It shows how the popular modern thinkers were not so modern in their thinking when it came down to the equal treatment of genders.
Though we know that society and history have not been kind to females, it's difficult to perceive the magnitude of things that they faced on multiple fronts. Imagine being considered a nuisance by the cool philosophers and thinkers who were admired for their progressive thought.
How would you feel? Among many such ignorant things, medical science has taken its time catching up with, is hysteria in women.
After being recently decoded, a 2000-year old document had some controversial things to say about female hysteria. The literature reveals the old beliefs the society, and even the men of science had about women not getting adequate sex, a report by the Daily Mail confirms. Written by a Roman physician Galen, it states that women become hysterical when they do not get enough sex in their lives. Convenient for sanity-loving men, isn't it?
The medical condition that is discussed with much detail in the ancient text is called 'hysterical apnea'. It's the experts of the University of Basel, Switzerland, who suggested that it was Galen who could have written the text.
The document was kept there since the late 18th century. The decoding of the papyrus was only possible when it was seen in infrared and ultraviolet lights - which revealed that the document was a collection of sheets glued together.
'We can now say that it's a medical text from late antiquity that describes the phenomenon of "hysterical apnea",' said Dr. Huebner.
The text paints a bleak picture for women during the dawn of civilizations. The writings say that when the females did not get enough intimate experiences, their uterus went too dry to contain itself in one place. Plainly saying that their organ moved around in their abdomen, looking for moisture.
And in its quest for that moisture, when it would come in contact with the liver, a sudden suffocation would be its result - called 'hysterical apnea'.
Apnea literally means the end of the air-flow to the lungs.
Galen would have probably been subjected to a lot of violence by the feminists for his suggested cure. He said that women should repress the stimuli which could excite them and consume herbs to facilitate the process. And, marriage was another alternative cure for the problem.
There were a wide array of symptoms that people used to look out for, which were mainly states of insomnia, sexual desire, or more 'detailed' ob such as 'tendency to cause trouble.'
The overdriven bias that propelled the thought was spotted by later theorists and psychologists, but way later down the line. Thought hysterical apnea is no longer a medically recognized condition, women were subjected to horrifying damnation and brutality due to unscientific beliefs.
Even the likes of Plato, Aristotle, and Hippocrates were convinced that lack of sex in females upset the uterus. It was only the later understanding of another condition called the conversion disorder that led to a clearer view on hysterical apnea.
It was when W.B Carpenter and J.A. Omerod who refuted the notion of hysteria as a phenomenon, by stating that the condition could not be back by any practical evidence.
For much of people's surprise, even Freud said that both women and men could suffer from the problem. A similar assertion was made by Pierre Janet who said that the condition could be more psychological than anatomical, and could also come from the power of suggestion.
In one of the most traumatic times of the history, the town of Salem, Massachusettes saw a violent outbreak of the hysteria and women were persecuted for being witches. The phase was popularly known as Salem Witch Trials, of the 1692 and 1693.
The document opens a window into the ignorant past and how labeling the other gender came naturally to the folks. Is it the patriarchy? or is it the assumed ignorance of darkness that keeps us from seeing the truth for what it is?