Various interpretations of Money
“Money” is a Modern English word, derived from the Middle English “Monie”, which stemmed from the French word “Monie”. The root word is the Latin word “Moneta”. Moneta is a goddess; her Greek name is Mnemosyne, who is considered to be as the mother of the muses. The word “Moneta” is taken from the older word, “moneo” signifies “to remind” and also “to advice, to admonish and to warn”.
There is interconnectedness in the word “Money” – recollection, storage, and creative force- because of the connection with the muses. Therefore the perception of money plays a significant role in understanding the concept of money.
Neumann (1956) explains the nature of money as the archetype of the great mother. As the origin of self-esteem and identity lies in the containment the mother provides to the child, money became a symbol for this containment.
Gerloff expresses that “Women invented jewellery, men turned it into money”, jewellery which was worn for decoration were symbolically seen as one who had strength and divine power.
Laum (1924) says that money as an exchange agent became the sacrifice being as “a tax payable to the gods”. The sacrifice of the animal – bull became sacred which later is reflected in the coins (the image of the bull) and signifies growth and profit in economic field.
Desmonde (1977) in his analysis perceives the bull sacrifice as a desire to unite to the Great Mother. The desire for unification stands for all encompassing, intimate motherly protection and complete emotional security. The idea of this protection and security can be seen in today’s economic world as bond, insurance, security, savings, credit, trust. Money has been perceived as sacred, symbol of security and protection; it also holds some kind of wholeness a symbol of the self- creative spiritual power.
In the article, “Character and Anal Erotism”, Freud (1908) ‘listed that parsimony as a major trait of the obsessional personality. He traced the reluctance such individuals show in parting with money to the pleasure felt by the anal – phase child in retaining faeces. He also analysed the illustrations from the various sources like dreams, mythology, fairy tales and language’. Therefore he declared that money and faeces were equated in the unconscious.
Phrases like filthy lure, blood money, stingingly rich, silly money, all that glitters is not gold are few examples of how money is associated as faeces.
Jung (1950) said that the anal diabolic or dirty side of money thus represents a part of the shadow, in which dark character traits, inferior and negative aspects, are found. These possess the individual because the shadow, as long as it is unconscious, holds certain autonomy at the emotional level. So money is also been regarded as the symbol of self.
Lockhart (1983) understands money as a talisman of the self, which can support the individual on his or her path to individuation. Money which is in the form of coins also represents itself as a Mirror and also the expression of mirroring where the feeling of self- worth emerges. Therefore the other virtues are been projected on to the concept of money. The concept of money is the carrier of different projections and has an underlining meaning to different individuals differently from the unconscious. Thus, the concept of money is much more than actual meaning and has archetype of meaning. Money is the symbolic representation of the self and associated with understandings of the qualities of a symbol. Money is been given a status in the mind and also in society. Nagel (2008) expresses “the projection function of money results from the possibility that it can be changed and exchanged”. The wishes, needs, desire, hope and craving for money is the projections of the unconscious. As Nagel (2008) points out rightly “The bonding relationship money was to replace, has however, become impossible through the compensatory use of money, leading to a cycle of a lack of emotional relationships, compensation, and a new lack of emotional relationships”.
Money can be individually understood by individual’s architype complex and that gets projected onto the concept of money, which gives value and power for the individual to function accordingly. Money can help an individual to propagate oneself or to wreak oneself.
Bringing in the context of Indian culture, money is predominantly handled by the male members of the family and the power they hold on the family depends on the financial stability. The female plays a role in bringing in money into the family but the male takes responsibility to handle the money. My personal experience was also the same as a daughter I am a witness to the experience my father holding power and money in the family especially decisions revolving around money. As my father was more involved in the tasks like planning, competing, problem solving than my mother. And the desire I developed to have desire to experience financial independency came from my early childhood days.
The Electra complex during the phallic stage of psychosexual development, where female children spend increased amount of time with their fathers and the father becomes the role-model and creates a certain rivalry and distance with respect to mother. The father plays a significant role in a child’s life.
In the book, “Fatherless daughters, Pamela Thomas (2009) shares in the chapter entitles, “So, What’s a father?” explores the role of fatherhood and identifies six areas of responsibilities fathers traditionally hold are ‘protector’, ‘guide to the world at large’, ‘breadwinner’, ‘alternative parent’, ‘second opinion’ and ‘male role model’. She describes the father as “Less emotional and more result oriented, discipline and demanding,” stressing “competition, challenge, initiative, risk taking and independence.”
Mowday Rabey (1995) in her book “Daughter’s without Dads”, explores the challenges daughters face when they grow up without father explores that the potential effect of father loss is a daughter’s future belief in self-reliance, not wanting to depend on another for money and focusing her attention on building financial security.
Through the above data it relieves that the females desire to acquire power and money stems from the desire to be the father (male) and enjoy the individuation and separation.
Power and sexual violence
Recent sexual violence cases that are reported from different parts of India especially among children are the evidences of how the sexual repression is being exhibited through violent acts of sex. The patriarchal influence that men have the power to acquire their desire comes very easily to the menfolk. The loss of power in the public or personal sphere is been expressed through the use of violence.
The characteristic of the men are usually seen as protector, provider, procreator and penetrator are the notions of power, control and authority. The Hindu, December 19, 2012 in their article explained that “the opportunity for women in education and employment, the modern women are entering a well –fortified position to which the traditional male reacts with violence. The struggle for power dominant forms of masculinity for power dominant forms of masculinity were demonstrated as the men used sexual violence against women to display their domination and degrading women in an approach that men use to prove their masculinity (Goonesekere 2004)
The easily available increase use in internet, has led to various issues such as Info-obesity in children, addiction to electronic gadgets, phonography in young and old. The sexual repression in adults curbs us to influence the students and answer their questions, engage the younger people in meaningful talks; which has been easy to update their knowledge from seeing the porn sites.
Violence against oneself and sexual violence has been increasing in society until there is a collaborating effort from all the stakeholders of the state. Phonography is also helping our young adults to be informative at the same time create fantasy about sex and sexuality which can be violent in nature. And there are reported case are of child abuse and rape among the weaker population –children who are powerless physically to handle things.