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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