Snow White Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Laughter, pleasure, malice, and the pursuit of adult fun

Women and Anxiety: Understanding Women's Fears

We need to understand that anxiety is in our heads, not out of our hands; we pick and choose our fears, and polish them up with secret attention. Even if we don’t display them, we still own them, and that means we can make use of them or throw them away—or change them—if we choose. Read More


I couldn't disagree with this article more. A child loses a parent to death and has developed a fear of loss of loved one. He doesn't wish for something harmful to happen to loved ones (how sordid, what kind of person thinks this way) but fears it nonetheless because of his own experience as a child. Are you saying anyone who has anxiety has a wish for bad things to happen? That truly is the most ridiculous concept I have ever come across and does not help with people with anxieties at all but makes them feel crazy!!

Not how I read it.

Anonymous wrote:
Are you saying anyone who has anxiety has a wish for bad things to happen?

I'm not sure I got that impression from the piece. It is a well documented fact, though, that repressed fears can lead to autonomous desires for destructive violence against others or self and provocations for violence against self. As if there is an unconscious need to bring substance to an insubstantial or imagined fear so that it can be aligned with reality and acted upon. Such behaviours, for instance, are heavily associated with some "Borderline" behaviours where there is dysregulation of the amygdala when associated with relational intimacies. The suggestion is that the need for violence is driven by non conscious processes rather than conscious wish.

I certainly wouldn't judge anyone as sordid, dear reader, but I also believe...

that unwarranted fears (of, in my case, flying) might originate from a repressed sense of depression or a funneled sense of panic (which, interestingly enough, given your comment, started after my mother died) without the person who suffers from it understanding it. No one deliberately thinks this way; it's an unconscious reaction (see Freud’s "Three Case Histories": “And thereupon the idea had come to him that she would be kind to him if some misfortune were to befall him; and as an instance of such a misfortune his father's death had forced itself upon his mind. He had at once rejected the idea with energy. And even now he could not admit the possibility that what had arisen in this way could have been a "wish"; it had clearly been no more than a "’connection of thought’")

It Depends!

Fears are of different types, of which one type of fear comes from our past mistakes. For example, if we had done something wrong in the past and are now in the panic of being caught, then fear can arise. Fear can also arise because of a bad dream. Therefore, it does not necessarily mean that fear is a sign of our bad deeds. It can also be due to unacceptance or truth or facts.

I get the point of this

I get the point of this article. We're supposed to dial it down.

However, important to note, if women didn't have any of these feelings or anxieties about *others* in their lives, they would be so much more like men. They would pretty much BE men. Then society would be ... (just fill in the adjectives).

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Gina Barreca, Ph.D., is Professor of English at UConn, and author of It's Not That I'm Bitter: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World.


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