Girls in our society share in the masculine hero myths because, like boys, they must also develop a reliable ego-identity and acquire an education. But there is an older layer of mind that seems to come to the surface of their feelings, with the aim of making them into women, not into imitating men. When this ancient content of the psyche begins to make its appearance the modern young woman may repress it because it threatens to cut her off from the emancipated equality of friendship and opportunity to compete with men that have become her modern privileges.

The repression maybe so successful that for a time she will maintain an identification with the masculine intellectual goals she learned at school or college. Even when she marries, she will preserve some illusion of freedom, despite her ostensible act of submission to the archetype of marriage – with its implicit injunctions of becoming a mother. And so there may occur, as we very frequently see today, that conflict which in the end forces a woman to rediscover her buried womanhood in a painful (but ultimately rewarding) way.

 – Carl Jung

 

Advertisements