read: 29 July 2003
This book had a great title, and a fascinating question: why do women [or anyone really] become agoraphobic? what makes people unable to leave their homes, even in the face of really serious hurdles they have to deal with if they won’t go out? This book, and its conclusions, seem a bit dated It has a lot of case studies of women who became agoraphobic, what their situations were, and what eventually helped them out. The upshot, according to these authors, is that women get this way because we live in a patriarchical society and, like hysterical women of yore, agoraphobia is a woman’s silent protest.
While I don’t doubt that many of the women in this book were having issues along these lines -- being single women with careers and lives and then getting married and suddenly expected to quit their jobs and serve their husbands -- it seems a bit oversimplistic to say that this is the only thing that causes agoraphobia. I enjoyed the book and the research and case studies the authors presented, but didn’t totally buy the premise it was supporting.
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