Mental health, women and feminism – that’s why this connection is so important
Mental Health is becoming increasingly important – and rightly so. But there are still prejudices, stigmata and fears associated with the topic. These mainly occur when not properly over mental health is informed. In fact, there are some differences between the sexes – how the symptoms appear, which diseases are more common and also how best to treat them.
I’ve always been of the opinion that the sexes shouldn’t be seen as strictly separated – but years of patriarchal influence have had them mental health of women changes. That’s why it’s particularly exciting to read books that deal with mental health issues from a female perspective deal with reading from different epochs. So you can see very well what has changed – and what hasn’t.
Mental Health and Feminism: These books will give you a new insight
All books have been independently selected by me and only reflect my feelings. Maybe you see it completely differently. But in those five books, I learned something new about myself, about mental health, and about the relationship to feminism and the female gender.
“Patriarchal Stress Disorder” by Beatrice Frasl
How are gender, class and psyche related? Pretty strong, I think Beatrice Frasl and in this essayistic book not only describes her own experiences, but also addresses greater social inequality when it comes to mental health. It poses important questions that we should all ask ourselves at some point. A few years ago homosexuality and hysteria were still seen as diseases – how neutral are our diagnoses today?
The book focuses on two important aspects of mental health: class and gender. For example, poorer people are more likely to suffer from depression because of their situation – but then cannot afford a place in therapy. In addition, women in particular suffer from the fact that the healthcare system was geared towards male patients – and are thus structurally disadvantaged. There is also talk of violence and arbitrariness in inpatient facilities.
An important non-fiction book written in a light, narrative tone that makes it very accessible to all people.
“The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Tales” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
You may know “The Yellow Wallpaper” from Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a short story you sometimes have to read in school. A grisly story about a woman who is “diagnosed” by her husband as depressed and hysterical and is forced to relax in a room with ugly yellow wallpaper – and slowly suffers psychosis as a result. The short story from 1892 tells the story of a young woman who suffers from patriarchy and pays for it with her mental health.
The other short stories in this collection tackle the same subject, sometimes even more humorously and poignantly than The Yellow Wallpaper. A highlight is definitely the short story “Turned”, in which a husband seduces his servant and makes her pregnant – with a nice twist. Women are always at the forefront of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short stories, which explore the impact of ongoing patriarchal oppression on women’s mental health. All of this dates back to the 19th century – and is just as relevant today.