freud outline - I II III IV V Thesis Feminism is the cure...

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I. Thesis: Feminism is the cure for hysteria II. Roadmap paragraph III. History of hysteria and cures a. Ancient Egypt- 1900 BC i. “The cause for such curious behavioral disturbances, as Egyptians saw it, was the flight of the uterus, which they considered a mobile, independent organism, up and away from its normal position.” (Bernheimer 2) ii. Cure: “Cure for this anomalous displacement could be attempted from two directions: the woman’s sexual parts could be fumigated with fragrant substances to attract the migratory uterus from below, or vile-tasting and foul-smelling potions could be ingested to drive the deviant womb back from above” (Bernheimer 2) b. Hippocrates i. “Hippocratic writings where the connection of the uterus (hystera) with the disease resulting from its disturbances is first expressed by the term ‘hysteria.’” (Veith 10) ii. Cure: “The recommended treatment here, as well as in the Hippocratic texts, is, quite simply, marriage and pregnancy. Thus was established a diagnosis of female sexual disturbance, and a cure by submission to the yoke of patriarchy (the reproduction of mothering), both of which remained basic to the medical concept of hysteria for centuries to come” (Bernheimer 3) c. Greek literature i. “the term ‘hysteria’ is more frequently used in its adjectival form and is applied to such conditions as certain forms of respiratory difficulty in which the choking sensation was believed to be due to the ressure of the displaced uterus.” … “This phenomenon was thought to occur primarily in mature women who were deprived of sexual relations; prolonged continence was believed to result tin demonstrable organic changes in the womb.” (Veith 10) d. Medieval times i. “In medieval times, female deviance was interpreted less in the physical terms of uterine disorder than in the supernatural terms of witchcraft and heresy.” … “Thus they consider it entirely natural for women to form alliances with the devil, and the clear implication of the treatise is that all women, being constitutionally inferior, deceitful, and cicious, are witches in potentia.” (Bernheimer 3). e. Victorian hysteria i. “Since a woman was supposed to be fragile, her falling ill and being confined to the sickbed (here we rejoin the exemplary hysteric of ancient Egypt) was therefore acceptable as an affirmative sign of her femininity, although indeed the action could be interpreted as signifying just the opposite, a rejection of femininity as illness and a hatred of the patriarchy that defined it as such. There was thus a good deal of passive aggression involved in Victorian hysteria, and many of these women expressed their suffering not only by manipulating their relatives but also by provoking their physicians” (Bernheimer 6) IV. Charcot’s theory of hysteria a. “But it was Charcot’s controversial method of using hypnotism to produce and remove hysterical symptoms that had the greatest immediate impact on Freud. Charcot became convinced that susceptibility to hypnotism indicated that the subject was potentially hysterical.
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