Unwell Women: A Journey Through Medicine And Myth in a Man-Made World
‘We are taught that medicine is the art of solving our body’s mysteries. And as a science, we expect medicine to uphold the principles of evidence and impartiality. We want our doctors to listen to us and care for us as people. But we also need their assessments of our pain and fevers, aches and exhaustion to be free of any prejudice. Prejudice about who we are, our gender, or the colour of our skin. But medicine carries the burden of its own troubling history. The history of medicine, of illness, is a history of people, of their bodies and their lives, not just physicians, surgeons, clinicians and researchers. And medical progress has always reflected the realities of a changing world, and the meanings of being human.’
In Unwell Women, Elinor Cleghorn unpacks the roots of the perpetual misunderstanding, mystification and misdiagnosis of women’s bodies. She traces the journey from the ‘wandering womb’ of ancient Greece, the rise of witch trials in Medieval Europe, through the dawn of Hysteria, to modern day understandings of autoimmune diseases, the menopause and conditions like endometriosis.
This wonderful book is packed with character studies of women who have suffered, challenged and rewritten medical orthodoxy. It draws on her own experience of un-diagnosed Lupus disease – this is a ground-breaking and timely exposé of the medical world and woman’s place within it.
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