Chances are you haven't, but you may have heard someone call a woman hysterical.
I recently read Rebecca Solnit's Män förklarar saker för mig / Men explain things to me.
In the book Rebecca describes that the word hysterical comes from the greek word hysteria which means uterus. When women were "hysterical" and showed extreme emotions and confusion, an explanation was needed. So an explanation was made up.
Hysteria came from - prepare for this explanation - "a wandering uterus".
Meaning that men could not be hysterical.
Today it is easy to laugh or shrug at this ridiculous explanation. Wandering uteruses. Who on earth came up with that?
Coming up with an explanation to prove what you believe, or what you want others to believe, is not uncommon. It happens all the time.
Women cannot... because...
Men cannot... because...
Black people cannot... because...
Jews cannot... because...
Explanations are not proof. They are justifications for something someone believes in.
Don't buy into explanations without using your own common sense.
Don't let anyone fool you.
And most of all - don't let yourself fool you, by explaining why you cannot do something you could do - if you weren't afraid of failing.Look beyond the explanation.
That is where you will find the truth.