Letters Volume II

To Claire Scheuter

Dear Fraulein Scheuter, 10 January 1959

Your question regarding the unconscious reactions which might influence the referendum on February 1st is complicated and not easy to answer in a few words.

As a basis for prediction we really need statistics showing the frequency and intensity of male resistance to greater emancipation for women.

Unfortunately it is impossible to obtain such statistics without a Gallup poll of large numbers of men.

We therefore have to make do with vague estimates which, in their turn, are subject to our own prejudices.

Judging by our medical experience of marriage psychology and of the relations between the sexes in general, one can count on a considerable amount of resistance.

The so-called objective judgment of many men is influenced to a large extent by unconscious resentments, prejudices, and resistances, so much so that the crucial factor in this referendum is:

how many men will look into themselves and seriously reflect whether their vote is an objective one or is swayed by their mood?

Since self-knowledge is one of the more difficult arts, it is scarcely to be hoped that many men will take the trouble to search their conscience and consider how much their decision depends on their subjective relations with women.

Male prestige on the one hand, which is of the utmost value in the struggle for existence, is a sensitive thing, and on the other hand a man’s weakness, his emotional susceptibility, his proneness to feminine influence are sometimes so great that it is difficult for him to estimate the true importance of these factors.

What is more, in planning this referendum far too little stress was laid on how eminently psychological the whole thing is.

All honour to rational arguments!

But in this question, I should say, it is just the irrational imponderables of a psychological nature that have to be taken into account.

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 475-476