“The spy-camera gyno is every woman’s worst nightmare – and a wake-up call”

“As “women’s medicine” became a more popular specialty, medical students often polished their skills, such as they were, on black women because it was distinctly improper to lift the skirts and peer at the genitalia of white women. J Marion Sims,called the father of gynecology, honed his craft and developed his namesake Sim’s speculum – one of the essential medical instruments for OB-GYNS to this day – through public and private examinations and operations on enslaved women (and later on impoverished Irish immigrants)… He performed these procedures mostly without anesthesia because, like many of his colleagues, he opined that black women were almost impervious to pain.”

Relatedly: Am I not a woman?, and this essay describing the impacts of slavery on medicine

Ugh, too many things are shitty.


Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Jess Brooks’s story.