Categorized | Sociology

Sex Politics

Article by Stephan Simonian M.D.

Sex Politics

In the orgonomy literature, specifically literature that has been written by Dr. Wilhelm Reich, we come across  the term “sex politics”.

Sexual oppression and authoritarian systems, according to orgonomic theories, are two inseparable entities and one can not exist without the other. Fascistic and dictatorial regimes therefore would not exist without the sexual oppression of the masses and without the anti-sexual upbringing of children and adolescents. Hence the political movements that revolve around sexual freedom gains significance in establishing democracy in society and in orgonomic literature is called sex politics. All oppressive regimes must also sexually oppress  the masses, otherwise they would not survive.  A generation that grows without the denial of embracing love and by the inclusion of sexual satisfaction in their lives, will grow healthy and will not submit to authoritarian fascistic regimes. Recent history witnesses such sex political movements in Europe and USA.  These movements are spreading to different corners of the world and continue to be met with reactionary forces that are harshly fighting to suppress them.

Today we see political movements and political struggles for freedom and democracy parallel with the struggle for sexual liberation.  This matter has been well described in The Sexual Revolution written by Dr. Wilhelm Reich some seventy years ago.  Although other books of Dr. Wilhelm Reich also reflect aspects of the political struggle for sexual freedom, it is described most extensively in the book The Sexual Revolution.


Dr. Reich in The Sexual Revolution describes sex politics by giving many examples. Here we will use one example given by Dr. Wilhelm Reich.  Although some 70 years have passed from the initial publication of the first edition of this book, similar events are present today around the world, of course far more viciously wherever dictatorship is ravaging.  In this book, Dr. Reich under the topic of revolutionary youth states the following:

Courtesy of the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust:

———————

“In the Russo-Turkish republic of Azerbaijan the revolution had claimed an enormous number of victims.  It is true that the laws were changed by the revolution, that the economic foundation was restructured, that religion had been declared a private matter of the individual, but ‘under the newly built roofs, the old cruel discipline of the harem was still raging.‘   Girls were sent to religious institutions; they were forbidden to learn how to read and write, for a literate girl might establish contact with the outside world by writing a letter, she might escape from the institution, and bring disgrace down on her family.  Girls were their fathers’ serfs.  When they were sexually mature, they became serfs of their husbands, who  they were not allowed to select themselves, whom they had never even seen prior to marriage.  Women and girls were not allowed to show their faces to a man; fully veiled, they looked through the window on to the street. They were carefully guarded on the rare occasions when they were allowed to go outside. they were not allowed to work any more than they were permitted to read a book or a newspaper. It is true that they were legally entitled to divorce, but they did not know it. Although the knout had disappeared from Russian jails, women in the harem were still being beaten. These women had to give birth unaided because there were no midwives or women physicians, and to show oneself to a male doctor was forbidden by their religion, which they practiced in secrecy.

In the middle of the 1920’s, Russian women founded a central women’s club which organized education. Gradually, education spread.  The schoolrooms became crowded and girls listened to white-haired teachers (young men were not permitted to teach). Thus, many years after the outbreak of the social revolution, the “revolution of mores” began. These girls learned that there were countries with a coeducational system where women engaged in sports, went to the theater unveiled, attended meetings and took an active role in them, and generally participated in the life of their time.

This sex-political movement became widespread. Fathers, brothers, and husbands felt their interests were threatened when they learned what was being discussed in the women’s club. They circulated the rumor that the club was a whorehouse. As a result, it became dangerous to visit it. According to a report by Balder Olden, girls who attended had been scalded with hot water and had dogs set on them. Even in 1923, girls who wore sports shirts that exposed arms and legs risked death. Hence it is understandable that even the idea of a love relationship outside of marriage was far from the thoughts of even the most courageous women. In spite of all, there were many girls who, within themselves, had broken with tradition and were determined to take up the fight for the sexual liberation of young women.  They were exposed to incredible martyrdom. They were of course immediately recognized; public opinion considered them lower than prostitutes, and none of them could ever expect that a man would marry her.

In 1928, the twenty-year-old Sarila Haliliva ran away from home, called meetings, and proclaimed the sexual emancipation of women.  She went unveiled to the theater; she addressed  the women in the clubs; she walked around in a bathing suit at the beach and in sports arenas.  Her father and brothers held court over her, condemned her to death, and cut her up alive.  This happened in 1928, eleven years after the outbreak of the social revolution. Her murder provoked a tremendous upsurge of the sex-political movement among women.  Her body was taken away from her parents and was placed in the club, where an honor guard of boys and girls guarded it day and night. Girls and women streamed in droves to the club.  Sarila’s murders were executed, and since then neither fathers nor brothers have dared to take similar measures against women’s and youth movements.

Balder Olden describes these events as a general cultural movement. More concretely, it was unquestionably a sex-political upheaval which, for the first time, stimulated the cultural consciousness of women and girls.  By 1933, 1,044 girls were studying at the university; there were 300 midwives as well as 150 women’s and girls’ clubs, which produced many writers and journalists.  The chairman of the Supreme Court was a woman; another woman presided over a Soviet commission.  Women were trained as engineers, doctors and airplane pilots. Revolutionary youth had won it’s right to live.”

