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September 19, 2021

Not Doing Your “Womanly” Duties? Asylum it Is.

 

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*Psst. Well-deserved, naughty language ahead. 

~

During the Victorian Era, through the 1800s in Europe, societal expectations of women were reinforced by religion, politics, and men in high places who made the rules.

Yes, the 1800s not 2021. I know, I know some days it can be hard to tell. 

Even back then, women challenged the hell out of societal norms or rules that were anything but ordinary. Although, in the past, it came with a far greater cross to bear than wondering if you will ever find a date again.

If women challenged the expectation of “be seen but not heard,” barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, the humble servant to whatever man held her power, they were sent to asylums for the insane. Admitted by their fathers, brothers, priests, and sometimes the Major without their knowledge, consent, and against their will—with no choice or say in the matter.

What a motive to shut the fuck up! Many still did not comply and were made to go to the asylum.

The notion of these institutions and the power they could hold over inconvenient and non-complacent women grew and spread across Europe like a brushfire: just the idea of building a secure, secluded space removed from society, outside of the community, that you could send your moody teenager girl or no-desire-for-sex sister. (Damn, I meant wife, but that happened too.)

It grew into asylums being erected (pun intended), and everywhere, there seemed to be too many lippy women.

Its intended goal, I suspect, was threefold:

>> Shut her up, so she stops talking to the other women about trying to stir shit up. Those other ladies need to see where a woman with ideas ends up.

>> Give her a taste of how much worse things could get if she won’t conform to the norm.

>> Get her fixed and acceptable by their standard; if she’s not fixed, she can stay.

And all too often, that was forever.

Which, questionably, makes the island of female misfit toys sound, momentarily, a whole hell of a lot better to me than the alternative available at that time (minus the ice baths, forced feeding, locked in a padded room, and all those physical restraints of course).

In the late 1800s, the medical community came up with a diagnosis for these rebellious women. First, the neurologists suggested a condition like multiple sclerosis—back then, it was called a “nervous breakdown.”

Next came the founding father of psychiatry, Sigmund Freud, who coined a new, bolder, and more progressive term: hysteria.

Hyster meaning womb.

Hysteria meaning floating womb.

And the treatment for this disorder—you guessed it—marriage.

The theory was that an unstable woman’s womb would keep floating until a man claimed her as his own and screwed her womb into place. All things, yes, even mental illness, could be fixed by one remarkable man’s penis! (Ya literally cannot make this shit up.)

Or if she wasn’t the catch of the county, perhaps an old maid at 20 or deemed unattractive, and a man might not consider her fuckable—there was opioids, bloodletting, the removal of the clitoris, ovaries, and they were given shock treatment (to say the least) as a healthy alternative.

Until Freud discovered in his research that talking to a person helped too.

It was a mind blow of an idea to talk with a woman and listen without being a dictator!

He felt that much of what might be hidden away in the subconscious mind, like the resentment we must carry for being born without a penis and the power that penis held, was worth discussing.

He was praised and esteemed by his peers for his discovery of the “Talking Cure.”

He actually spoke to his patients. (Again, you cannot make this shit up.)

Fun fact: did you know that all of the psychiatry we have today is founded upon the research of a dozen case studies? Almost all women and a few “feminine men.”

Whether you love Freud or hate him, he was a man ahead of his time in many ways and our own because, in all this talking, he found a common denominator. Almost all of his patients reported being sexually abused, assaulted, sexually seduced, and often stripped or whipped into submission as toddlers, children, and adolescents alike.

And even Freud knew that a child’s womb was not yet fully developed, grown, or ready to be nailed down.

It was meant to float freely because they were freaking children.

Until he published that specific paper, Freud was viewed as a progressive, brilliant, highly esteemed physician who was writing the book (and way) on psychiatry, or as it was once called psychoanalysis.

Psych meaning inner, ego, the mind, the unconscious versus conscious awareness.

Analyze meaning listening to the inner workings of the subconscious mind, the impact of those emotions, and the atrocities that had been committed against so many of their minds, bodies, and spirits.

Thus, he formed a conclusion based on his findings and research and published it: the Oedipus theory about the prevalence of childhood trauma and its impact on overall mental and physical health.

The entire progressive medical professionals of that era lost their minds and wanted to step back into the dark ages. His peers shunned Freud who once esteemed him. The disapproval weakened his fragile ego so much so that a few years later, he would recant his original theory and change it to appease his critics and his colleagues, all of whom were male.

