In The Alphabet Versus the Goddess, Leonard Shlain sets out to prove the connection between the written word and the rise of misogyny. He says that when communication was based on oral or pictorial mediums the relationships between men and women were equalitarian.
His lengthy work is interesting and compelling. Though I don’t believe he proved his case, the book was a thought provoking look at history and the dynamics between the sexes.
Three-quarters of the way through the book we get to the Renaissance, the advent of the printing press, and masculine hysteria that is without parallel in any other culture: witch hunts.
From 1460 to 1750, thousands of women were hunted and murdered.
Shlain writes, ” . . no superstition that any group of women has ever believed has come close to the level of credulity and psychosis that seized the most educated male elite during the witch craze. As if in a deep hypnotic spell, men accepted as fact a phantasmagoria that defies comprehension—that little girls with pigtails, pregnant women, and weak, elderly widows posed a mortal danger to society.”
“Hysteria” is an unmanageable fear expressed by emotional excess.
I like the idea of coining a word for hysterical misogyny, because it continues today under different guises.
But “testicularia” falls flat on its face. There’s too many syllables and the sound isn’t as poetic as “hysteria,” which easily flows off the tongue. Why use “testicle” as the root of a new word, when we can just as well use “testes”?
I propose the word “testeria.” Testy, hysterical men. Testerical men. Has rhythm.
I just might add them to my vocabulary, so don’t be surprised if you run across the terms in my writing. Not all of us need lexicographers to approve words before we usher them into the language. 🙂
You’re welcome to use the new word when talking about the war on women. Like the silly little slips like Limbaugh’s reference of Fluke as a slut. And more importantly, the greatest travesties of our 21st century: sex slavery, genital mutilation, femicide, bride burning, and Muslim-women flogging.
Feel free to use the word when discussing any mass male hysteria that sends us and our children to war, or launches us into any type of witch hunt.