“My father hates me. The only person who loves me in that house is my mother. My sisters just support my father in whatever he says or does”. Scenario highlighting the dilemma.
Sigmund Freud who was Austrian, considered somewhat cray cray and who is also the father of (modern) psychoanalysis, theorized that boys will have a largely unconscious sexual attraction toward their mothers accompanied by jealousy toward their fathers. He used the term Oedipus complex, derived from the Greek legend of Oedipus, who is arguably, the saddest Greek hero ever(and most of them are very sad). Freud thought that the Oedipus complex was the most important event of a boy’s childhood and had a great effect on his subsequent adult life. Freud claimed that in nearly all cases the boy represses the desire for his mother and the jealousy toward his father. As a result of this unconscious experience, Freud believed, a boy with an Oedipus complex feels guilt and experiences strong emotional conflicts.
Freud also theorized that girls go through a similar experience, in which they are attracted to their father and become antagonistic toward their mother. He called this the Electra complex. According to Freud, if a woman remains under the influence of the Electra complex, she is likely to choose a husband with characteristics similar to those of her father.
Applying this to Nigeria, I find it almost impossible to believe that all the locking of metaphorical horns of fathers and their sons that I see around me almost daily is because the boys want to sleep with their mothers.(it becomes even more sickening if I think down the future and consider that I want to have boys,*shuddering and reaching for blankie*) or vice versa for girls and their fathers.
However, it is impossible to dismiss the idea out of hand as being the workings of the overactive and crazy imagination of a mad scientist. Let’s look at the facts.
a) Practically every boy(or man) I know is at loggerheads with his father /father figure(except my sibs, thank God) and most girls roll their eyes every time they repeat something their momma said(meself sometimes included). Score one: mad scientist.
b) Most people end up naming as their ideal spouse, a person with the exact same physical/character traits as their parents to marry, even in abusive families. Mad scientist 2: challenger 0.
c) Most boys are very close to their moms and girls to their dads. The phrases (mama’s boy and daddy’s girls didn’t spring up unaided, you know?) score: this is getting painful, imaginary people. I’m being flogged by a dead scientist. Thrice now. I’m not going to continue the torture, just think of other things that irritate you about the parent who’s the same sex as you.
I still maintain though, that most people do not have sexual attraction towards their opposite sex parent. I’ve seen pretty epic battles between mothers and their sons and fathers and their daughters but it’s impossible to completely dispute Freud’s theory.
My own two million kobo opinion(it can’t be 2 kobo, it just can’t), is that boys and girls(note: usually teenagers) who are at loggerheads with their fathers/mothers respectively, are just testing their new found knowledge and in the process, upsetting the balance of their parent’s carefully created home social order. Plus, most fathers see in their daughters, an opportunity to “create” the perfect woman/ correct the problems they see in the opposite sex with their daughters and vice versa.
It’s a rocky presumption and a delicate balance. Thoughts anyone?