I accept that for the better part of a century we’ve been saying that Female Hysteria isn’t a real thing. Misogyny kept women locked in small lives with no intellectual, emotional, creative, sexual, or legislative outlet. Then they put us in institutions when we acted out. Men made the rules and we had to walk the line. But…bear with me…What if Female Hysteria is a little bit real? And what if I have it? In this the year of our lord 2019, me a woman of sound mind and good education, thinks she has a 19th century disease that was treated with masturbation and naps.
First Symptom: I am irrationally angry all the time. Today I asked a woman how to find a section in the grocery store and I nearly grabbed her by her lapels and screamed in her face, “Your pause is too long! Why isn’t your brain and mouth moving faster! I WANT TO BITE YOUR FACE!” Intellectually, I understand she gave me the information in a reasonable length of time. But I felt unhinged. Here is a short list of things that have enraged me lately:
The laughter of a child
A dog wearing a hat that didn’t match his personality.
The general lack of things in the color orange
A guy I used to date posted a picture of his shoes on Instagram
I’m the wrong height. I’m too tall to be average, but too short to be tall. 5’9 is the worst.
Everything has cumin in it
Actor Zachary Levi’s face in Shazam
Any number of these things could have driven me to peel all my skin off and throw my bloody skin suit at the nearest bystander.
Second Symptom: Food tastes weird. Everything is too sweet, or too salty, or too spicy. What do I love? SUGAR. What do I love only slightly less? SALT. What is something I’ve never said in my life up until a month ago? “It’s a little spicy.” I was putting hot sauce on my eggs when I was six. And yet suddenly I’m one of those people who can taste different flavors in ketchup.
Third Symptom: I have zero interest in sex, but I have a desperate need to have it. I am straight and yet I hate all men most of the time. You have to talk to them so much before they’ll let you have sex with them. They all had childhoods. They all have friends, and jobs, and hobbies. And if I don’t pretend to care I don’t get to have sex. And masturbation seems so time consuming. If I have ten minutes I should probably load the dishwasher and put a load of laundry in the machine.
Fourth Symptom: I think everyone is out to get me. I’m not necessarily paranoid. Three people are actually out to get me. But that feels like a lot and my mind is conflating it into everyone.
People currently plotting against me: (1) A coworker who thinks I’m responsible for her changed circumstances and wants to see my fortunes fall (2) A buddy’s wife. She thinks I had sex with him. I did not. But I can’t prove I didn’t. You can’t prove a negative (3) My neighbor thinks that I am the one who clogs the garbage chute and has enlisted other residents in surveillance to catch me.
See? Anger. Observable Neurological changes. Loss of libido. Paranoia. FEMALE HYSTERIA.
Still not convinced? I know it is female hysteria because it goes away when I am given time to myself, bland food, orgasms, and a low-stress environment. So although the original diagnosis was just woman-hating bullshit. There is an actual human condition in which sometimes you need to have someone give you a very clinical orgasm, and then tell you everyone around you is a jerk and should try harder not to upset you. I will immediately begin to secure funding for a sanitarium for women like myself. High thread count sheets, Netflix, and gardens to drink tea in.