————————————-

Sex political movements are important political movements that inevitably leads to democracy in society and physical and emotional health in individual. From our point of view, from orgonomic point of view, these political movements should be supported by all who prefer democracy over dictatorship and health over sickness.

This post was written by:

- who has written 48 posts on Journal of Psychiatric Orgone Therapy.

Dr. Simonian is a general and child and adolescent psychiatrist. He completed medical school in Shiraz University, Shiraz Iran. He completed his general psychiatric residency training and fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at New York Medical College, Metropolitan Hospital Center. Concomitant with his psychiatry and child psychiatry training, Dr. Simonian completed the New York Medical College Psychoanalytic School Didactic Courses, including his own required personal psychoanalysis. In 1990, Dr. Simonian started his personal psychiatric orgone therapy, Reichian therapy, with Dr. Morton Herskowitz and in 1991 became a member of the Institute of Orgonomic Sciences (IOS), an Institute which is dedicated to promote and preserve Dr. Wilhelm Reich's work. Dr. Simonian started his private psychiatric practice in Milford, Massachusetts in 1984 and he was a chief of psychiatry department of Milford Regional Hospital for several years. He started his practice in Glendale, California since 2003. Dr. Simonian is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

2 Responses to “Sex Politics”

  1. Ed Malek says:

    Dr. Simonian,
    While I agree completely with your post, I believe a distinction between genitality and modern-day “sexual liberation” would be helpful in a) that we further delve into Reich’s theories; b) we do not mistake the current sexual acting-out as a normal function.
    As you have pointed out, the extreme sexual repression in the Muslim world is a concrete example of Reich’s sex economy, and even some real progressives like Phyllis Chester have stated that women must be liberated simultaneously with political freedom in these regions for any change to take place.
    While we live in a democracy and have freedom, many of our personal freedoms-or core functions-are under threat in no small part due to the confusion of sexuality as encompassing all acts–even if that includes perversions. This can only have the effect of destroying genitality, and that is something that needs to be protected.

  2. Stephan Simonian says:

    Mr. Ed Maleck sent a comment in response to my article of Sex Politics. This comment points out an important issue in the discussion of sex politics and is very relevant to the matter on hand. Sexual impulses and desires that are hidden in an average person, of course becomes distorted and manifests with perversions. These distorted sexual impulses are a product of harsh repression of primary genital desire and in its perverted form has to be repressed. An average person’s understanding of sexuality is based on these secondary and perverted byproducts of the primary genital sexuality . However getting to the core of the human structure, one has to go through the secondary layers of it, which is contaminated and is full of these secondary perverted bi-products of primary drives. In The Mass Psychology of Fascism, Dr. Reich states the following:
    “Extensive and painstaking therapeutic work on the human character has led me to the conclusion that, as a rule, we are dealing with three different layers of the biopsychic structure in the evaluation of human reactions. As I demonstrated in my book Character Analysis, these layers of character structure are deposits of social development, which function autonomously. On the surface layer of his personality the average man is reserved, polite, compassionate, responsible, conscientious. There would be no social tragedy of the human animal if this surface layer of the personality were in direct contact with the deep natural core. This, unfortunately, is not the case. The surface layer of social cooperation is not in contact with the deep biologic core of one’s selfhood; it is born by a second , an intermediate character layer, which consists exclusively of cruel, sadistic, lascivious, rapacious, and envious impulses. It represents the Freudian “unconscious” or “What is repressed”; to put it in the language of sex-economy, it represents the sum total of all so-called “secondary drives.”

    Orgone biophysics made it possible to comprehend the Freudian unconscious, that which is antisocial in man, as a secondary result of the repression of primary biologic urges. If one penetrates through this destructive second layer, deeper into the biologic substratum of the human animal, one always discovers the third, deepest, layer, which we call biologic core. In this core, under favorable social conditions, man is an essentially honest, industrious, cooperative, loving, and if motivated, rationally hating animal. Yet it is not at all possible to bring about a loosening of the character structure of present-day man by penetrating to this deepest and so promising layer without first eliminating the non-genuine, spuriously social surface. Drop the mask of cultivation, and it is not natural sociality that prevails at first, but only the perverse, sadistic character layer….”

    “It is not difficult to see that various political and ideological groupings of human society correspond to the various layers of the structure of the human character. We, however, decline to accept the error of idealistic philosophy, namely that this human structure is immutable to all eternity.”

    There is much to say about the structure of human character and it’s distortions that come about by authoritarian social structures and gets past on from one regeneration to the next one. These matters are extensively discussed by Dr. Reich in his different books and we, in this journal will touch upon them in different articles.

    Thanks again for the comment by Mr. Ed Maleck.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply

Subscribe Via Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Wilhelm Reich – Founder of Orgone Therapy

Annals of The Institute for Orgonomic Science (December, 2014)

Featured Book: Character Analysis

Available for purchase via the Wilhelm Reich Museum.

Browse our Archives