Women's Madness: Misogyny Or Mental Illness?

Women s Madness Misogyny Or Mental Illness Why do an overwhelmingly larger proportion of women than men suffer from depression and emotional distress Is it because as feminists would argue that women are reacting to a misogynistic world Or i

  • Title: Women's Madness: Misogyny Or Mental Illness?
  • Author: Jane M. Ussher
  • ISBN: 9780745008325
  • Page: 176
  • Format: None
  • Why do an overwhelmingly larger proportion of women than men suffer from depression and emotional distress Is it because, as feminists would argue, that women are reacting to a misogynistic world Or is their madness mental illness, as the experts would claim In this book, Jane Ussher examines these opposing viewpoints and proposes both a new understanding of women s mWhy do an overwhelmingly larger proportion of women than men suffer from depression and emotional distress Is it because, as feminists would argue, that women are reacting to a misogynistic world Or is their madness mental illness, as the experts would claim In this book, Jane Ussher examines these opposing viewpoints and proposes both a new understanding of women s mental distress and constructive alternatives to present treatments Using an historical perspective, she analyzes the evidence for misogyny in different cultures and its effects on women In a detailed examination of witchcraft and the contradictory arguments that witchcraft was either evidence of misogyny or mental illness Ussher sets the background for her investigation of women s madness from the Victorian era to the 20th century She moves on to assess various critiques of the concept of madness, including those from sociologists, Marxists, the 1960s anti psychiatrists and feminists, and exposes their ultimate failure to explain or understand women s experience of what is called madness She surveys how and why women become mad , or are labelled mad and conducts a critical analysis of the present forms of intervention from psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists Finally, she suggests constructive alternatives which reconcile the needs of individual women with the needs of women as a group Shortlisted for MIND Book of the Year 1991.

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    About "Jane M. Ussher"

    1. Jane M. Ussher

      Jane M Ussher is Professor of Women s Health Psychology, and leader of the Gender Culture and Health Research Unit PsyHealth, at the University of Western Sydney, Australia She has published widely on the construction and lived experience of health, in particular women s mental health, the reproductive body and sexuality She is editor of the Routledge Women and Psychology book series and is author of a number of books, including The Psychology of the Female Body, Women s Madness Misogyny or Mental Illness , Fantasies of Femininity Reframing the Boundaries of Sex, Managing the Monstrous Feminine Regulating the Reproductive Body, and The Madness of Women Myths and Experience She has also edited a number of books Gender Issues in Clinical Psychology The Psychology of Women s Health and Health Care with Paula Nicolson Psychological Perspectives on Sexual Problems Bodytalk

    107 thoughts on “Women's Madness: Misogyny Or Mental Illness?”

    1. A fantastic analysis discussing the social implications of 'madness' in women, and how various schools of antipsychiatry and feminism approach this issue. Ussher herself discusses how misogyny is entrenched in our society, before examining how through misogynistic discourse, witches and then Victorian 'madwomen' were positioned as 'Other' in society. She then explores the rise of the psychiatric profession in the twentieth century, and how the existing forms of physical and emotional therapy tod [...]


    2. Ussher’s book began as a feminist rant that infuriated me. I came as close as I ever have to throwing the book across the room in disgust. However, in the end, I was thoroughly convinced of Ussher’s main argument: that women’s mental health issues are most definitely related to our relegation as “the second sex,” that patriarchal society makes us ill, and that solutions are elusive. Perhaps most surprisingly, the author takes the radical feminists to task:“This theorizing…establish [...]


    3. A very interesting book. I really thought Ussher's argument was really interesting to read as she had her own experiences with her mother. I really found the chapter on women and witchcraft so interesting as I was always interested in witchcraft while studying history. I am so glad my 'madness' in literature tutor recommended this book to me. I think it will prove very useful to me this year.


    4. I only read this to find a single supporting statement for an essay years ago, and it's become another constant companion. I don't normally classify myself as a feminist because my personal belief is that male/female is not nearly as big an issue as have/have not, but this book is incredibly intelligent, well thought out, convincing, all that good stuff.


    5. This book is a little dated now, although it sets out both sides of the argument between a reductionist and cultural reading of women and madness. I didn't like the essentialist implications in the discussions of French feminist theory.



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