Hysterical Women of The Week: 22 September

It’s my birthday! So here’s a quicker than usual weekend roundup

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This week’s news included the announcement that the highly anticipated (by me, at least!) Vagina Museum finally has an opening date – so get 16 November in your diaries.


ADHD: “The liberation of being diagnosed as a 30-year-old woman”

Blogger Penny Jarrett wrote for Stylist this week about being diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 30, and why the condition is so often misdiagnosed – particularly in women:

As I thought back to all of the ways in which ADHD had manifested itself in my life and practically crippled certain areas of it, I realised that unless a woman has their own understanding of the disorder before diagnosis, it is highly likely that she will be overlooked or misdiagnosed with anxietydepression or both.

ADHD is complex and it manifests itself differently in girls and boys. Because an ADHD brain is always understimulated, those with the condition find it hard to hold focus on one thing at a time and often act on impulse.

While boys usually seek stimulation outwardly, appearing hyperactive, girls often experience this intense search for stimuli inwardly. Then, because negative thoughts and feelings are the most stimulating, they’re more likely to struggle with low self-esteemeating disordersaddictions, emotional dysregulation, hyperreactivity, rejection-sensitive dysphoria and abusive relationships.


Mother-of-three, 46, died two days after doctors told her she was ‘absolutely fine’ and just ‘dehydrated’ before sending her home with sickness tablets, inquest hears

Another really tragic Hysterical Women story from Mail Online: 46-year-old Deborah Spark was dismissed as “dehydrated” after being taken to hospital with nausea and vomiting, only to die of a heart attack two days later.

Ms Coleclough said: ‘She was saying she was dizzy and the room was spinning. Just before she was discharged she stood up and we had to grab her under the arms.

‘It was as though she was drunk, she was slurring her words and walking like she was drunk. But the nurse said she was absolutely fine and she needed plenty of rest and plenty of water.


And finally…

I know I finished on an interview with Dr Jen Gunter last week, but I also really enjoyed this one from The Independent this week: ‘Wellness sites are selling patriarchy and calling it feminism‘. I’m fascinated by the current discourse around the wellness industry and gynaecology, and Dr Gunter has some very interesting things to say on the subject – although I do think it’s more complex and nuanced than patriarchy vs. feminism, as I wrote for Refinery29 earlier this year.

“Women don’t randomly stick vegetable matter up their vagina, someone has told them to do it,” Gunter explains, adding that while the authors of these books might’ve had women’s best interests at heart, they didn’t necessarily have the medical background to be dishing out gynaecological advice. “There’s almost no information about the safety of these things for your vaginal health.”

Gunter has more authority than the average gynaecologist. In the last few years, she has become one of the most renowned voices on women’s health, known for her outspoken criticism of the wellness industry and her eviscerating Twitter takedowns of Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand Goop. But Gunter’s concerns regarding obscure vaginal cleansing trends, either by way of a steam or a Greek yoghurt, don’t just stem from pseudo-science; telling women to detoxify themselves is fundamentally sexist. “The fact that people are profiting from the idea that a woman’s reproductive tract is dirty and filled with toxins is really the core tenet of the patriarchy,” she says.

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