As Freud presumes,fetishism arouses from the fear of castration. To protect himself from beingthreatened to castrated by his father, a boy needs to construct a mindset tosolace himself that castration will not happen. Therefore, in general, theywill find some body parts or clothing in women to imply...
As Freud presumes,fetishism arouses from the fear of castration. To protect himself from beingthreatened to castrated by his father, a boy needs to construct a mindset tosolace himself that castration will not happen. Therefore, in general, theywill find some body parts or clothing in women to imply themselves that womenare not actually castrated and this threat will not fall on them.
However, I can’talways understand why Freud always seeks the source of childhood for theinitiation of sexual desire or any phobia in adulthood. The way he reason isalways very far-fetched and lacks universality. In practice, fetishism ismostly to arouse sexual desire, so this should be universal for men and women.But Freud fixed the body of the fetish on the man. If combined with castrationanxiety, the fetishism itself would be even more unreasonable. Supposing thatthe penis is the object of worship, then in principle women should be morefrightened since they have no penis or have their penis removed. However, suchfear is nonsense. Sexual-wise, in the stage of child sexual development, bothboys and girls will find parts that can cause sexual excitement. Girls haveclitoris while boys have penis. Neither men nor women should be afraid of beingcastrated because they all have sexual arousal body parts.
In addition, I reckonthe actual attribution of fetishism, if they really exist, is contrary toFreud's conjecture. If the origin of fetishism is verified, men are not seekingsexual pleasure in women to overcome homosexuality. It is precisely becausethey are eager for same-sex sex. Men are looking for proof of the presence ofthe penis or penile structures on women because they can only have a thrillunder the prerequisite. Following this logic, the penis approximation seems tobe the only source of sexual pleasure where a man who is obsessed with thepenis itself needs a penis substitute on a woman if they need sex arousal and awoman should be more longing to have a penis because she has none. To someextent, it seems to me that fetishism has a strong patriarchal color. Thisconcept is placed in the context of the priority of men's sexual organs. Howcould it be possible that the source of sexual pleasure for both men and womenis so single?
In the novel"Love of the Feet", Afa's fascination with a pair of mysteriousbeautiful feet occurred in his adolescence. If Freud's theory is applied, thefeet wrapped in leather shoes are not too big, not as terrible as the entangledfeet, and should not create a connection of penis analogs. I guess it is just apair of feet in line with the public aesthetic. And I don’t think Afa’s obsessionwith these feet is able to engage himself in sexual fantasies. He merelyregards them as the embodiment of beauty, a window that infers the wholeperson. Because of mystery, he wants to know everything about the host of thosefeet, and he wants to watch it for more. There is no erotic fantasy in thenovel, and the reader just look forward to the appearance of the feet owner,rather than to eroticism between them. Moreover, Afa meets so many feet everyday. If a man can project sexual fantasies on any random feet, then this pairis not a must. The fascination here is specific and contingent, just like thechemical interaction between people which it is not going to happen any minuteand to anyone. However, the foot fetish has a wide range of subjects. That’swhere the contradiction lies on.
Admittedly, somepeople might argue that this is just a literature for urbanites’ leisure. It isa daydream for their boring life, and it is not necessarily an authoritativeportrayal of Freudian theory. I agree with such statement since the content ofthe novel does not mention Afa’s childhood background. It may be somewhatfar-fetched to try to match Freud’s theory. But all in all, sometimes Freudmight barely want to fit his personal intimate experience in some dignified reasons.