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Male hysteria

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Topic: 6) Male hysteria (1 of 13), Read 231 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Wen Stephenson (wstephenson@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, October 27, 1999 10:50 AM

Marcia Pollack writes: "As you know, the word 'hysteria' has its origins in female physiology. That is, it applies to the manner in which women behave when stressed. The word was probably coined by men, who, I'm sure, found this behavior of women quite incomprehensible.

"It has always seemed to me that there should be a word for the way men behave when stressed. I have on a number of occasions found myself strapped in the passenger seat of a car, flying down the highway at top speed, while the male driver of my car was chasing another driver and screaming, 'You SOB!' I find myself as mystified about this male behavior as men must be about hysterical female behavior."

(Barbara Wallraff is on vacation this week, so I'm posting the new Fugitives for her. --WS)

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Topic: 6) Male hysteria (2 of 13), Read 229 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Theresa Bernsen (bernsent@slu.edu)
Date: Thursday, October 28, 1999 10:28 AM

Since hysteria comes from a greek root meaning "womb", should the male version be testeria?

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Topic: 6) Male hysteria (3 of 13), Read 237 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Aaron Reneker (zanazarius@yahoo.com)
Date: Thursday, October 28, 1999 02:59 PM

Theresa,

I like "testeria," and your logic is impeccable! :)

Aaron

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Topic: 6) Male hysteria (4 of 13), Read 164 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Peter Pan (noman@nonexistent.email)
Date: Friday, November 05, 1999 11:48 PM

Dear Marcia,

There is already a (well, two actually) word(s) for male hysteria - "Shell shock"...While the match isn't exact, the psychology behind it is very similar. Indeed when men started to return from WW1 in a very unstable psychological state it was first diagnosed as hysteria, but since it was deemed improper to draw parallels between soldiers returning from war and frail hysterical women the term "shell shock" was invented.

Now, unless you live in a extremely bad neighborhood you may not want to use shell shock in the context of driving. On the other hand I would not advise associating a mans testicles with anything remotely negative unless you really want a display of male hysteria. Yes I know, Aaron thinks its a great idea. Chances are he's lying - he just
figures it will never catch on anyway, so why not humor the women. If he's like me and 99% of the worlds male population he'll do the same thing we do when we hear women speak about our testicles in anything but a reverent voice - we immediately dive for our cup (if it is close). So while testeria may be logically and linguistically correct, if you use it your driver will immediately let go of the wheel to cover his nuts. Not a good thing at 100mph, unless you have a death wish. You really need a word that sounds more like a man (not just Aaron) would use. Roadmania perhaps?
"Yee, officer, I was quietly driving along and this guy cut me off and suddenly - ROADMANIA." Yep - that sounds about right. Naturally you'd have to adapt it to other cases of male hysteria, but I leave that to the other readers.

Sincerely yours

Peter Pan

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Topic: 6) Male hysteria (5 of 13), Read 161 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Aaron Reneker (zanazarius@yahoo.com)
Date: Saturday, November 06, 1999 01:18 PM

Peter Pan (double entendre forgiven in this context),

Lying, nah....hyperbole, perhaps. I liked the word "testeria" because it is logical, given the context in which it was being used. I also like "shell shock," although I have heard this term used to describe young children who have been victims of wars or other traumatic events. To see a graphic representation of this, I recommend paging through the various photographs that were taken of children in Europe during the bombings of London and Dresden (the photographer's name escapes me). In one picture in particular, there is an image that still gets to me of a young girl who had been asked by a counselor to draw a picture on the blackboard of her homeland. She took the chalk and began scribbling all over the board. When the photographer took the picture, the girl had turned her head to face him. The madness (or "shell shock") in her eyes was palatable, and the insanity evident in this little girl's expression said more about the trauma of war than any battle scene ever could.
So, perhaps "shell shock" is more of a universal term and should not necessarily be applied only to men. I honestly don't believe that men display the same kind of "hysteria" that women do, anyway, because our emotional makeups are not the same. This is not meant to be sexist, but we men have been taught from a young age to keep our feelings hidden. We are not meant to be hysterical, so society says, and so this is likely why a word does not exist that is equivalent to the female version of hysteria.
After all, we men are just plain nuts anyway, aren't we? :)
(And I still like "testeria" for now...although perhaps "testosteronia" might be a little more accurate....) :)

Aaron

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Topic: 6) Male hysteria (6 of 13), Read 146 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Monday, November 08, 1999 03:27 PM

"There is already a (well, two actually) word(s) for male hysteria - "Shell
shock"."

my initial reaction to this suggestion was a testy "that's preposterous!". but my own research into the possible use of 'testeria' turned up the existence of the words testaceous, having a shell, and testudinal, relating to a tortoise or tortoise shell (from the Latin testa, shell)!

I am suffering from testerical shock.

today's wwftd is...

