Friday, December 6, 2013

Women and Insanity in Movies

My Final project is an interactive web page of the true short story  "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and a movie trailer. I used quotes from the original short story to relate my images to the experience of traumatization accompanied with being forced to stay isolated for long periods of time. Information about the interaction of Dr. Weir Mitchell and Charlotte Parkins Gilan  gives background about the majority of the cases in which a woman was diagnosed as insane by a male doctor. I also edited movie trailers and made a YouTube video about Women and Insanity in movies.  I use these trailer to map out information about hysteria and movies dealing with women 
who enact different types of “insanity”.
Why men could put their wives in an asylum.
The origins of the word hysterical comes form the word "hysteria"  from the Greek word hystera, meaning "womb." Originally "hysteria" linked certain nervous disorders and diseases of the female sexual and reproductive organs. It was thought that there was a direct connection between these physical pathologies localized in the female organs and certain nervous symptoms. Being a women resulted in development of nervous diseases because of the possession of the female sex organ. 

 Actually a workout...but you get the point.
 In the 18th and 19th century a husband can place his wife in an asylum. As male staff and doctors are examining her, she is further identified as insane. Some of these women just wanted to be independent, or refused to have sex with the doctor."Then, however, women could find themselves labelled insane and locked up in madhouses for a range of conditions – from postnatal depression to alcoholism or senile dementia, and even for social transgressions such as infidelity". This goes back to history and the Salem witch trials. If a woman had an independent opinion she wished to voice, she was accused of being a witch as an easy way of getting rid of her. This was also used when a widow held a business or land that a rivalry family wanted; all they needed was to accuse her of sorcery. Some insane medical practices were used on these women including #6 Lobotomies, #2 Trepanation and #1 Hysteria Cures. 

Elise Cowan was a woman of the beat Generation. (This is not her)
Women were unjustifiably placed in mental institutes throughout history. As expressed from a question to Gregory Corso, ‘Why were there so few women among the Beat writers?’ and [Gregory] Corso, suddenly utterly serious, leans forward and says: “There were women, they were there, I knew them, their families put them in institutions, they were given electric shock. In the ’50s if you were male you could be a rebel, but if you were female your families had you locked up." An example of a woman who was locked up was Elise Cowan [from the beat generation] who tried to exert her independence, becoming part of the New York Beat society, and her parents did as too many have done throughout history to wayward daughters, and had her confined to a mental institution. Trapped in a life of conformity, Cowan committed suicide."

 For the YouTube video I used:  
Girl, Interrupted - Trailer
He Is Mine, Not Yours Trailer 
Stepmom - Trailer
BLACK SWAN - Official HD trailer   
Passion Official Trailer #2 (2013)
 HYSTERIA Trailer 2012 Movie
The Raven Trailer 2012 Movie
My Super Ex-Girlfriend Trailer (2006)
Enough Movie Trailer 2002 (Jennifer Lopez) 
Works Cited
"The 10 Most Insane Medical Practices in History."  Web. 6 Dec. 2013.
"A Brief History of the Salem Witch Trials | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine." Smithsonian magazine. Web. 6 Dec. 2013.
"The feminisation of madness is crazy | Mind your language | Media |" the Guardian. Web. 6 Dec. 2013.
"Freud, "Aetiology of Hysteria"." UW Courses Web Server. Web. 6 Dec. 2013.
"fuck yeah beatniks." fuck yeah beatniks.  Web. 6 Dec. 2013.
Gilman, Charlotte P. The Yellow Wallpaper. New York: Feminist Press, 1973. Print.
"Online Etymology Dictionary." Online Etymology Dictionary. Web. 6 Dec. 2013.
"The Rest Cure and Dr. Weir Mitchell | Neurasthenia & The Culture of Nervous Exhaustion." Historical Exhibits: Claude Moore Library | Just another site. Web. 6 Dec. 2013.
"Sent to the asylum: The Victorian women locked up because they were suffering from stress, post natal depression and anxiety." Mail Online.  Web. 6 Dec. 2013.
"Short Stories: The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman." east of the web.  Web. 6 Dec. 2013.
""What Sort of Mental Health Problems" by Penny Halliday." Bridgewater State University Virtual Commons. Web. 6 Dec. 2013.
"WHO Gender and women's mental health." , Web. 6 Dec. 2013.
"Women of the Beat Generation." Beatdom.  Web. 6 Dec. 2013.

1 comment:

  1. This was creative, considering you made your own website with different options for the active player. It's unfortunate how women were considered insane and committed. Today were considered insane on a different levels, since men will assume were just pmsing.