1) I am writing a book of literary criticism.
2) I live with a 4 year old girl and 2 year old boy and the two bathe together meaning we frequently discuss genitalia.
Freud writes that "the little girl" compares herself "with a boy playfellow" and "perceives that she has 'come off short,' and takes this fact as ill-treatment and as a reason for being inferior. For a time she consoles herself with the expectation that later, when she grows up, she will acquire just as big an appendage as a boy." She also thinks, according to Freud, that at some point "she had a member which was just as big and which had later been lost by castration" (Collected Papers II).
Now, Freud could really have done with some more time hanging out on the rim of the bath tub, 'cause he's a total ARSE about this for the following reasons, if you take my children as representative:
1) Winton (the boy) thinks Clara may have had a penis (or indeed that I may have had one) and has, once, asked if we lost them somehow. Clara has never asked this question.
In other words, the little boy perceives the girl as lacking. The little girl, however, feels just fine and perceives no lack. It is the boy, folks, who assumes things about how the little girl must feel (and then some little boys grow up and write psychoanalytic theory, projecting their assumptions onto little girls). Clara in fact thinks Winton's penis is an object of ridicule. I have had words with her about not teasing her brother, and especially about not thwacking him in the crotch with bath toys.
2) "just as big" is an interesting choice of phrase there, Freud, for little boy penises are little, as both Clara and Winton have pointed out. Eg, as Winton would have it, "Mummy, Hardie [our dog], has a big penis. I have little one." AND Clara is aware that she will one day likely have boobs, which tend to be bigger in terms of overall size/ weight/ conspicuousness than penises. And, hello! Have you seen a pregnant woman? HUGE. So, if we must do the size thing. Well.
Righto. Back to work.