Complaints and Disorders: The Sexual Politics of Sickness
Author: Barbara Ehrenreich, Deirdre English
Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY
Release Date: January 01, 1993
In this exciting sequel to their underground bestseller, Witches, Midwives, and Nurses, Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English document the tradition of American sexism in medicine before and after the turn of the century. Citing vivid examples, including numerous "treatments" and "rest cures" perpetrated on women through the decades, the authors analyze the biomedical rationale used to justify the wholesale sex discrimination throughout our culture-in education, in jobs, and in public life. Ever since Hippocrates, male medics have treated women as the "weaker" sex. By the late 19th century, when the authority of religious documents had waned, the ultimate rationale for sex discrimination became solely biomedical. In this intriguing pamphlet, the authors raise the diffuclt question: "How sick-or well-are women today?" They assert that feminists today want more than "more": "We want a new style, and we want a new substance of medical practice as it relates to women."