January 1, 2023
Happy New Year Everyone! It’s hard to believe it’s 2023, especially when we are starting this year out as if we are back in the early 1970s with respect to reproductive rights in the United States.
It is in this spirit that I have gone back to the late 1990s-era in launching this new feminist “Weblog” as a follow on to my pro-choice documentary from the wake of Roe falling last summer.
Link to info about WE’RE NOT GOING BACK!
During my travels on the road and meeting so many people who were horrified at the SCOTUS decision, I found that while we were united in our fury, we were all over the place with our backlash approach and how best to resist.
A Woman’s Work is Never Done
Just like our “Fore-Mothers”, better known as the Suffragettes, it is up to the women of today to fight back against this patriarchal oppression in a variety of ways.
It took the Patriarchy over 40 years to take our rights away, so we can’t ever give up this fight to restore them.
We must outwit and outlast the villians who have put us in the Dobbs box we currently find ourselves in.
It Takes a Village
We must work together against the patriarchy! During my travels this summer for the documentary, I found that while there was a lot of united fury over the Dobbs decision, the way various groups wanted to approach the backlash and resistance was quite diverse, even to the point of being antagonistic.
Thus, it is my goal with this blog and The HisTerical Society to build a community where we can share stories and important news and legal battles that need all of our attention and support.
I also plan to launch a companion podcast on International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2023 also called “The HisTerical Society”, where I will interview and moderate discussions on feminist topics. I hope you will partner, read, listen, or support this effort however you can.
Why “The HisTerical Society”?
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.
– William Shakespeare in Romeo & Juliet
Well, as a somewhat cheeky gal, I am always looking for a good laugh, especially in these oppressive times when it’s hard to find things to smile about. And puns for me are even more fun especially when they are layered with meaning. I’d like to argue that “The HisTerical Society” has at least 3 puns, and I will attempt to make a case for 4..
First up is “The Historical Society”..
The Historical Society – The classic local government/non-profit group typically implies a bunch of old people as “docents” imparting wisdom and knowledge about history..
We aren’t saying we AREN’T “old”, but we certainly are attempting to impart wisdom and knowledge about Feminist history and attempting to build on what our Fore-mothers have already established.
Hysteria Seems Accurate
Next up is the idea that “Hysteria” is an outdated (and some would say offensive) moniker for “crazy women”..
You see, men of the early 1600s couldn’t understand why their wives were starting to talk back to them, so they invented the idea that “hysteria” was rooted in the female-only uterus.
Merriam and Webster defines “hysteria” (designated as uncommon) as a psychoneurosis marked by emotional excitability and disturbances of the psychogenic, sensory, vasomotor, and visceral functions originating in the mind or in mental or emotional conflict.
Wikipedia summarizes “Female hysteria” as a once-common medical diagnosis for women who had symptoms that read like an E.L. James novel:
anxiety, shortness of breath, fainting, nervousness, sexual desire, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in the abdomen, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, (paradoxically) sexually forward behavior, *“tendency to cause trouble for others”..
* We particularly like this last “symptom” and how it applies to our current post-Roe existence as we band together and make, in the words of the late, great Congressman John Lewis, “Good Trouble” in 2023 and beyond.
They just needed a good orgasm!
Given the men’s ego, at the time they either couldn’t possibly imagine that they couldn’t please their women, or they didn’t realize that women could be pleasured and enjoy themselves. They became cuckolds of sorts by having doctors “get them off” to release some of the pressure.
“Wandering womb” was the belief that a displaced uterus was the cause of many medical pathologies in women. Suffocation of the Mother (1603) was the first English text on the subject of the wandering womb and hysteria.
Anyone got a cigarette? Oh wait.. we don’t smoke..
“Massagers” were the first vibrator-like devices that assisted these doctors in their mission to treat “hysteria” and “wandering womb”.
Of course if all doctors looked like this, we wouldn’t have objected..
Ahem.. I digress.. Where were we? Oh yeah..
Numero Tres: We aim to be “funny” and “hysterical”..
Whether or not we are successful is debatable, and I’m sure you will let us know in the comments as this blog grows. But at least our intention is to try to be funny and laugh a little as we fight. Cause, after all, Laughter is the best medicine and we are clearly in a state of disrepair.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition for “hysterical” is “feeling or showing extreme and unrestrained emotion”. This main definition used today is the intent of this blog. We hope to capture the emotional state that we find ourselves in post-Roe.
Have you ever laughed so hard you could cry? Or have you cried so hard and had your entire gender cohort so unbelievably oppressed that you just have to laugh at the hypocrisy and absurdity of the whole idea that your reproductive rights have been taken away after almost 50 years as the law of the land?
Yeah, us too..
Finally, (4th for those keeping track)
The alternative spelling of “HisTerical” is a play on “HIS” and “Territory”. This seems appropriate now in the wake of the fall of Roe v Wade.
They are treating us like their property as if they can control us and we are “their territory”.
Phew.. are you still with me? Great!!
Our work won’t be done until reproductive rights are restored across the United States. We must get aligned, promote awareness, and build coalitions together. We will continue to take our fight to the streets, courtrooms, and voting booths across the land.
I hope this blog and community will resist the patriarchy and align within the feminist community. In this effort, we can smile and laugh along the way. Join us on this journey and crusade by commenting or becoming a subscriber today!