I am going to respond to the idea of expanding the definition of what it is to be human, through the perspective of women during the 18th and 19th centuries. My focus is to convey the constricting and limiting expectations of mental health issues placed onto women by men. Hysteria, once a common mental disorder, only attributed to women, detailed the ways in which women suffered a list of symptoms ranging from anxiety, delirium, shortness of breath, to the most frequent symptom, sexual deprivation. My focus is to convey the harmful and critical stereotypes placed on gender and sex.
The VeeDee Massager, created by men, presented women with the opportunity to ‘rid’ their Female Hysteria, through what was described as a ‘pelvic massage’. This process would induce an orgasm, which would allegedly re-establish a women’s health. I decided to take this initial idea forward to create a piece which would convey the true reality of the restricting and confining battles women faced with their mental health.
My work reflects the ways in which women’s mental health was misconstrued, misinformed and purely neglected on the notion that men respected strict, sexist humanist beliefs.
Experience:Being HUMAN 2020/21
Archive:Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow