A WATERSTONES BEST BOOK OF 2022: POPULAR SCIENCEAN iNEWS BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF 2022A TELEGRAPH BIG IDEAS BOOK 2022’Read this book and feel furious, uplifted and galvanised to take its findings out into the world and fight for change’ – LAURA BATESEmotions can be difficult things to define, yet we all recognise them when we feel them or see them in others. How we interpret those emotions and act on them has been heavily gendered, as far back as Ancient Greek and Roman times and – despite the improvements in societal equality – continues to be today.
We’ve all heard the sayings that girls should be ‘sugar and spice and all things nice’, while ‘boys don’t cry’. In Hysterical, Pragya Agarwal dives deep into the history and science that has determined the gendering of emotions to ask whether there is any truth in the notion of innate differences between the male and female experience of emotions. She examines the impact this has on men and women – especially the role it has played in the subjugation of women throughout history – and how a future where emotions are ungendered might look.