The masculine archetype in women is called the animus. Whereas the anima represents irrational moods and feelings, the animus is symbolic of thinking and reasoning. It is capable of influencing the thinking of a woman, yet it does not actually belong to her. It belongs to the collective unconscious and originates from the encounters of prehistoric women with men. In every female-male relationship, the woman rims a risk of projecting her distant ancestors' experiences with fathers, brothers, lovers, and sons onto the unsuspecting man. In addition, of course, her personal experiences with men, buried in her personal unconscious, enter into her relationships with men. Couple these experiences with projections from the man's anima and with images from his personal unconscious, and you have the basic ingredients of any female-male relationship.

Jung believed that the animus is responsible for thinking and opinion in women just as the anima produces feelings and moods in men. The animus is also the explanation for the irrational thinking and illogical opinions often attributed to women. Many opinions held by women are objectively valid, but according to Jung, close analysis reveals that these opinions were not thought out, but existed ready-made. If a woman is dominated by her animus, no logical or emotional appeal can shake her from her prefabricated beliefs (Jung, 195 l/1959a). Like the anima, the animus appears in dreams, visions, and fantasies in a personified form.

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