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L.

I don`t mind doctors of either gender, as long as I feel comfortable with their manner. Male OB/GYNs delivered all my babies, and I`ve had some bad experiences with female nurses who were rough and/or inconsiderate. (I DO have a STRONG preference for Western doctors over Japanese doctors.)

That said -- I understand why women would prefer female doctors and men prefer male doctors. It seems intuitive that you would want someone to know exactly what something feels like. Someone wiser than me once said, "Going to a male OB/GYN is like going to a mechanic who`s never driven a car."

The Happy Feminist

The other thing is that I TRIED to undergo an examination with a male doctor in which I viewed it as simply a clinical experience-- but the male DOCTOR couldn't seem to view it as just a clinical event.

j0

Be happy, Happy, that you have a choice in choosing a female ob/gyn. Now that I've moved to a much smaller community I had a choice between female ob/gyns that were affiliated with the local catholic hospital (so no birth control - even for a married woman!) or male ob/gyns. Not sure why there isn't an "independent" female ob/gyn practice here - I'd think there would be demand, but this is what there is. Fortunately, the male ob/gyn practice has a really cool female phys. asst., but still . . . would SO much rather have a woman dr. b/c when I talk symptoms or issues there's a decent chance that a woman would have felt what I'm talking about & as mentioned in prior posts they tend to be more gentle with the whole process.

Richard

>>> It is just ingrained in me, rightly or wrongly, that you don't get naked in front of the opposite sex, EXCEPT in a sexual scenario. It also somehow feels more vulnerable to be naked and examined by someone with a different set of reproductive equipment than I.

I'd love to hear a full analysis of this from you sometime. Why is nakedness limited to "a sexual scenario" for you? Why not also a medical scenario? And the vulnerable part is interesting too. If I understand what you're saying it's that because the male doctor has a penis and you don't, then you don't want him to actually *see* that you don't have one, because then you'll feel susceptible (vulnerable) to ... to ... to what, exactly? I don't understand. Is it just a silly cultural thing we'd be better off getting over? Could it be that whether your doc is male or female really *should* be irrelevant?

And I can't let your thick unwavering support of Twisty go unchallenged. I'm glad you adore her, but I hope that's only as one of god's creatures.

Twisty writes in the post you linked to: "This patronizing arrogance [of the doctors] is astonishing, but not surprising, given the supremely misogynistic nature of the medical establishment."

So Happy, do you think America's medical establishment is supremely hateful of women? Hmm? Don't give her a pass now. I haven't taken anything out of context. Words mean something, and that is exactly what she said. BTW, she had 158 responses to that post. Not a single one of her sisters challenged her on that comment. None. Can you see how some people might think she has issues? Her blog is full of stuff every bit as harebrained.

Richard

Clarification: The word "thick" in my above comment does not mean "stupid". (I know better.) It means "lavish".

The Happy Feminist

Richard:

1) Of course, Twisty means exactly what she says. One thing that I particularly appreciate about her is that she has an excellent command of the English language. The precision with which she uses language shines through.

2) Your use of the word "sisters" strikes me as patronizing. Why would you consider the readers of Twisty's blog to be her "sisters?" First, what makes you think they're all women? (They're not.) Second, why would you call them "sisters" rather than simply "readers of her blog" or "like-minded readers of her blog?" I know some feminist somewhere has talked about "sisterhood" but that term refers to the idea of women supporting each other's equality, freedom, and dignity. The term doesn't have any place in a reference to a group of people who read the same blog and talk about ideas and who DON'T use this term.

3) I am not up on feminist critiques of the medical establishment, but I know enough to know that feminist scholars and critics have written about a long history of contempt and even hatred for women in that profession. This is an established area of feminist work. I can't say that I am prepared to talk as an expert about the subject but here are some examples that leap to mind just from my very casual reading:


-- From the New Yorker: The inventor of the pill purposely designed it so that women would continue to menstruate each month because he believed that is an important part of being a woman. (If that isn't hatred, what is?)

-- There is an established history of doctors disbelieving their women patients' account of their symptoms. (I experienced this myself from a doctor who refused to believe me when I said there was no way I could be pregnant.)

-- Freud, for all his excellent contributions to the thought of the 20th century, surely hated women, and one would have to be foolish to believe that his hatred did not trickle down to the rest of the profession of psychiatry.

-- Some criticize the practice of having women lie back in stirrups to give birth -- it's not necessarily the best or most effective or most comfortable position, except for the doctor. It's certainly the position designed to give the woman the least control possible over what's going on.

-- The examples in Twisty's post support the notion of contempt for women by doctors. We have doctors TODAY advocating that the woman's preferences be overriden.

-- If I recall the New Yorker article on cervical cancer correctly, there was a lot of discussion about how doctors were taught in medical school that cervical cancer patients were "bad" women or "fallen" women because it is a sexually transmitted disease.

-- I am aware of numerous hair-raising examples of women being "punished" or treated badly by doctors for having sex outside of marriage. There have been some examples given just recently on some feminist blogs, but I can't be bothered to find the examples right now.

4) This is just off the top of my head and medicine is an area that I haven't really focused on. Suffice it to say, that whether you agree with Twisty or not (and I sometimes disagree), I have never had the impression that what she says cannot be defended. It's a valid point of view.

5) You're just mad because she called you a "dork."

will

"-- From the New Yorker: The inventor of the pill purposely designed it so that women would continue to menstruate each month because he believed that is an important part of being a woman. (If that isn't hatred, what is?)"

Is this true? I seem to recall serious discussions even now about whether a period is necessary.


"-- There is an established history of doctors disbelieving their women patients' account of their symptoms. (I experienced this myself from a doctor who refused to believe me when I said there was no way I could be pregnant.)"

Once again, I believe this is largely the result of the way the physician-patient relationship was viewed. I suspect that you will find fewer doctors able to stay in practice who do not believe the patient to be part of the process.

Doctors also regularly deal with people who are incredibly stupid/naive about their bodies and pregnancy. As you probably see in your law practice, your clients lie to you even when you tell them strenously how important the truth is. I think doctors have to be cautious about simply believing their patients.


"-- The examples in Twisty's post support the notion of contempt for women by doctors. We have doctors TODAY advocating that the woman's preferences be overriden. "

My problem was with the idea that male doctors should be viewed with contempt and as perverts. I do not have any issue with a woman prefering a female doctor.


"-- If I recall the New Yorker article on cervical cancer correctly, there was a lot of discussion about how doctors were taught in medical school that cervical cancer patients were "bad" women or "fallen" women because it is a sexually transmitted disease."

At that time, ob/gyn residency programs were predominately men. Now, those programs are predominately women. I do not think it is unusual that doctors believe what they were taught in school. This is why I think it is largely an issue of doctors then v. doctors now.

The Happy Feminist

Right. My impression is that the history of the medical profession's attitude towards women is pretty dreadful. I am sure there are feminists who have thought a lot more about this subject who can make a better case than I. (My mother by the way loathes doctors and felt that she was pretty badly treated by doctors, especially when she was pregnant and then caring for me as an infant circa 1971-72.) As for the current state of affairs, I don't really know-- mainly because I only see women doctors, and my health is generally pretty good. My main point is that I don't buy into the notion that Twisty's statement is "hare-brained" or without support.

will

"My main point is that I don't buy into the notion that Twisty's statement is "hare-brained" or without support. "

Which statement?

"some doctors are mysogynistic assholes." Sure. I agree completely. Maybe even, a lot.


The Happy Feminist

The statement Richard was complaining about:

"This patronizing arrogance [of the doctors] is astonishing, but not surprising, given the supremely misogynistic nature of the medical establishment."

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