"I have been held up consistently as a token, as the ‘right’ kind of trans woman (educated, able-bodied, attractive, articulate, heteronormative). It promotes the delusion that because I ‘made it,’ that level of success is easily accessible to all young trans women. Let’s be clear: It is not."
Originally, in the 20s and 30s, the stereotype of someone who was schizophrenic was the housewife who was sad and withdrawn, and would not do her duties as a housewife; would not do the housework. This was the typical case of schizophrenia. And then, in the 60s, something shifted. The actual criteria for schizophrenia shifted. A lot of psychiatrists and hospitals and police were encountering young, angry black men who were part of the civil rights movement. Who were part of the riots – the uprisings – in the Black Power movement. Who were angry. Who were perceiving a conspiracy of power against them, that was called paranoia. They would see it is white privilege, but it was called paranoia. And so we actually see the diagnositc criteria for schizophrenia change. So now you have anger and paranoia and hostility being included as criteria, whereas 30 years before they hadn’t been. Because the stereotype has changed. So there’s a way in which the DSM and the perspectives of the psychiatrists and the doctors who were giving these diagnoses is thoroughly politically constructed, and thoroughly dependent on the culture and context that they’re within.
for anyone interested in reading more about how schizophrenia moved from being a diagnosis assigned to white, middle-class women to one used to pathologize and institutionalize noncompliant black men in the 1960s, jonathan metzl’s the protest psychosis: how schizophrenia became a black disease is a good place to start. i have a PDF scan of it, too — just ask.
Fun fact! Black people are disproportionately diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and other paranoid personality disorders, because their white doctors do not believe them about racist microaggressions they experience.
honestly can’t wait for the 50 shades movie to normalize the manipulation of lower-level female employees. can’t wait for the new wave of “consent is sexy” banners on the cover of cosmo. can’t wait for teen girls to think that a controlling relationship is romantic. can’t wait for sexualized violence to become increasingly mainstream. and most of all, i can’t wait for bdsm to be labeled a feminist revolution
Heeeey so fun fact: the woman in that painting is Lavoisier’s wife, Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze, who not only acted as Lavoisier’s lab assistant but also translated English and Latin texts into French so he could read them. But she didn’t just translate, she pointed out errors in the chemistry in some of the texts. Her observations of these errors convinced Lavoisier to study combustion, which led to his discovery of oxygen. She was also critical to the publication of Lavoisier’s Elementary Treatise on Chemistry in 1789. She kept strict records of every experiment they conducted together and drew detailed diagrams of all their equipment. She also threw amazing parties and invited all the brightest minds in science so her husband could pick their brains. After Lavoisier was guillotined she secured all of his notebooks and equipment for posterity.
In short: NOBODY KICKS MADAME LAVOISIER OUT OF THE LAB.
Also, a side note: My historian husband-to-be pointed some things out to me about this painting. Notice that Madame Lavoisier is looking at the viewer, and all the light is on her, while Lavoisier himself is physically smaller than her, in shadow, and looking up to her in reverence. This isn’t a candid photograph- all of these choices are deliberate. The painting isn’t of Lavoisier- Madame Lavoisier is meant to be the central subject.
I can just imagine Lavoisier telling all his colleagues that his wife is really the one with all the clever ideas, and them patting him on the back and telling him he’s sweet for saying so.