The Lure of Superiority: ‘Gynæcocentric Feminism’ by W.F. Vaughan (1928)

The following excerpt is from the 1928 book The Lure of Superiority: A Study In The Psychology of Motives, by W.F. Vaughan (pp. 197-198)

6 thoughts on “The Lure of Superiority: ‘Gynæcocentric Feminism’ by W.F. Vaughan (1928)

  1. So….

    1. the “golden uterus” argument is a consequence of an inferiority complex, yes?
    2. If I’ve got that right, what form is this inferiority complex believed to take? Is it social, physical, psychological etc.
    3. Where does it come from? What is its cause?

    Freud formulated “penis envy” and was vilified by the women’s rights movement as a result. If that part of it do you think, or is it more complex/subtle than that?

    A lot of modern articles now suggest Freud’s PE theory is rubbish, but then a lot of modern articles themselves are GC influenced so that isn’t surprising.

  2. Old Alfred Adler claimed people compensated or overcompendated for feelings of inferiority, so I guess that might apply. Narcissism is another drive to claim superior status, so take your pick of theories.

    I came across a psychoanalytic book today published I think in 1944, which looked at Ward’s gynocentric theory and explored it in the light of Freud’s metapsychology – I think there may have been a discussion there about inferiority but I can’t remember as I was skipping through. If I can locate the title in the next day or two I’ll post it here for you to explore.

    My interest and studies have been more on the motive of narcissism than in inferiority.

    Penis envy is a real thing for some women and so is envy of women’s body parts for some males. So it goes both ways. How that feeds into the obsession with the golden uterus I’m not entirely sure.

    • Thanks for your reply and for posting the book details. The title suggests it may be an interesting read.

      I know I shouldn’t really take this “off topic”, so apologies for that, but given that you mentioned your main investigations have been more in the direction of what motivates narcissism, what are your “take away” findings on that, in relation to females?

      Personally I can see the argument for blaming chivalry because it results in pedestalisation. It *trains* narcissism. Those men who think “happy wife = happy life” are too often achieving that happiness simply by ego over-inflation which leads to anything but a happy life for the planet as a whole.

      But are there also instrinsic, independent motivators for female narcissism (at a gender level) do you think?

      Thanks for bearing with me.

      • Definitely agree with your comment about the cultivation of ego inflation not leading to a happy life.

        There may be an instrinsic motivation for narcissism in women aimed at the cultivation of attractiveness, possibly an evolutionary mechanism. That might account for some narcissistic preoccupation with how they present and how they are seen. However I think the vast bulk of it – the extremity of it – is the result of cultural gynocentrism.

        My main thesis on narcissism as a result of cultural gynocentrism can be found here FWIW: