I read this article today on Mother Jones: http://www.motherjones.com/media/2013/10/ada-lovelace-eight-inventions-women-erasure-credit.

It’s made me think of the short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman titled “The Yellow Wallpaper”. I read it in high school and I honestly can’t remember if I read it in Creative Writing class or English. What I do remember is how the story angered me at the same time as it freaked me out.

yellowwallpaper

The main character is suffering from what is most likely postpartum depression. Her husband calls it a condition of nerves and basically shuts her in the room in their vacation home. Locked in the room first by her husband and then by her own design as she slowly falls into madness, it’s the wallpaper that begins to move on the walls and creep into her very soul. It’s incredibly creepy and so depressing because at the time any sort of women’s health issue–be it mental or physical–was just nerves, or hysteria “normal” for the “weaker” sex.

I see this line of thought slowly creeping back into our society. Maybe it never left but it’s certainly making a resurgence now. There is still a heavy stigma on any mental disease (for everyone) that if you relegate every women’s health issue into that category we’re labeled once more as “second class” and “weaker”.  The line is no longer thin, but quickly being washed away.

 

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