Ever heard someone say someone else is “gaslighting”? What does it mean to “gaslight” someone? What do we make of this word “crazy” that gaslighting implies? Is it merely accidental that the victim is nearly always feminized? We explore the implications of the term through the madwives (women diagnosed with schizophrenia) of the 1950s, films featuring gaslighting, and the current way the term is used in the media and social media to ask what it can teach us about our relations with one another and what gets lost in its current form.


Songs and sounds in this episode include:

Submarine Intro Song – Fizz

Clip from “Gaslight” (1944)

“To You” – Tommy Dorsey and Jack Leonard

“Haunted House Blues” – Bessie Smith

“Crazy Blues” – Mamie Smith

3 songs were produced and mixed by Sasha Durakov using sounds by users wolfhard.lieber, offthesky, jamesabdulrahman, and insinger from freesounds.org under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

*Post image by Laure Pigeon, a 20th century French spiritual medium and painter.

One thought on “ The Underbelli Podcast #2 – The Madwives’ Blues: Gaslights, Masculinity, and Psychiatry ”

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