In Greek mythology, Pandora was cursed with a beauty that was powerful only as a commodity to be used by men. Zeus placed the curse of Pandora on humankind, as a punishment for the theft of fire from the gods. According to Jungian psychoanalyst and author Polly Young-Eisendrath, we are still living with the effects of this patriarchal curse.
Drawing on experiences from culture, everyday life, and psychotherapy, Polly Young-Eisendrath’s Gender and Desire: Uncursing Pandora provides a full engagement with the intricacies and complexities of gender, desire, and liberation for women and men in a postmodern world.
Young-Eisendrath discusses how the division of the human community into the two exclusive groups of male and female has important psychological implications on both conscious and unconscious levels. Most depth psychological theories of gender and sex have been androcentric, taking males as the norm for health, and have failed to develop a full understanding of desire, opposition, and idealization between the sexes.
In working to liberate us from the Pandoran myth of the power of female beauty, Young-Eisendrath has developed the theory that desire contains within it a primordial absence, a sense that something is missing. When we come to understand the nature of desire itself, we can be liberated from its domination.
" . . . a thoughtful and insightful treatise."—Deirdre Bair, Ph.D.
About the Author:
Polly Young-Eisendrath is a Jungian psychoanalyst and clinical associate professor living in Worchester, Vermont. She has written and lectured extensively in the area of psychotherapy.
Number Six: The Carolyn & Ernest Fay Series in Analytical Psychology