Throughout its long history, medicine – as a form of knowledge and a practical art of healing – has always reflected and endorsed social and cultural ideas about who women are and how they should live.
As modern medicine progressed from its foundations in ancient Greece, sexist theories about women’s bodies and minds as naturally defective and delirious continued to shape emerging medical understanding. From the notion of the ‘wandering womb’ to the persecution of women for acts of witchcraft, and from the doctrine of female nervousness in the 18th century to the precedent of hysteria in the 19th century, medicine for women was continually influenced by pervasive myths of womanhood and femininity.
In this talk, Dr Elinor Cleghorn races through the early history of male-dominated medicine from the antiquity to the late 19th century, revealing how this egregious gender mythologising justified some often harrowing medical and surgical interventions into so-called ‘women’s troubles.’ Along the way, Elinor will introduce a cast of extraordinary women – physicians, surgeons, writers, activists, and patients – who courageously challenged medical misogyny and rewrote the history of women’s bodies, minds, and lives.
About Dr Elinor Cleghorn
Dr Elinor Cleghorn is a feminist cultural historian specialising in histories of women’s lives, bodies, and health. Elinor is the author of Unwell Women: A Journey through Medicine and Myth in a Man-Made World, an exploration of the relationship between women and medical thought and practice over 2000 years of history, which was published in the UK and the US in June 2021.
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Disclaimer: All information given is correct at the time of compiling the listings. Any questions about the event should be directed to the event organiser.2022-05-26 18:15 2022-05-26 18:15 Europe/London Defective and Delirious: A History of Unwell Women In this talk, Dr Elinor Cleghorn races through the early history of male-dominated medicine from the antiquity to the late 19th century, https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/calendar/2022/05/26/defective-and-delirious-a-history-of-unwell-women-294601 Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret,9a St Thomas Street, London,London,
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