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TAT Picture | by efigment
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TAT Picture

One of the images used in the Thematic Aperception Test. This test started with a collection of magazine prints torn out and stuffed in a closet. There is debate as two how little credit was given to Christiana despite her contributions as opposed to Harry Murray, who was given full authorship in the end.

 

Some people say that Christiana wanted her name taken off the test. Some think that she was taken off because of her academic status as a 'lay psychoanalyst' without a degree.

 

Paula, who became my "Intern" on this project, would say Christiana would have gotten the credit if she had bit the bullet and gotten a degree at Harvard. It would have been easy, she would say. It was well within her capabilities. I would always argue, was it because of the age and how generally women where viewed and treated? Or was it somehow the self dis-empowerment that results? Could she, like other woman, fought for it harder? Should she have had to?

 

I found this quote among my papers...unfortunately my citing sources was a little sloppy then and I don't have the author...it could be Christiana for all I know!

 

"Women's instinctive response to danger, for another example, seems to have been weakened, conditioned, or beaten into near-extinction. What psychologists have seen as "natural passivity" in women actually may be the self-preservation instinct reduced to minimum strength. For centuries women have been told: "Don't fight, you'll make him madder; don't fight, you'll only get hurt worse; don't fight, it's not worth it; don't fight, it's God's inscrutable will; don't fight, it's not ladylike, not effective, not right, and certainly not very nice." After a long enough while, "do not" becomes "cannot." So now women have to learn to "get in touch with issues around anger." Meaning that female anger has become so remote one has to call long distance to get in touch with it, and that the normal experience of anger has been replaced with an issue around anger, removing its felt immediacy and reducing its life-sized emotionality to an issue: one step removed, no longer a generator of heat and passion. It is time we considered instinctive female rage and anger as an aesthetic response to a world made ugly by male violence. "

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Taken on August 17, 2008