Monday, December 06, 2004

so much for medicine ...

science, which has become mainly patriarchal, has developed the attitude of “what nature can do, we can do better”. i know many science students whose hackles immediately rise at such a statement. but consider these random examples of scientific objectives -

plant, vegetables and fruits. properties present naturally to be “enhanced” by genetic engineering
life. cloning.
death. create cryogenically frozen corpses to be restored to life later.
the human body. cosmetic surgery. we’ll sculpt the body to perfection.
the brain. creation of neural network systems for computers to mimic, and then improve.

i said “patriarchal” sciences. id say the foremost examples of that are in medicine, in the fields of obstetrics and gynaecology. (my pet topics in allopathy - im saving up psychiatry for a seperate session!) if you look at how the medical profession has screwed up womens health, its quite a story. and im not even looking at disasters like thalidomide. im talking about the fundamentals themselves being flawed.

lets look at obgyn. as things stand today, there are more male doctors with this specialisation than female. funny thing huh.

the doctor today knows better than the woman herself, and confidently asserts that she is incapable of delivering her baby without “professional help”. read: without being pushed into a white tiled room stinking of disinfectant, prodded with different instruments, surrounded by men in white coats, and subjected to their impersonal scrutiny and techincal jargon, when what she most needs is to be surrounded by loving, concerned people to encourage and support her through the ordeal of a lifetime. but hey, its no big deal – mister doctor says so. dont fuss, your menstrual cramps are not so painful. youre not fit to ovulate, conceive or deliver without his intervention. but lucky you – hes there to punch holes in you, cut you up, remould and recast you.... whats a couple of thousands if he can design you better than nature did eh?

somehow, all these male doctors have the whole reproductive system figured out to a t! so much for all those generations of women whove experienced the phenomena of conception, child birth, menstruation etc.

the way the general medical community abuses women and causes them pain and suffering instead of helping them, continues to be an issue thats still not talked about, but is very real. id say its one of the critical areas requiring feminist rethinking today.



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