In We “Other Victorians”, Foucault considers the repression of sexulality in modern times as compared to historical eras. One thing that struck me was the mention of Freud and the shift in views towards sexuality that his research caused. I found it interesting that Foucault considered Freud’s conclusions of sexuality to be “scientific” and “medical” rather than holistic and psychological considerations of sexuality. It is understandable that Freudian theory about repression of sexuality caused a great shift in the late Victorian era and beginning of the Edwardian era. However, I also understand that Freud’s theories are now considered outdated and not empirical or scientific enough to be highly ranked within the realm of human psychology. I therefore argue with Foucault’s view that mentions of sexuality are still only determined by psychological and medical reasoning. Instead, I believe that modern day society has begun to accept sex to be liberating.
However, I agree with Foucault’s discussion about the abuse of power in sexual relationships. I believe that sex and power are related, and a huge reason for this is in fact society’s internalization of Freud’s theories. According to these theories, females are born with an Electra complex, which causes them to resent their mother for castrating them, but they still identify with the mother in order to avoid losing their attachment to their father. Because of this, I would argue that Foucault’s theories are more applicable to debates about gender with regards to sexuality and power struggles. After all, modern day society seems to have more cases of men taking advantage of their positions in power in order to gain sexual gratification, as I hope to learn more about in the discussion on the Aziz Ansari scandal. Overall, I think that Foucault’s conclusions have a strong foundation of understanding the relationship between power and the repression of sexuality, but I think that we must dig deeper into understanding the power dynamics between different genders, as well as different sexual orientations.