There comes John, and I must put this away.
April 8, 2017 11:09 AM Subscribe
Hysteria, Witches, and the Wandering Uterus: A Brief History - Or, Why I Teach "The Yellow Wallpaper." An essay that explores The Yellow Wallpaper, the history of "hysteria," and the 2016 election.
The uterus was believed to wander around the body like an animal, hungry for semen. If it wandered the wrong direction and made its way to the throat there would be choking, coughing or loss of voice, if it got stuck in the the rib cage, there would be chest pain or shortness of breath, and so on. Most any symptom that belonged to a female body could be attributed to that wandering uterus. “Treatments,” including vaginal fumigations, bitter potions, balms, and pessaries made of wool, were used to bring that uterus back to its proper place. “Genital massage,” performed by a skilled physician or midwife, was often mentioned in medical writings. The triad of marriage, intercourse, and pregnancy was the ultimate treatment for the semen-hungry womb. The uterus was a troublemaker and was best sated when pregnant.The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
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