Tag Archives: strengthen women

I don’t mind living in a man’s world, as long as I can be a woman in it.

2 Feb


Vintage Fashion Inspiration-Marilyn Monroe

2 Feb

Marilyn Monroe was a woman that embraced and accentuated her feminine assets.  She proclaimed “I’m very definitely a woman and I enjoy it.”  She dressed up in tight, curve enhancing dresses and lounged at home in slacks.  Her platinum blonde hair and red lips are simple and chic.   She wanted to be taken seriously as an actress AND she was actually a good actress.  Watch her last film The Misfits to see her talent.  Marilyn was aware she was a sex symbol, but wished for people to see her as a person.   “Being a sex symbol is a heavy load to carry, especially when one is tired, hurt and bewildered.”  Had she lived longer Gloria Steinem believes that Marilyn most definitely would have been a feminist.  I absolutely agree,  since she most certainly did not want to be a housewife.

Hysteria = Uterus

30 Jan

I just read an article in the NY Times, in the opinion section, “Hysteria and the Teenage Girl” by Caitlin Flanagan. The article is a response to a kooky Onion article about a group of cheerleaders from NY who “developed” Tourette’s; it began with one and then the rest “caught’ it. After some research, Flanagan found that what they actually had “caught” was hysteria. Interestingly, Flanagan found that this happens often. Teenage girls experience hysteria due to puberty, in most cases, or stress. She cites several cases of girls suddenly developing outrageous symptoms as early as 1962.

While this is a curious occurrence, I am surprised at the lack of critique this article provides regarding the long history of using hysteria to undermine women and their desires. The story “The Yellow Wallpaper” (Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1892) grapples with mental illness and sexism. It is an example of how women can be discarded because of this kind of affliction. There is no commentary on how the girls community responded.

As a I understand it hysteria has been attributed to women only, although it happens to men as well –the article mentions a boy also developed the same symptoms–it is after all the Greek word for uterus. Therefore, hysteria means women are crazy or always have the potential to be crazy especially if they have a uterus. And if they do become hysterical then they are dismissible.

This diagnosis is a way to dismiss women, period. And this author could have had an opinion about that.

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