Woman Plus...
  N 3, 2002

Gender identity of a creative personality

Gender identity of a creative personality to a great extent is conditioned by the fact that such a personality has psychophysiological distinctive features of the opposite sex, is psychologically androgenous. The "mystery" of a creative personality of each sex has interested the researches from time immemorial.

In works, which concern creative work in itself or consider the question of gender peculiarities of human abilities as a whole, we may find important ideas, characterizing creation form a gender point of view (F.Nizshe, A.Shopengauer, O.Veininguer, S.N.Bulgakov, N.A.Berdiayev, B.P.Visheslavtscev, P.A.Florensky, Vl.Soloviev, N.Khamitov, Viach.Ivanov, V.V.Rozanov). Among their main ideas we should mention connecting of creative work with Eros and at the same time - stressing the genius of male origin in the creative work. These ideas to a certain degree are contradictory. This contradiction is rather definitely seen in the works of O.Veininguer, who, on the one hand, step by step grounds human bisexuality1, and on the other hand, thinks that woman is deprived of many qualities of men and that is why cannot be genius. K.G.Yung considers that psychology of creative personality is a woman psychology, but at the same time, the idea that a man soul should have in part some features of a woman soul and vice versa can be traced in his works. We know the view of N.A.Berdiayev, who asserts that a woman is inspirer of men creative work: "A man always creates in the name of Beautiful lady,… she inspires him to do a deed and unites him with a soul of the world".

At the same time F.Nizshe, A.Shopengauer, O.Veininguer, N.A.Berdiayev, Viach.Ivanov define genius as a male feature, but talent - as female phenomenon. Many of these philosophers express the idea of combination of these two origins in creative work (S.N.Bulgakov, N.A.Berdiayev, Vl.Soloviev, Viach.Ivanov, S.L.Frank and others). Thus, S.N.Bulgakov thinks that the clue of creative work is in "… immanent nuptiality of human spirit".

Researches of literary works about life of artists (Leonardo da Vinchy, P.Picasso, S.Daly, Z.Cerebriakova, M.Bashkirtseva) allow to draw a conclusion that androgyny2 is important for creativity which can be acquired thanks to identification of a boy with his mother or other women surrounding the future creator, and a girl - with her father. Researches of gifted children note that the latter possess qualities typical both for their sex and for opposite one, to much more extent, than less capable children of the same age (psychological androgyny). Talented boys have many features which are considered female, - introspectiveness, sensitiveness, strongly pronounced aesthetic principles and so on. On the other hand, gifted girls show many qualities, which are traditionally considered male features - independence, self-affirmation, ambition. At the same time, the researches allow us to conclude, that to achieve success in creative work a person should possess both male and female bases supplementing each other. Creative personalities are noted for using both cerebral hemispheres when solving problems, since they possess holistic thinking (L.S.Vigotsky, G.Gauen, A.Maslow, G.Gilford, A.Bono, R.B.Hikin, D.Landram).

Conditions for formation of male and female identities3 are not the same. Female essence is formed with fewer conflicts than male one. A certain remoteness from his mother is essential for forming of a masculin4 man. Initial protofeminity of both sexes (R.Stoller) promotes forming of androgyny, necessary for creativity of a boy, who will have more strongly pronounced features of the other sex, than a girl, which will help him to acquire intuition, sensuality, emotional expressiveness and other qualities, considered female. And rather strict social cultural requirements for male behavior will help the boy to keep and strengthen male personal qualities in the period of final identity forming. For a girl, her initial protofeminity and following closeness with feminine mother and other surrounding her women, who are not noted for personal features, considered male ones, promote feminin5 woman formation, but negatively influence formation of an active and independent personality, capable to realize herself in creative work, especially to become genius. At the same time, close relations with her father, identification with him, allows the girl to acquire independence, activity, necessary for realization in creativity, but will make her more logical, less sensitive, which means successful in intellectual activity and not in creativity. Or she will be talented in creative work since psychologists have proved that excessive intelligence is favorable for adaptability, which means, that creative work will be accepted by modern society. For many girls protofeminity will make it difficult to acquire qualities, necessary for realization in great creativity. To keep potential in creativity, a gifted girl should identify herself with both parents.

Genius and talent - are two different categories (A.Shopengauer, O.Veininguer, N.A.Berdiayev, Viach.Ivanov, and others). The difference between genius and giftedness is not in the highest extent of endowments, but in opening of earlier unknown ways in creativity and in realization of principal improvements in different spheres of creativity. Talented creative work, connected with traditions and existing within semantic limits, is based upon experience, which has been already worked out by the culture. This creative work is more peculiar to women, who are gifted by nature with phylogenetic firmness, preservation of everything positive, that was made by a man, i.e. keeping traditions. In genius creativity, where innovation is so important, men are more active, since by nature they are noted for phylogenetic fickleness and under influence of social cultural factors they obtain "wings", unlike women, who during their upbringing are given "roots".

In a gifted man female features prevail, but male remain. Gifted woman is also androgenous, but male qualities prevail in her. Opposition of these principles is also essential; in spite of their constant antagonism, they are somehow chained to each other, urged to peaceful cooperation and agreement. The reason of creative tensity, of gender beginnings of creative activity is that creative personality is androgenous, and each personality is a combination of male and female elements. Integration of all sides of human being and combination of inspiration, imagination, intuition, experience and thought is necessary to realize every creativity.

Nina Konopleva

N.A.Berdayev Philosophy of creative work. Volume 1. Moscow, 1994.
S.N.Bulgakov Not evening light. Moscow, 1994.
O.Veininger Sex and character. Moscow, 1991.
F.Nizshe Collected works, Volume 1, Moscow, 1990.
A.Shopengauer Collected works, Volume 2, Moscow, 1993.
K.G.Ung Problems of modern sole. Moscow, 1993.

В сносках - примечания редактора Словаря гендерных терминов А. А. Денисовой
1attraction of a person to the representatives of both sexes.
2combination of male and female features in a person. Androgenous person absorbs the best qualities of the both sexes. The concept of androgyny was suggested by Sandra Bem, American psychologist, in the beginning of the 70th, XX century.
3basic structure of social identity, which describes a person from the point if his belonging to male or female group; and it is most important how the person categorizes himself.
4masculin - complex of descriptions of behavior, potentialities and expectations, defining social practice of men as a social group.
5feminin - as a whole is defined as descriptions connected with female sex; or peculiar ways of behavior, women are supposed to follow in the present society; also social equivalent of so called positions, inwardly peculiar to women.