Extract from the full piece on The Health Collective’s website, here.
Recall that the dyad, or the blissful union of mother and child is broken around age 6 by the child’s ability to perceive the father, the word “no” and language, frequently collapsed and understood as the masculine or paternal principle. This principle sets boundaries and keeps the child safe, whereas the feminine principle nurtures the child, sustains and contains it.
Aqseer-who-is-a-girl is forced into an identification with her mother and in the original love triangle, therefore, she must compete with her mother for her father’s attention. Rather, she must be careful not to upset mother in her bid for her father’s love because there is an unconscious awareness that the difference in her sex organs means she belongs on one side of the camp.
In other words, father/phallus is available in limited supply, mother needs father, daughter needs mother to teach her how to be a woman, daughter will not rock the boat and the forbidden nature of her love for her father will colour that relationship with a tinge of yearning that is caricatured as being a daddy’s girl.
Aqseer-who-is-a-boy is forced into an identification with his father. This means that he has to violently disavow femininity, the breast, the maternal. And anything forbidden is more appealing. I know of a friend who was breastfed until he was 4 and he remembers clearly how his father came in while he was latched on, and he felt a combination of shame and fear at doing something wrong.
The psychic configuration of a triangle is powerful because one person is always the betrayer. There is the dyad of mother and child, father and child and mother and father. At all points, one person is unconsciously perceived as betraying the person in their dyad with the “third.” For instance, a mother might feel that her daughter is betraying her by being closer to her father than the mother. Or a father might feel that the mother is betraying him by giving her child all of her attention.
The long and short of it is that we persist in making biology our destiny and for as long as penis = blue and vagina = pink, we will continue to see mostly mama’s boys and daddy’s girls. And the process will be harder on boys because our culture requires them to disavow femininity to become boys, and then men.
Read more at The Health Collective’s website, here.
Book an appointment with me at email@example.com. More on psychotherapy with me here.