One random bit of woo I encountered from a relative who first heard it on Oprah: Dr. Christian Northrup’s theory of thyroid pathogenesis.
In many women thyroid dysfunction develops because of an energy blockage in the throat region, the result of a lifetime of “swallowing” words one is aching to say. In the name of preserving harmony, or because these women have learned to live as relatively helpless members of their families or social groups, they have learned to stifle their self-expression
Makes sense: The thyroid is in the throat…where the words come from!
Look, the whole business of women being interrupted and devalued and dismissed and ignored – that’s a real problem. It causes many kinds of harm, not the least of which happens when a doctor dismisses a woman’s claim of feeling exhausted all the time and as a result, misses her thyroid condition. And yes, social inequality and oppression certainly can cause/contribute to the disparity in rates of mental health in different populations. The obvious and extreme example of that is psychological trauma from rape or war causing post traumatic stress disorder, a very real, neurobiological condition.
But this isn’t that. This is a person using a nonsense etiology – the fuck is an ‘energy blockage?’ – to piggyback onto a real disparity (hey guys, be aware of how much you’re talking and interrupting, and opt to stfu more in conversation, because women are perceived as “dominating” a conversation if we speak more than 30% of the time) to encourage women to blame their intimate partners for a condition they did not actually cause.
It’s really not too far removed from accusations of witchcraft.
Featured image represents the etiology of the growth of bipedal-adapted hind appendages in most women.