|Quincey:||Miss Lucy, I know I ain’t good enough to regulate the fixin’s of your little shoes, but I guess if you wait till you find a man that is you will go join them seven young women with the lamps when you quit. Won’t you just hitch up alongside of me and let us go down the long road together, driving in double harness?|
|Lucy:||...what does that mean?|
|Quincey:||I don't know, either.|
For an ongoing series entitled Cardboard People, Singapore-based artist Anton Tang takes amazing photos using Revoltech Danboard figures as his subjects. The beautifully shot scenes range from whimsical and cute to surprisingly heartwarming. These little toy people have been so carefully staged and posed that you soon find yourself believe they’re really alive.
How to Make Homemade Ice Cream Using Empty Coffee Cans | Wonder How To
If you’ve never read The Yellow Wallpaper or had to for school you should do that.
The author suffered from psychosis but as a woman in the late 1800’s the “professional” attitude was that she was just a dumb silly woman and needed to rest in bed until she just got over it. She was outright forbidden from writing because it would be “too stimulating” to all those dumb hysterical womanly problems and she had to do it in secret just to cling to what sanity she could.
In response to this bullshit she finally wrote this brilliant short psychological horror story that will give you the fucking creeps in all sorts of ways, from the atmosphere and events to the story to the horrifying culture it reflects.
She sent a copy directly to her shitty-ass doctor who never responded and went on being a shithead until he died, but to many other people the story was a wake-up call and still considered a groundbreaking feminist work.
It was inspirational to horror writer’s like Lovecraft though I think the “feminist” part might have gone over his head. Also it is better than his stuff anyway.
(Art by Marlene Angeja, 1989)
*screaming cuz this is one of my favoritest short stories ever*
Warning for long-winded talk about mental-illness (including my own problems) and medical abuse
Charlotte Perkins Gilman actually suffered from postpartum depression (I’m not sure if psychosis on its own was a diagnosis at that time) and mentioned later in an article that she embellished the symptoms she experienced during her rest cure (adding the delusions and hallucinations) in writing “The Yellow Wallpaper.” While I don’t doubt that she was mental ill or that she may have had some degree of psychotic symptoms that the rest cure exacerbated, I really don’t feel comfortable with this story as a person who has regularly suffered psychotic episodes and no doubt will regularly suffer them for the rest of my life.
When I read “The Yellow Wallpaper,” I feel that the basic way in which the story operates seems designed to evoke terror/disgust at the disturbed thoughts the narrator exhibits and to channel that feeling back at the rest cure itself and the doctors who enforce it. The “monster” in this horror story is the specter of psychosis itself, the alien mindscape to which the heroine is transported via her persecutors. For me, however, reading the story doesn’t feel alien, it feels sickeningly familiar. I have had delusional thoughts of this intensity. I have put myself in dangerous situations because of them. If my insurance status changes or my medication ceases to function (sometimes meds do that) or even if I do everything right and things go bad for some unexplained reason, it can all happen again and it will happen without anyone to instigate it.
For Gilman, who had the option to cease her work and take a rest cure in the first place, psychosis appears to be framed as a single and terrible event stemming from an identifiable source. For me, its a looming an omnipresent reality. I can appreciate what she was trying to do, and I really do think that the story is an important and well-written landmark of both horror fiction and feminist writing, but the story leaves me viscerally sick whenever I encounter it, and not in the way I think its intended.
Also, as an article recently recommended me astutely pointed out (Thanks chthonic-cassandra), continually framing Victorian mental illness in terms of feminist rebellion against the medicalized patriarchy often erases the fact that mentally ill women did and do exist, and that some diagnosed hysterics really were struggling with a real sickness rather than having their benign behaviors spun into disorders by vicious doctors determined to keep them in line. I don’t doubt that abuses like this occurred or even that they occurred routinely, and I know that people (initially ill or not) were frequently driven to become deeply sick by 19th century treatments, but as a person who has had Yellow-Wallpaper-esque episodes without any gaslighting doctors, I don’t feel comfortable with the story or with the way it is often used to reduce a complex historical reality into a much simpler narrative than I think ought be employed for exploring this topic.