Steedman's analysis of Dora is far more resonant with us today than is Freud's own presentation of his case, for it is informed by a sense of the larger social and cultural structures and dynamics that are so remarkably missing from Freud. Freud - and this is of course true for other psychoanalysts and for the discipline of psychology in general - is interested in the individual separated from society. Even the physical context of therapy - in a darkened room, the door perhaps locked against intruders who might interrupt the flow of confession or who might break the confidentiality of therapy - is a symbol of the ways in which Freud's analysis of Dora - like all such analyses - takes place as if the individual were an isolate.
Finally, Foucault argues that there is a "medicalization" of the effects of the confession. Freud sees Dora's symptoms as symptoms, her condition as treatable. While we have now normalized this idea into the widespread practice of therapy, in fact the idea that sexuality is something to be cured indicates a fundamental medicalization of desire.
ne from our firsthand observation of her symptoms but rather from Freud's summation of them. From our later historical vantage point (and with the advantage of knowing something about feminist discourse) we might well argue that Dora's hysteria is not the hysteria at all and certainly does not arise from any shame over sexuality but rather from her social imprisonment in a patriarchy. Dora seems in fact to know at least something about sex (for example, she seems to know what oral sex is); rather it is Freud's assessment of her knowledge and condition that deny a knowledge of human sexuality. It is this aspect of the case study of Dora that leads us to Foucault's fourth point, which is that the "truth" of the sexual confession lies not so much in the confession itse