READ & DOWNLOAD Women of the Asylum Voices from Behind the Walls 1840 1945 107

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READ & DOWNLOAD Women of the Asylum Voices from Behind the Walls 1840 1945 107 ´ The 26 women who tell their stories here were incarcerated against their will often by male family members for holding views or behaving in ways that deviated from the norms of their day The authors' accompanying history of both sociAving in ways that deviated from the norms of their day The authors' accompanying history of both societal and psychiatric standard. This one had been sitting on my wishlist for a long time and I finally got around to hunting down a secondhand copyThis book features excerpts from publications written by women who had been institutionalised in insane asylums over a hundred year period with each time period preceded by a short introduction giving an overview of the general state of mental healthcare at the timeAll of the stories are brutalIt's horribly fascinating watching the shape of the asylum changing In the beginning of the time periods covered the women were locked away not the reasons of insanity but usually for disagreeing with their husbands and it seems in almost every case it was a husband signing their life away on domestic or usually religious matters The treatment the women underwent was abhorrent no real medical or mental health care revolting food revolting conditionsYou'd almost hope that things would get better as time went on and medical knowledge progressed In some respects maybe There are some latter cases where the treatment actually was said to work for the patient one patient underwent fairly intensive insulin shock therapy which broke a severe depression However the treatment never got much better you can see the rise of insulin shock and electroshock therapy as well as the use of hydrotherapy which basically bordered on abuse Mention of outright abuse increased as well possibly because the women were aware of it actually being abuse it's difficult to tell based on these brief accounts with the very last account bluntly describing horrific physical abuse at the hands of her carers as well as rape and prostitution of patientsThese are only a handful of cases written by the women who were well enough to tell their stories Who knows how many perished and suffered in asylums over the years many of which weren't even mentally ill

Jeffrey L. Geller å 7 READ & DOWNLOAD

S for women reveals the degree to which the prevailing societal conventions could reinforce the perception that these women were ma. I feel good reading this for an interesting reason these women often seem to have little hope in anything other than that someone someday would read their words and know what they endured The other comments on here are correct the editors are definitely focused on affluent and very literate white women I'd love to read an accompanying book of collected experiences of black Native American or other minority women But the editors seem to have simply been looking to collect certain kinds of stories not because of racism just because that's what they were looking at Very interesting and some of the writings are really moving

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Women of the Asylum Voices from Behind the Walls 1840 1945The 26 women who tell their stories here were incarcerated against their will often by male family members for holding views or beh. Women of the Asylum Voices from Behind the Walls 1840 1945 has proved a difficult book to get hold of I eventually sourced an inter library loan which came all the way to my University's library from Cardiff Jeffrey L Geller and Maxine Harris have presented one of the first books of its kind here bringing together the voice of women who were incarcerated in American institutions against their will over a 105 year period and giving them 'the opportunity to speak for themselves' Twenty six first person case studies have been included in all offering a 'rare privilege' to the reader 'As a whole' the editors write in their introduction 'these narratives offer a clear picture of women's lives from both within and outside the asylums in which they lived Individually they provide some of the most harrowing tales of the abuses of the psychiatric system'44099 Women of the Asylum has been split into four separate distinct sections to cover the rather vast historical period 1840 to 1865 1866 to 1890 1891 to 1920 and 1921 to 1945 which all loosely relate to particular periods in treatment or important turning points within political discourse Geller and Harris also discuss their decision to split the period up into smaller chunks due to shifting moral and social conditions in the United States They write that 'the nineteenth century women of the asylum are morally purposeful philosophical often religious Their frame of reference and their use of language are romantic Christian and Victorian They write like abolitionists transcendentalists suffragists The twentieth century women are keen observers of human nature and asylum abuse but they have no universal frame of reference They face madness and institutional abuse alone without God ideology or each other'The women focused upon here some of which you will have heard of Charlotte Perkins Gilman for instance and others who were publicly unknown all 'wanted to right the wrongs they saw being perpetuated by what they perceived to be autocratic families domineering physicians unfeeling attendants and misguided lawmakers' in one way or another Regardless of their social class whilst trapped within the asylums none of the women were 'treated with any kindness sympathy or medical or spiritual expertise' Each account here was written once the woman in uestion had been handed her freedom once and many were later published as warnings to others about the horrors which the asylum held or as a process of self healing Some of the women took direct action afterwards campaigning for change and others faded into relative obscurityAs one would expect I'm sure some incredibly shocking accounts are presented here; for instance the way in which 'any sign of economic independence or simple human pride in a woman could be used against her both legally and psychiatrically' There was also the fear that an individual would be driven to become mad solely due to her incarceration or that she would remain in an asylum indefinitely with no hope of ever escapingSome incredibly interesting uestions have been posed throughout for instance whether such firsthand accounts can be trusted due to the mental imbalance which their authors may be suffering from or the possible delusional aspect of their condition Each of these women regardless of her circumstance or the amount of time in which she was locked away and the periods vary drastically from two months per year as a 'rest cure' of sorts to the horrific stretch of twenty eight years such as Adriana P Brinckle had to face has legitimacy; each has her own story to tellIn Women of the Asylum Geller and Harris have presented a far reaching and well researched account which has been introduced in a wise and lucid manner by Phyllis Chesler The concluding message seems to be this 'Whether they were rebels social misfits visionaries or madwomen is left for the reader to decide' If you can get your hands on this important and invaluable piece of literary gold dust I would urge you to read it