(15) More recently, feminist anxiety over the tendentious medical application of the term 'masochism' was made evident when feminist psychiatrists and psychologists in the United States lobbied against the creation of the diagnostic category 'Masochistic Personality
Disorder' by the American Psychiatric Association, on the grounds that it would be applied pejoratively, and near-exclusively, to female patients.
She argues that "there is a dismaying rigidity in the masochistic personality
. [...] Rigidity manifests as the compulsion to repeat at its most ineluctable--to repeat the same situations, the same dreams, the same ideas, the same phrases" (8).
It would be easy to attribute such violence to a dependent, masochistic personality
, or to a regressive borderline spectrum of disorder, and, in the process, to introduce our own biases in the therapeutic encounter.
The best hour of cinema I saw in Competition was the first half of Michael Haneke's "The Piano Teacher," a brilliant psychological portrait of a masochistic personality
with an extraordinary performance by Isabelle Huppert that, far more than the Lynch pic, despoils itself by going way over the top in the second half.
Kirk and Kutchins (1992) joined the list of critics with publication of The Selling of DSM and their new book, Making Us Crazy, is a meticulously researched analysis of individuals and groups who participated in the controversial evolution of posttraumatic stress disorder, masochistic personality
disorder, self-defeating personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and homosexuality as a mental disorder.