Patriarchy and mental health: Beatrice Frasl digs deep into the bowels of our "sick" healthcare system.
Mental health is political
In countries like Germany and Austria, we can rely on emergency medical care. If there is an accident, an ambulance is called, patients are taken to hospital and treated as quickly as possible. That goes without saying, right? After all, it would be inconceivable for us to be sent home with a broken bone, including a waiting period of six weeks. Until a treatment place is available. However, the situation is similar in the area of mental illness. This is because our healthcare system, as part of our social system, perpetuates inequalities. Social and economic background, cultural conditions and the neoliberal idea of performance determine who is healthy and who is not, who is allowed to be ill and, ultimately, who has access to treatment and who is denied it.
Inequality in mental health care concerns us all!
Wondering what gender and mental health care have in common? What patriarchy has to do with the diagnosis of illness? Spoiler alert: a lot! The reason why women are affected by depression and anxiety disorders so much more often than men, but why men are less likely to see a doctor and seek treatment, is partly due to the stereotypical ideas and role models that we have learned growing up. And: being a woman in a patriarchy means danger on many levels. The lack of economic security, the physical and psychological violence to which women are much more frequently exposed and the double burden of work and care work on women's shoulders are additional reasons why women belong to the risk group and are again disadvantaged by inadequate health care.
Stigmatization and taboo: How can we deal with mental illness?
The fact that mental health care is not a matter of course is closely linked to the pathologization of certain human feelings that do not fit into the capitalist system. Women in particular, their bodies and their perceptions are and have always been an instrument for exercising patriarchal control. Gender roles, the "diagnosis gap" and social power relations - Beatrice Frasl shows in this book that talking about mental health is a feminist act, an act that can give us all back power over ourselves.
Beatrice Fr asl is a cultural scientist/gender researcher, podcaster, columnist and always: a feminist. In her work, she has been exploring the gaps in the healthcare system, mental illness and feminism for years. In her podcast "Große Töchter" (Big Daughters), she deals with gender-specific, socio-political issues. As @fraufrasl, she raises awareness about mental health and feminism on social media. Her goal? Better access to therapy for everyone and: the final end to patriarchyThis content has been machine translated.