No, Women Aren’t Crazy — Self Esteem, Self Confidence, PMS, & Gaslighting

by Dr. Daniel J. Heller March 5, 2012

It’s sad but true: women often have their self-confidence and self-esteem shot down—often by men—and don’t realize they have the right to stand up for themselves, and that they are not, in fact, crazy, stupid, incompetent, irrational or oversensitive. Men (and occasionally women) have often used PMS as an pretense to make these kind of accusations, but that is just one example of a way that women's power and confidence gets chipped away.

In fact, there is even a name for this kind of subterfuge: “gaslighting.” The word comes from a 1944 movie, Gaslight, that starred Ingrid Bergmann and Charles Boyer. (A note to film buffs: this was Bergman’s first Oscar for Best Actress, and it was Angela Lansbury’s screen debut, for which she was nominated for an Oscar. It was also nominated for best picture.) In it, Boyer's character tries to get his wife, played by Bergman, committed to an insane asylum so he can get his hands on her valuable jewelry. He constantly turns down the gas lights in their house, and then tells Bergman, when she says she can’t see, that she’s imagining things – that the house is perfectly well lit. The term “gaslighting” came to mean a man undermining a woman’s self-confidence—indeed, her version of reality—under false pretenses and usually with some ulterior motive for personal gain and power.

We were reminded of this by an excellent post, addressed to women from a man, declaring “You Are Not Crazy.”  The point is, gaslighting is more than just a movie. It’s not something that died with black and white pictures and old-time film stars, but continues today, and is something with which many women are all too familiar.

We don't think girls and women should have their personal power sabotaged, which is one reason we focus on empowering women through education. We hope to be part of a solution that helps women build up solid self-confidence and self-esteem that can’t be undermined by gaslighters.

 

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About The PMS Comfort Blog

The PMS Comfort Blog is our informal way of keeping you up to date on women’s health issues that we think are important; timely; underappreciated; useful; or just interesting. And, we’ll admit, sometimes we can’t resist poking some good-natured fun at the way the mainstream media portrays health, natural health, and women’s health issues. As always, we’d love to hear from you and are interested in knowing what you think and feel about these or other topics. Leave a comment for us, we’ll always respond. And, if there’s a women’s health topic that’s of interest to you, or that you find confusing, let us know! We want this blog to be helpful to you.

 

Dr. Daniel Heller is the primary author of this blog, the developer of our PMS Natural Relief Programs, and the founder of www.pmscomfort.com. He is a holistic naturopathic doctor in Northern California with over 16 years experience helping thousands of women recover from PMS, PMDD, as well as helping women, children, and families find natural answers to all manner of health challenges.

 

PMS Comfort is here to support you with detailed, practical knowledge presented in a balanced manner you can trust. We are committed to educating, informing, and empowering womenregarding PMS, PMDD, and women’s health, and to providing natural relief for premenstrual symptoms.

 

 

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