Hysterical Men & Women!

by trevor 20 Replies latest jw friends

  • trevor

    To Waiting - (and all you lurkers out there - What you looking at - this is private?)

    I'm little confused. Though I have no recollection of calling you hysterical, let's say I did and I've forgotten.

    You say that to call you hysterical is 'a gender related criticism.' What makes you think that women have the monopoly on hysteria? Hysteria is 'wild uncontrollable emotion or excitement.' It is a common condition among men too. I might just as easily tell a man, who was uncontrollably emotional excited, or over the top in his response, that he was being hysterical. To assume that I would reserve such a word for females is sexist.

    You have made an assumption about my mindset based on your wrong understanding of the word in question. Perhaps it is your belief that a woman is more likely to act in a hysterical way and so you attribute female characteristics to this word. If that is the case, then the error is yours. I wonder if you are projecting your own sensitivities onto innocent comments that are not gender bias.

    Your many comments seem to indicate that you feel you live in a world full of men who are out to put down women. Men too suffer from prejudice brought by female's often-inaccurate view of their intent. In other cases men are stereotyped. For example if a woman trips over something left on the floor by a man she will get sympathy and the man will be told he is untidy. If the man trips over something belonging to a female he is likely to be told he is a clumsy great oaf.

    In many subtle ways men are put down just as much as women, often because the woman concerned believes that there is a score to settle with all men, and men are out to put them down.

    For the record I have been married for 19 Years to a beautiful woman who is in charge of the accounts for a firm of lawyers. She is not a lady you mess with and I would not still be with her if I had the mentality that you have suggested. (I don't feel it is sexist to call her beautiful)

    I had only intended to type a paragraph and add it to the thread where you spoke to me (I'm disgusted - by LW) My hands got carried away and then I thought I might as well start a new thread as I haven't done so in some weeks and this subject different) This was meant to be a sparing post - not a sparring post.

    Any way Waiting - please don't take all my remarks here personally. The thoughts in this thread may be of interest to others as well.

    Any comments on this emotive subject are welcome from all of you out there and I won't take offence if you want to tell me I'm screwed up or whatever!


    'I was an oak, now I'm a willow I can bend.'

  • Abaddon

    The word 'hysterical' is, etymologically speaking, a word that originally applied to women only.

    Hysterectomy has the same root... the prefix part of both words comes from the Greek word for 'womb'.

    The stereotyped gamut of female behaviour was more emotionally inclined than that of men, and hysterical would have been originally applied to a woman who was (in the male doctors opinion) suffering from a mood swing related to her period.

    If that sounds bizzare, during the mid-late 19th Century, a method of treatment that was prescribed to women suffering from being 'highly strung' was being finger f*ucked by a professional therapist. The film about the guy who founded the Kellogs empire has a hysterical scene involving this.

    As my use of the word hysterical in the last paragraph shows, the word has changed meaning. It did indeed apply only to women, and some women might still feel that it is still an unfair, offensive and stereotypical term of reference to their behaviour. However, in the 21st Century a man can be hysterical, and things can be hysterical too.

    I think you got caught in a semantic trap trevor, and perhaps did not realise the hidden meaning on the word or intend any sexually demeaning slur.

    I am now not going to use the word semantic for at least a week, as this has to be the seventh time I've used it this week.

  • larc

    The word hysteria was also used by Freud to mean someone who had a physical problem with no medical basis. In other words, it was all in their heads. Some common hsyterical symptoms were numbness, paralysis of a limb, and memory loss. Freud believed that this was caused by very inhibited people who developed these symptoms to prevent them from doing or thinking something that they thought was shameful. Most of Freud's patients were women. However, I can't recall if he treated men with hysterical symptoms.

    Trevor, this side trip from the main topic is right up your alley, since you probably know more about Freud than I do.

    Larc (of the bringing up irrelevant information class)

  • larc

    Humor Time,

    I don't know why chicks get hysterical over the use of the word hysterical. I guess we have to remember that they are weaker vessels and we men have to lift them up emotionally and intellectually.
    If they need a good cry, we have to be there for them. Sometimes broad are hard to understand. Women - can't live with them, can't shoot 'em.

    Waiting - let the male bashing begin.

    Larc (of the puck class)

  • Flowerpetal

    Larc, you said:

    If they need a good cry, we have to be there for them.

    Not me! When I cry, I want to be ALONE!

  • ZazuWitts


    Just goes to show what Larc "doesn't know" - I'm his wife of 38 years and when I really cry, I want to be 'alone' also.

    Now I'm not referring to the occasional watery eyes, or a few tears shed one might experience watching a particularly poignant movie...or even reading something touching.

    Nor do I mean those mutually grieving times, such as a death in the family, an illness of someone close,or such.

