The Sexist

This Week in Sexist History: Crazy Bitches Edition

Newspaper stories from the good old days say the darndest things. So every week on the Sexist, let’s take a ride on journalism’s way-back machine, to a time when all female behavior could be explained away simply. Sure, turn-of-the-century journos called it "insanity," "mania," or "hysteria," but we know the real diagnosis: She's a crazy bitch.

According to historical Washington Post archives, August is a banner month for crazy bitches. But there's a quick solution for any late-summer onset of the vapors, whether it's from the heat, a cheatin' man, or a too-full pocket book: oh, just throw her in the insane asylum! (The therapeutic pelvic massage comes later).

Diagnosis: It's hot.

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Remedy: Straightjacket.

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Bitch, please: Mary Smith, "a domestic"—the Post doesn't specify the breed—bites herself "in her frenzy." Police respond by tying her arms to her body and throwing her in jail. Surely, whatever made this stay-at-home Virginia mom housekeeper nearly bite her own arms and hands off will subside once the humidity goes down, right? Make sure to keep her on the insta-asylum list for next August!

Diagnosis: Husband-killer.

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Remedy: Explain it away as hysterical jealousy.

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Bitch, please: Ah, I see that this man was the victiom of his wife's "jealous rage" over allegations of "paying attention" to another woman, and so was slain. Typical. It's almost enough to overlook the part where he jumps out of the car and slams his fist in her face for catching him with his male companion. Hmmm! But even if it was a domestic face-punching and not maaaddddness which prompted the woman to discharge the weapon, one thing's for sure—if she wasn't crazy before, she's crazy now. Case closed.

Diagnosis: "Colored"

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Remedy: Guess.

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Bitch, please: These women were practically asking to be pronounced demented and filed in the "insane department." After all, the three women were suspicious, "like the majority of their race," and we all know that black women are just one herbal tea away from being a lifelong danger to themselves and others.

Diagnosis: Bitch has money.

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Remedy: Yeah, yeah, commit her.

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Bitch, please: Well, well, well. The truth comes out. It's not too hard to illegally confine a fake crazy woman in an insane asylum after all! All she has to do is get drunk—or get too hot, or drink some tea—and it's curtains for her! this woman is lucky enough to have a lawyer—she's crazy because she's rich, remember—who tries to make people give a shit that turn-of-the-century insane asylums were marked by "ill-treatment and cruelty." The "aged colored woman" in our last story probably was not so lucky.

Comments

  1. #1
  2. #2

    Don't you think 'domestic' in the first one refers to a servant, not a housewife?

    OR IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?!

  3. #3

    I think you're right (on both counts). I've subbed in "housekeeper"---might work to describe both.

  4. SexistWomenRSPNDS2ChovanistArticle
    #4

    Hmm.. you are right. How sexist! Next time my wife eyeballs another man.. I'm justified in grabbing my gun and shooting her. (It's ok, I understand then you will post how insane men are against women.)

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