Fibromyalgia: The Mark of Shame?

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”, Maya Angelou

On June 3rd I heard a documentary on CBC radio talking about the mark of shame, the culture of shame and how it makes one feel. There is so much about the visibilities of women’s bodies that cause us to hide  perceived imperfections, in particular the dyeing of our hair so as not to look old, plastic surgery to hide our wrinkles, over use of cosmetics, whitening of our teeth, even the marketing of products to enhance the colour of vaginas!  We can never measure up to the standards set for us by the big businesses of the  multi national corporations  who prey on our insecurities. The cosmetic industry is constantly thinking up new ways to make us feel insecure and shameful if we do not keep up appearances of a youthful woman. We must always be thought of as sexually desirable dictated by our outward appearance. That isn’t to say that I am morally judging those who use whatever means they can to feel good about their outward appearance. Rather, it is meant to point out that we are often prone to hide the fact from ourselves that we cannot stay or look like we are in our 20s forever.While none of this understanding of women’s attempt to look like the Hollywood definition of beauty was any surprise  or new to me, having taught in a women’s studies program for many years, nonetheless it got me to thinking about  conditions that are invisible and about which we have shame because we cannot measure up to standards of health, for example, with fibromyalgia.

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Fibromyalgia: Men/ Women/ Sensitivity and Empathy

“Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it”, George Carlinp1010023

To-day one of my favourite comedians died. I shall miss his humour and while I obviously agree with Carlin’s view that both men and women are from earth, I cannot be quite so cavalier about dealing with many known differences. Sensitivity and empathy, for example, are human emotions that are often expressed very differently among men and women and both of these affect or may even be responsible for fibromyalgia.

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