The industrial revolution pulled out thousands of women from behind the hearth and crib and forced them into the labor markets of the budding capitalist economy. Women’s participation in national economy has changed their social roles. The privileged role of provider which was the backbone of the traditional, male-dominated family structure began to crack, and currently it is heading toward an unprecedented crisis (Ackerman).

The erosion of the traditional male-female relationship took place first in the lowest and then in the highest social classes. The middle classes have been the notorious bulwark of conservatism, and Freud’s patients came from highly conservative, middle-class families in which fathers exercised absolute power and penis envy was probably an almost general phenomenon among Freud’s female patients.

The current family constellation has deprived the father of his authority but has not replaced it by any other. One cannot help wondering what is going to happen in our times to the Oedipus complex, latency period, and the whole area of male-female relationships. Modern women have destroyed the myth of their intellectual inferiority and denied, in vivo, the assumption of either cherub or witch personality (Wolman).


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