punk phd / feminism / motherhood

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Hysterical Woman

Since the Doctor informed me that I'm showing symptoms of anxiety, I've been thinking a lot about how I feel being a woman with what I have been told is something 'psychological' rather than 'physical'.

My first problem is attitudes towards conditions such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and so forth. Particularly when the sufferer is a woman. I've been told to take some time off work (as a student teacher) and my initial worry was how 'anxiety' would be viewed my by placement college. Would I be taken seriously? Or would I just be viewed as a woman who's taken on too much and got themselves emotionally worked up? Because this was my fear. That anything related to being stressed, emotional, run-down, tired and so forth, is also associated with being female. That all these feelings are consequences of being female. Just how, if I'm feeling a bit irritable or weepy I am immediately told I must be having my period. This is the idea that I call the hysterical woman. That woman are merely viewed by society as more prone to that which appeals to the emotions.

So this lead onto my second thought - the general history/treatment of women with conditions such as depression and so forth. I think of Girl, Interrupted and The Bell Jar - about times when women were admitted to mental hospitals and underwent shock treatment for symptoms which are now more accepted.

I really went to look further into this and I think I will research this for my next article. I really would welcome your thoughts and feelings on this (anonymously if you prefer).m

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Spice Girls video

Because curiosity always gets the better of me, I just watched the Spice Girls new video. I think I'm missing something...at what point in the video do they take their clothes off? One minute you've got Ginger with her head in Vicky B's lap having her hair stroked and the next BAM they're in their bras. Is there an adult version of this video? A sort of Spice Girls go crazy in lesbos? Seriously though (feminist cap on), why was it integral (it's clearly not!) to the video that they tops came off and the bras came out? And I also find it interesting that Baby Spice doesn't strip down. Was this out of choice or the fact that she was pre-pregnancy and there would be uproar if she let the bump loose, or was she post-pregnancy and therefore had not regained the washboard stomachs of the other mothers? Who knows but I find it kind of disturbing, especially when I think it's affiliated with Children In Need. Yeah, that's just what the children need..."Mummy, mummy...why are the Spice Girls in their underwear?"

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