For Women’s History Month, Samantha Bee Dives Into the History of Women’s Pain
And the Male-Dominated Medical Industry That Ignores It
For Women’s History Month, Samantha Bee delved into one particular aspect of the lives of far too many women: pain. Specifically, the seemingly mystifying and uncurable pain of endometriosis and other uterine disorders. (Or, “Why You Have to Take Birth Control for Every Damn Lady Thing.”)
With the help of Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne, Lady Bird), Bee illustrates some of the horrific ways in which the male-dominated medical industry has tried to deal with women’s health issues over the centuries. And while we can be glad that the days of branding uterine pain a sign of witchcraft and attempting to use sexual stimulation as a cure (not to mention the whole committing-women-to-asylums-for-“hysteria” thing), modern medicine doesn’t exactly make understanding women’s pain a priority.
Not only is there no cure for endometriosis, but women’s pain just isn’t taken seriously. As Bee notes, it takes an average of six to eight years for a woman to get an accurate diagnosis. Only recently did doctors start to acknowledge that menstrual cramps can be as painful as a heart attack, to which women everywhere responded, “Yeah, no duh.” Doctors prescribe birth control to deal with a whole range of issues that have nothing to do with preventing pregnancy, and half of our government still wants to stop us from having access to it.
“Because,” as Bee says, “women’s healthcare is still shrouded in the same fear, shame, and condescension that has been surrounding the female body since some dude made up a story about some lady stealing an apple to justify why he hates women.”
Happy Women’s History Month, everybody!
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