Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 2014-05-01
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Spanish
The informant recalled a common folk belief that she had heard originated in Great Britain, though likely the belief occured all over Europe through polygenesis.
“So some people believed that the uterus could dislodge inside your body . . . and float around your body . . . it would leave its regular spot and work its way up your body to your brain. Supposedly, that’s how women develop hysteria.”
There seems to be a deeply-rooted, global fear of the vagina, as many accuse this poor organ of all of women’s faults. Given just how anatomically incorrect this belief is, it was likely developed before the female reproduction system was widely understood. Such a belief also indicated a reductively sexist view of psychosis, whereby all emotional instabilities that a woman could experience were rooted in this oddly nebulous floating vagina that somehow inhibited her from reasoning.