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Topic: 6) Male hysteria (7 of 13), Read 146 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Theresa Bernsen (bernsent@slu.edu)
Date: Monday, November 08, 1999 10:58 AM

Boys Boys Boys....
I'm afraid I'm still going to have to stick with testeria. After all, the idea behind hysteria is the presumption that your reaction to anxiety is based on your gender & hormonal state, ie those of us with wombs will be stereotypically PMS'y: screaming, weepy, emotional, and illogical when faced with stress. If the use of hysteria brings to mind such stereotypical imagery for women, then cosmic fairness requires that "testeria" should exist for men, ie a testosterone-based reaction to anxiety based on anger and aggression. However, I am sorry this idea makes sensitive beings like Peter feel the need to protect his "boys". Perhaps I should cross my legs the next time I feel hysterical.....
Tess

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Topic: 6) Male hysteria (8 of 13), Read 145 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rick Hodges (rick_hodges@tws.org)
Date: Monday, November 08, 1999 11:27 AM

"Histeria."

That settles that!


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Topic: 6) Male hysteria (9 of 13), Read 39 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Ramon Boza M.D. (rboza@ix.netcom.com)
Date: Monday, November 29, 1999 08:38 PM

Right ! Hysteria is a very ancient term based on the wrong physiopathology.. Indeed there are very histeric men, impulsive, seductive, ready for tantrums, melodramatic, etc. and often times we call them "histrionic" meaning prone to threatics, and is seen as a sort of personality trait. By the way the term histrionic can be used either in men or women, and therefore is gender blind.. Perhaps it may answer the interesting question brought by Ms. Pollack....

Ramon A. Boza MD

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Topic: 6) Male hysteria (10 of 13), Read 39 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Ramon Boza M.D. (rboza@ix.netcom.com)
Date: Monday, November 29, 1999 08:45 PM

Right ! Hysteria is a very ancient term based on the wrong physiopathology.. Indeed there are very hysteric men, impulsive, seductive, ready for tantrums, melodramatic, and the like. and often times we call them "histrionic" meaning prone to theatrics, and is seen as a sort of personality trait. By the way the term histrionic can be used either in men or women, and therefore is gender blind.. Perhaps it may answer the interesting question brought by Ms. Pollack....

Ramon A. Boza MD

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Topic: 6) Male hysteria (11 of 13), Read 101 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Anthony Linnan (anthony.linnan@sru.edu)
Date: Thursday, November 18, 1999 02:30 PM

I agree with Theresa, "testeria" is a good choice. From middle english "testif" for headstrong or old french "teste" for head.
Testeria could be defined as an exaggerated
state of male irritability or ill humor.

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Topic: 6) Male hysteria (12 of 13), Read 85 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Chris Back (chris_back_00@yahoo.com)
Date: Monday, November 22, 1999 03:08 AM

It seems to me we already have a word for this - "berserk."

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Topic: 6)Berserkers (13 of 13), Read 85 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Yok Finnie (yok@yfinnie.demon.co.uk)
Date: Monday, November 22, 1999 09:53 AM

There are still some part-timers around our neck of the woods. When not carefully managed on shore leave, they will rapidly wreck whole towns ... Atavistic, but usually good people to have on your oil rig in emergencies.

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Topic: 6) Male Hysteria (1 of 1), Read 33 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Larry Kling (acmiwsro@aol.com)
Date: Wednesday, November 24, 1999 06:38 PM

Oops, didn't see the "Topic" input area. Mea culpa. Here it is again, with topic:

Item six, Male Hysteria. Although there is a strong movement to
remove gender from our language - no more stewardesses or
stewards on airplanes, only flight attendants, etc., perhaps I can risk
bucking the trend. Instead of hysteria, we could say HERsteria and
HISteria. Or perhaps merely change the "y" to and "i" when referring
to the males.


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Topic: Male Hysteria (1 of 1), Read 11 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Brian Graff (bgraff@ridc.com)
Date: Thursday, December 02, 1999 05:34 PM

>in place of hysteria, how about "testeria", from testes, and
>testosterone.
>
>Definition: behaviour exhibiting inappropriate aggression
>from emotional excess.
>
>Example: Road rage.

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Topic: Male hysteria (1 of 1), Read 67 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Gilbert j Clark (gjclark@telusplanet.net)
Date: Thursday, November 11, 1999 11:05 PM

So-let's try testosterized, which is defined as a display of anger or extreme irritation manifested in a fashion considered consistent with hyper-masculinity. (As opposed to being consistent with aggravated PMS).

Now that I have your attention(I hope), I apologize if I have offended anyone.

One could also be testosterizing-i.e. the process of doing the above.

Enjoy:)

gib clark

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Topic: No Topic (1 of 1), Read 21 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Larry Kling (acmiwsro@aol.com)
Date: Wednesday, November 24, 1999 06:23 PM

Item six, Male Hysteria. Although there is a strong movement to remove gender from our language - no more stewardesses or stewards on airplanes, only flight attendants, etc., perhaps I can risk bucking the trend. Instead of hysteria, we could say HERsteria and HISteria. Or perhaps merely change the "y" to and "i" when referring to the males.


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