gaslighting, to gaslight, to be gaslighted

Gaslighting is a term that refers to the Hollywood movie “Gaslight” (1944, starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer). In the film, a man tries to make his wife doubt her own perception of reality through systematic manipulation until she starts to believe that she is crazy.

The term ‘gaslighting’ describes the subjective experience of a person or group that their own perception is repeatedly questioned by another person or group (source: Wikipedia, checked in November 2023).

It was coined in the course of discussions about discrimination against people of colour by people of European origin in the USA. According to Wikipedia, the term “gaslighting” has also been used internationally since around 2010.

In the dialogue within Namibian society about Namibia’s past and about discrimination in everyday life today, there are repeated complaints about gaslighting.

Gaslighting - Gaslight movie 1944 poster

Poster of the Hollywood movie ‘Gaslight’ of 1944. Source: Wikipedia (downloaded: November 2023)


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