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What's the Story behind the Term "Gas Lighting?" - 16oct21


Patrick Hamilton deconstructed

a rather insidious form of toxic masculinity

in his 1938 play, “Gas Light.”


Set in Victorian London,

the villain marries a woman

for the riches he suspects

are hidden in her attic.


The home is gas lit

and whenever he pokes around the attic

he inadvertently steps on the gas lines

causing the lights to dim.


Upon asking her husband about the dimming lights,

he insists they are NOT dimming

and that her perceptions must be delusional.


Gas lighting is about two things:

disempowerment and control.


Whether it is a greedy husband

driving his wife to question her sanity,


or it’s Grand Moff Tarkin

striving to convince princes Leia

that the destruction of Alderaan


was not due to his treachery

but rather her gullibility.

Let us conclude

with a simple

call to action


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