Historic Examples of Gaslighting

If we learned anything from the Old Testament it's that God tried to make every chick look crazy.


The term ‘gaslighting’ has become popular in the past few years thanks to articles like Yashar Ali’s message to women and innumerable lady warriors who call that bullshit out on the daily. If you aren’t familiar with the term, “gaslighting” is when someone (USUALLY A MAN) dismisses you or attempts to shame and control you by calling you crazy, even though you are acting pretty normal. Usually this is done with such false earnestness and finesse that you begin to doubt your own sanity and think Fuck, maybe I am crazy?!. Well, you aren’t! This shit has been going on forever. Below is just a sampling of the worst gaslighting incidents in history:

A snake talked her into eating an apple and now all of original sin is her fault! But who put that snake there? God did. Like, don’t put a talking evil snake in your zen garden, God, and then be like “Oh, don’t pay attention to that freak of nature.”

I’m restraining myself and only pointing out two moments of God gaslighting some poor girl, but I’m sure the Old Testament is chock-full ‘em, so please let me know if there are sad stories I missed. We’re all on this time machine together! Anyways, God makes Mary fuckin’ pregnant, won’t even tell her himself (sends that dude Gabriel to relay the message) and then is like, “oh you should have known this was going to happen, go tell everyone you’re pregnant but also know that no one can see me and a lot of people don’t think I’m real.”

Rosalind Franklin
Homegirl put in a lot of time figuring out the molecular structure of DNA, only to have Crick and Watson roll into that science party and fuckin’ SNATCH it from her. Those dicks went on to win a ton of awards, shake a bunch of hands and hoist some trophies over their shoulders. Franklin couldn’t even tell people that she was the one who did all of the work because people would’ve been like, “A woman?! Ha! The only DNA that concerns you is the one duplicating in your belly, i.e., HAVE MORE BABIES!!!!”

Zelda Fitzgerald
Ah yes, Zelda: America and Woody Allen’s favorite crazy lady! Except she wasn’t crazy! History just made her crazy so that F. Scott could seem more loyal and romantic. In fact, he was the one who promoted her “insanity”:

In a journal entry outlining his divorce strategy if Zelda insisted on continuing to write fiction, Scott noted: “Attack on all grounds. Play (suppress), novel (delay), pictures (suppress), character (showers), child (detach), schedule (disorient to cause trouble), no typing. Probable result – new breakdown.” In the event, Zelda capitulated and Scott allowed the novel to be published with several cuts.

Uhm, more like F.U. Scott Fitzgerald!

Darlene Love
Phil Spector signed Love to his record label with promises of fame and fortune, but he ended up just taking her recordings and crediting them to “The Crystals.” When she tried to complain about how messed up that was, he probably just held up her contract between his gnarled fingers and was like “I own you,” which was unfortunately true. But jokes on YOU, motherfucka, because Darlene Love just won an Oscar and you’re serving your eighth year in prison.

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