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Feminist Theory: Critique of Adler
Adler’s theory is perhaps the most revealing because it demonstrates a view of the feminine perspective from birth through life and also supplies evidence of the manner that women cope with existence in a male dominated society. Adler suggests that women will be prevented from reaching their full potential as long as a male dominated society exists, which appears to indicate that women will always be oppressed. However, Adler further suggests that it is the coping mechanism in people that will determine their fate, whether man or woman. This evidence indicates that a feminist approach to thought must include both men and women, as vehicles of their own destiny and as those who shape the environment.
According to Tong Alfred Adler began his theory by explaining that every human being “is born helpless (236). Tong indicates that the biological differences between people were not elements of existence that would determine a person’s fate (136). Instead Adler believed that every person had a creative foundation that would serve the person in guiding the direction of his or her life. Yet, Alder contended that “the value of individual assigned to having a penis or vagina” would determine how much power the biological differences were given in life (Tong 136).
One of the key elements of Adler’s theory was his evaluation of Freud’s view of neurotic women. Adler contended that in a patriarchal society the entire purpose of that society was to hail the man as a superior being (Tong 136). Consequently everything that was done in life was focused on pleasing the male. This naturally gave women a sense of inferiority and led to the women being “plagued by masculinity complexes” (Tong 136). Adler concluded that unless society changed and was no longer dominated by males there would always be the...