    I am speaking of the times when something, an issue or an event, causes me some conflicting emotional pain -- and I sorely need to release it with an all-out crying 'jag.' Somehow, I always feel so much better afterwards.:) But, I, like you need to be alone during these times.

  • waiting

    Well, hey Trevor,

    Thanks for the post and the explanation. I've never heard or read in common usage of the word hysterical applied to a man. I suppose, technically, it would be possible. However, probably as probable as a woman telling a man he's "raggin it." Technically - it could happen to a man, for one reason or another, but not probable (had a male friend who had an operation who had to wear a pad - he did, and bitched the whole time.)

    I received your comment in the defining usage of the persons I've been around and/or read. And, btw, I've never heard a man complain about being angry (with/without reason) and a woman says, "what a bitch." "Man, he's raggin' today." "Geez, can you get any more hysterical?"

    No, generally, he may be called a Son of a Bitch, but that still stems from the female gender. Of course, unless he's gay, then all bets are off on word usage.

    Did the words "No big deal" in my recent post pass you by? I really meant that. I took offense when you first said it, and responded to you - but it didn't last long, as it shouldn't have. I was surprised you said it with my understanding of your professional background, but then I've heard my female therapist say things that surprised me also.

    Again, I really meant no big deal. If it had been, I would have challenged you. Might not have won, but would have given you a fair go-around. That's why I brought it up recently, btw. Just to give an instance where someone of another gender uses words that interpret differently for the person receiving them - in those words normal usage. And a flame war doesn't have to necessarily ensue - unless someone is looking for a flame war.

    After twelve years of therapy, my psychiatrist said something that brought tears to my eyes. He said "No hablo ingles." Ronnie Shakes

    Your many comments seem to indicate that you feel you live in a world full of men who are out to put down women.

    The comment made about your comment to me was in response to a comment Gopher made about the comment a new poster made - and the highly indignant comments from two other women posters. I was commenting that I didn't see that the new poster's comment was so grossly negative to women. For Pete's sake, Trevor, I was defending the new poster's comment because I don't feel we live in a world full of men who are out to put down women.

    And, btw, I've worked successfully with men exclusively for almost 30 years, blue collar workers. I don't think they all put down women. I think most of them, as most women, make gender comments - and I think the smart person who wants to survive without constantly fighting will let the majority of comments slide by, particularily if the comments are semi-innocent in nature.

    From my childhood, I have every right to hate men in general - but that would belittle me as a person, and I'd lose a lot of good times and friends.

    I won't be able to respond for a while to this thread because I'm leaving with my husband for Texas tomorrow. Friday night I'm having dinner with him and three other men, perhaps another woman. I'm looking forward to the conversation. Does it bother me four men to one woman? No. Will I stand ready to take offense? No. Why? Because I'm looking forward to mutual conversation between people, and hopefully a good dinner.

    If you're gonna gripe, gets your facts straight. Author Unknown


  • trevor

    Thanks for all your comments.

    Abandon - I found your explanation very interesting we live and learn. I had no idea that the word originally applied to women only.

    Lark - Yes I am familiar with the use of the word 'hysterical' in psychotherapy. Those more prone to hypochondria or psychosomatic illness are said to have hysterical personalities as you mentioned. The term applies equally to men and women and it is thought that late development can contribute to this condition.

    Waiting - Ah! Well there is not much more I can say, except thanks for you reply and I hope you still love me. I shall be more careful with the words I pick in future and avoid posting when I have been on the juice. Of course you have to understand that we are suffering from 'foot & mouth' in the UK. That's why I got my foot caught in my mouth.

    Have a good time 'deep in the heart of Texas.' If I'd known you had all those tough Texan male friends, I would never have said a word.

    Anyone else out there want to tell me off? Since Daniella left there has been no one to keep me in check. Fred you don't know what bad is. You try but all those meeting have purified you and made you into a nice man.

    Ladies tell us what you really think, and sort that Larc out while your at it - did you read his outrageous post above?

    'Oh what a tangled web we weave…'


  • Sassenach

    Trevor, you said:

    I'm little confused. Though I have no recollection of calling you hysterical, let's say I did
    and I've forgotten.

    In the "disgusted with you" thread, Waiting wrote:

    When I was angry about the classification of a "typical
    jw woman" - who would not stand up for her children (by Randy Watters)...snip...Trevor lightly said that I
    shouldn't "get hysterical" - which I took offense at too (and that is gender related

    I reread the thread in question: She declined to testify-typical

    here it is: http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/forum/thread.asp?id=2985&site=3#38801

    In the thread sixofnine wrote:

    Waiting, aren't you getting a bit hysterical?

    Six taking cover now.

    I don't even see your name in the thread.

    This is funny! I just noticed Waiting's quote above

    If you're gonna gripe, gets your facts straight. Author Unknown
  • pmf

    [opps ... tried to post an illustration ... didn't work. Sorry.]

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