in gender and sexuality, eating and body image problems, and relationship issues. He is a graduate and faculty of William Alanson White Institute in New York City and former chair of their LGBTQ Study Group; and faculty at Florida Psychoanalytic Institute in Miami. He is also a contributing author to the book Introduction to Contemporary Psychoanalysis: Defining Terms and Building Bridges (2018, Routledge). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nathaniel Hawthorne‘s 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter tells the dramatic story of a woman cast out of society for adultery and condemned to wear a badge of shame in Puritan New England. Renowned psychologist Carol Gilligan identifies Hawthorne’s masterpiece as “the American novel” because (as Hawthorne puts it toward the book’s end) it points to a “new truth [that would place] the whole relation between man and woman on a surer ground of mutual happiness.” Gilligan revolutionized our understanding of human development by listening to girls, and showing, in her landmark study, In A Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Human Development, how a “different voice” reveals something about our humanity that is more truthful, more authentic, and more generative for our lives together than the voice that privileges autonomy, identity and separation as moral ideals. Gilligan is the author of many other books, including a novel and the recent Why Does the Patriarchy Persist, and (with David Richards), Darkness Now Visible: Patriarchy’s Resurgence and Feminist Resistance. She explains how The Scarlet Letter is not only about the wages of sin and tragic love, but also about a vision of democracy that we have yet to realize fully, and about the way feminism is the key to achieving our democracy as it is threatened by the persistence of the patriarchy. Gilligan’s reading lifts Hawthorne’s book above its status as required reading, often assigned as a lesson in morality or a book about the long-gone past, by showing how The Scarlet Letter presents a vision of authentic love and a path to true democracy where equality and justice will be attained.Uli Baer is a professor at New York University. He is also the host of the excellent podcast "Think About It" Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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