Monday, April 28, 2014

Hysteria is Back, and as Offensive as Ever!

A hundred years ago, before medical science grew to the level of knowledge that it boasts today, there were a lot of things that we just didn’t understand.  We knew by then that sicknesses weren’t caused by evil spirits and demons, but rather germs and viruses, but we still struggled with what to do about that.  Antibiotics hadn’t been invented, and modern hygiene was still only just coming of age in many places. 

"She may or may not float like a duck, but she definitely smells like shit!"
Sometimes, these misunderstandings resulted in things that we look back on now and think “boy, were we ever stupid!”  For instance, sending tuberculosis sufferers to the “cleaner air” of the mountains, where the less dense high-altitude air only exacerbated their problems.  Or bloodletting, still practiced far more widely than anyone would ever like to admit into the 20th century. 

And despite all of the advancements in medical science since,
they still haven't cured stupidity.
One of the more embarrassing, and contemporarily offensive, notions developed back then was the concept of “hysteria.”  Hysteria was a pseudo-medical explanation for women doing all sorts of insane shit. It was the notion that a woman will react viscerally, emotionally, and uncontrollably to things that make her uncomfortable.  Essentially, it was a way to explain away the complete agency of women, which allowed them to be placed in a category somewhere between a full, responsible adult, and a child who must be protected from, and guided through, the rougher, more unpleasant parts of life for fear that the stresses of dealing with such things might lead to a bout of hysteria. 

Hysteria was used by the feminist movement in their attempts to prove the existence of the patriarchy.  You know how I feel about the “patriarchy” and how much of a serving of cow dung that concept is, but the fact of the matter is that you couldn’t hardly argue with their hate of the concept of hysteria.  They considered it offensive, and as I’ve said before, I find myself agreeing with the true, first-wave feminists more often than not – it fucking was

The hilarity of the current situation becomes clear when you realize, as I have, that subsequent waves of feminists have brought the concept of hysteria back into the feminist mainstream.  They don’t call it hysteria anymore, but the concept is exactly the same, and just as offensive – women cannot handle things that upset them emotionally and psychologically and therefore must be protected from these things.  It is yet another attempt to establish the “equal, but special” rules that the new-wave feminists want in place as regards women.  They want equality when it suits them, but special treatment when it does not.  They want agency when it is handy, but hand-wave it away as soon as having agency becomes an issue.  In a sense, they want to return women to their previous, offensive status of “not an adult, but not a child, either.” 

Sort of like being not a man, but not a cat, either, but way less fucking awesome.

One of the ways in which they are doing this is by bringing the concept of hysteria back into the mainstream.  There is a new (newish? I don’t really know) trend amongst the feminist crowd that revolves around the concept of “triggering.”  Under it’s current definition, I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how “triggering” is not exactly the same, in concept, design, and practice, as “hysteria.”  Therefore, I must conclude that the idea is just as offensive.   

Originally, “triggering” was used to describe the negative effects that a PTSD-afflicted violent rape victim might feel if exposed to images of violence and rape, and so feminist blogs and feminist-sympathetic venues would post trigger warnings to any video or link that they posted that might contain violent or rapey images.

Fair enough.  I guess I can’t complain too much about that, because it makes sense – someone suffering from traumatic stress after a traumatic event probably should be warned before you subject them to imagery related to that event.  I’d suggest that you shouldn’t take a PTSD effected soldier and make him watch the first 20 minutes of “Saving Private Ryan” without first making sure he’s cool with it. 

Or eating a rasher of bacon in front of your dog without sharing.  That's just mean.  

The problem is that it has gone so far beyond that reasonable standard at this point that feminist bloggers and other feminist-sympathetic venues are being demanded to post ‘trigger warnings’ about the most innocuous of things.  Political discussions, talks about breastfeeding, talks about when to have a child and when not to – I’ve seen all three be ringed by a complete accoutrement of buffering “trigger warnings” to ensure that any hysterical, er, easily triggered women don’t read it. 

It’s even gone so far that students are now demanding that professors give trigger warnings before discussing controversial topics in classes, or even completely innocuous topics that might be hard to understand, as if experiencing a difficult-to-grasp subject is simply beyond the capability of some women to handle.    

It is hilariously funny to me that the old idea of women being so unable to control their emotions that they must be protected from disturbing or disorienting things lest they fall into hysteria, which was considered so unforgivably offensive, is now being championed by the very same people that found “hysteria” claims to be so far beyond the pale. 

Who cares if they call it “triggering” and have to post “trigger warnings?”  How is that any different, in any way whatsoever, from the old concept of hysteria?  That women must be protected from things that they might find disagreeable, or they will face emotional and psychological problems as a result? 

Ladies: Feminism is not your friend.  They aren’t looking out for your best interest.  They want to infantilize you so that they can gain control of you, and that is literally it in a nutshell.  Don’t let them.  Be yourself.  Make your own choices, and do what you think will make you the most happy, without worrying about whether a cohort of bitter, harridan spinsters will approve or not.  And for Christ’s sake, don’t fall for the idea that you must be protected from things that you might find disagreeable.  That’s just stupid.  The vast majority of my mental, spiritual, and social knowledge and experience comes from times when I was in situations that were less than comfortable.

The entire idea that we should be able to live a life of comfort, and never have to confront something that makes us uncomfortable unless we choose to, is what is offensive to me.  That is the real travesty in all of this.  


  1. Yeah, these are things I've been saying and seem to be common sense, but dare utter this to a woman that may think you are being condescending you will some how set off one of these "triggers."

    1. Eh. Any woman that would be upset by what I just wrote isn't worth my time. The rest of them can read this and hopefully learn something.

      Most of the women I know would agree, but then, I don't make a habit of hanging around with grievance mongers of any gender. Life is to short to be that pissed off all the time.

      i do know that the very idea of "trigger warnings" as they are currently being propagated, pisses Mrs. Goober off to no end.

    2. Yeah, but these things are common sense again at worst explained in a reasonable time. Sadly now as really.. always those that print things either on paper or text hold sway about how someone should think. Meh, the whole thing ends up being a battering ram when talking would work better. One thing I observed is someone on my facebook who is admittedly a total liberal posted something along the lines of 20 or so ways how men get screwed today by stereotypes, courts the whole nine yards. They were at least willing to say hey this his how the other side looks at things. The thing was reasonable but the comments flamed this person. Why, again based off either historical stuff at best or if you are I quote "Oh the poor whiddle white males are upset!"

      I'll not go on about two wrongs make a right, or that really right is right and wrong is wrong. But the issue as you mentioned Goober is the simple fact that well, shit the shoe is on the other foot and what we are seeing at -best- is they are willing to use the same shoe on us. The thing they wear proudly is beaten on everyone else, even though it is supposed to be a different time.
      So it is okay now right?

      The other aspect is that really as you pointed out there are new favored classes. That again goes in to the "pooor widddle white men" comments I've seen. Really there has been no progress as the feminists, racists, (I hope folks see what I did there..) have wanted or claimed they wanted. None. What there either is is reparations or flip the supposed upper hand to those that are not seen as the upper hand if that makes any sense.

      At best this is a to the victor goes the spoils/history is written by the winners.

      At worst? Everything crumbles. Perhaps that is not too bad if they have to pay for it, but the seldom do.