Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Women, pain, and mental illness

The Atlantic has an article on women's pain being taken less seriously. I found this article compelling, especially in terms of this class, and a little digging found that often women's pain is misdiagnosed as mental illness, or dismissed as all in her head.

Likewise, the author of the Atlantic article said he found that standards of pain were developed on the male bilogical model as what is normal, and that accordingly, women's pain presents differently and seems off the mark. This model holds true not only with pain, but with all major categories of physical health, including heart attacks, which are often dismissed when women have them, or misdiagnosed as a panic attack.

We in feminism often say that biology isn't destiny, and that is certainly true; but what happens when biology is ignored? Isn't this just as wrong, and physically harmful, as treating each other as separate socially? Isn't medicine the one area that really has an obligation to investigate women and men differently?