Citation

Black Women Giving Birth in Prison Face Surveillance Disguised as Medical Care

Author:
Park, Linette; Collins, Mali
Publication:
Truthout
Year:
2021

It is no hidden fact that the history and etymology of the term hysteria is rooted in the gendered body. Hysteria stems from the Latin word for womb, “matrix.” In this context, the word “mother” was directly (and simply) interchangeable with the term “womb.” Husteria in Greek also derives its meaning from husteriko, “of the womb,” and from husteria, “uterus.” Hysteria, as “the suffocation of the womb” or “the wandering womb,” was considered a “female” malady that was associated with demonic possession and maternal fits (of course, erroneously conflating the category of “woman” with certain biological and anatomical traits).