He then published his new forced-upon-him findings, that these were merely childhood fantasies of a child being attracted to the parent of the opposite sex and that it was a delusion of the vivid imagination, primarily of little girls.

His colleagues and even his opponents stroked his ego once again by his award-winning seduction theory. But, of course, that kept it all in the closet.

It reinforced the status quo’s only acceptable reason for why a woman may challenge a man’s authority and position in this “we were all created equal equation.”

It furthered their cause: that all a woman needed to be cured of most anything and everything and was a good freaking shagging. For the housewives, institutionalized women, and lesbians who were not having sex with men, and were still acting out of line —it was her womb, they were frigid.

Something was wrong with them if they were not satisfied by their husband’s minimal effort to be a package deal. She wasn’t just mad she wasn’t getting off—she was mad (aka insane).

Then another stroke of genius happened in psychiatry—the effort to try and fix this ever-growing problem. The doctors decided to remedy it themselves by hand stimulating a woman’s genitals to orgasm.

Yes, the doctors did—you read that right.

Oddly enough, for some women, it worked, and it gave them a temporary high. Without having your organs removed, without your consent, and without the crippling fatigue that inevitably came with all those opiates that could stifle a woman’s performance in the kitchen and the bedroom—it was an alternative that was a lot less expensive. 

So, in the 1930s the vibrator was created.

Not to help the women help themselves, but because many of the doctors were getting sore hands, achy joints, and carpal tunnel syndrome for all the handy work, you know, for a white-collar worker. So they invented a female massager to save their hands for other tasks.

Before long, even women outside of the asylum were having issues with conformity and gender roles, so they decided to buy their own damn sex toys and fix themselves. But, unfortunately, Sears Catalog first promoted them with the same old narrative: that being fucked was all that a woman wanted or needed or both, to give in and give up.

And then, in the 1960s came Momma’s little helper, valium, to keep a woman in her place without much resistance with tranquilizers.

And here we are, a century later, calling a woman hysterical when she’s finally rising and trying diligently to redefine normal. 

Or if she is passionate, zealous, emotional.

Or if she is an activist or an advocate, a humanitarian or a feminist.

And whether she runs for office or whether she cries or throws a tennis racket—she’s fucking hysterical!

It’s her bloody ovaries: it’s her hormones.

She is not getting laid enough.

She has hella PMS.

She is menopausal and losing her womanhood.

She is on the rag, and that makes her crazy.

She has lost her mind and womb by not grounding it with a man or the birth of a child.

Her hormones have gone haywire; she has lost her shit and is having a “nervous breakdown.”

We still hear that tireless outdated non-diagnosis thrown to the crowds like candy from Santa’s sleigh at a Christmas parade. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Politics, along with what some highly esteemed men have done to the church, and psychiatry have fucked women over and over, and over again. 

I always hear one particular scripture in the bible, in the book of Timothy, which is used to support the notion that women are too irrational and erratic to ever speak in church. Let alone anywhere else because she does not have—the right junk in her trunk! For whatever reason, he seemed ignorant and afraid of women.  

He wasn’t Jesus or one of his 14 disciples. (And no, that wasn’t an error on my part. I included the two Marys, his mother, and his closest confidant and friend since the men who wrote the gospels forgot to mention their names.)

And I am sure there were many more who never got so much of a mention other than the scarlet letters and labels—adulteress, whore, sinner, or a sinful woman.

I love me some crazy radical Jesus because he called them out on their hypocritical bullshit.

As far as God was concerned, those sinful women were far more honorable and deserving than the righteous, pompous, judgmental, better than thou, wolves in sheep’s clothing. She was given a crown for her trauma and pain—his unconditional love, mercy, grace, and a divine purpose—far beyond her lip, back, knees, and humble service to any man.

You’re damn right when we say we are not in the mood.

It’s been thousands of years of role-playing mofo with no big O.

Freud’s later theory, created to win back the approval of the predators in his profession, continues to serve predators of all kinds in high places—back then and still today.

Quite frankly, that’s far too fucking long.

Freud knew these children were being groomed, seduced, brainwashed, and fawned into compliance by their abuser, who was also the man flipping the frigging bill for their intensive therapy sessions. This was almost always a patient’s father, elder brother, or a local clergy member, trying to save these “hysterical” women. 

And the fact is we still can’t discuss it cause it’s considered too taboo, despite being an epidemic.

Our denial of the facts and truth is nothing short of utter mass fucking hysteria.

~

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