Tag Archives: women’s pain

Biology, social conditioning, sex and pain

29 Jan

(Originally posted to the Community forum at MyMedia)

So.

#MeToo.

Women talking for a few weeks (perhaps just over a month?*) about their experiences with different levels of sexual violence/assault/harassment.

Lo and behold, to most women’s sorrow, yet utter lack of surprise, it turns out the most of the women we know have suffered some sort of sexual violence, and sometimes several different kinds, sometimes more than once over the course of their lives, sometimes at the hands of several different men.

And the natural response, from #notallmen, is to express their dismay that all this outpouring of female suffering…will make their dating lives harder.

That men will become afraid of dating, because “accusations of sexual abuse/domestic partner violence ruin lives!” (I can off the top of my head name at least an even dozen of male celebrities whose professional lives have suffered NO HARM, regardless of how many people bring receipts–hello, Woody Allen, Johnny Depp, Chris Brown, Casey Affleck, Donald Trump, Floyd Maywather, Kobe Bryant, Azis Ansari, Mike Tyson, James Franco, Al Franken, Joel Kramer, Kevin Spacey).

That mostly women accuse men to ‘gain something’ or ‘for revenge’ (the ultimate whine on that vein: Larry Nassar’s letter to the sentencing judge quoting ‘hell hath no fury’).

And, the icing on the WTAF cake: that women should consider/understand/learn about how men cannot control themselves because ‘biology.’ That this is ‘just how men are.’ The pseudo grown up version of ‘boys will be boys,’ if you will.

So, let’s talk biology, social conditioning, and pain.
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Did you know…? (Women’s pain, once more)

20 Aug

(Originally posted to the Community section of MyMedia)

(Please see note at the end)

Who here knew that men can be diagnosed with–and die from–breast cancer?

Oh, you didn’t. Well, it’s true.

It is a hell of a lot less common than prostrate cancer, but it happens. It has also had some pretty visible crusaders among famous/celebrity women, and it’s seen often as a blameless illness: it’s in the genes, so if anyone in your family had it at some point, it’s not your ‘fault’ you got it.

But, what about vulvodynia or vaginismus?

First, who is just hearing about these for the first time right now?

Yeah, thought so.

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Round up of links: International Women’s Day

4 Aug

Below the fold are a number of links to different pieces on sexism, which were originally posted to this thread, in the Community section of MyMedia during June and July.

Some of the

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Women’s pain, again.

21 Mar

(Originally posted to the Community section of MyMedia)

I have linked to some stuff on the incredible gender bias in healthcare before.

Here’s a recent BuzzFeed piece, with 29 accounts of specific cases in which women’s health concerns and pain were dismissed out of hand–and some of the indelible, lifelong negative consequences of said dismissal.

This is not new, and while it’s more prevalent among male health providers, even female doctors and nurse practitioners have been indoctrinated into dismissing female pain as exaggerated. We are expected to soldier on, regardless, and we often do, because we also, often, have no choice.

But the fact that we take it doesn’t alleviate the responsibility of those causing harm by dismissing our voices and our knowledge of our own bodies.

Women, pain, and the gender gap in healthcare.

23 May

Originally posted to the Community section at MyMedia.

This one is very tough to write about, for very personal reasons: the incredible gender bias in health care. How many times are women patients in critical circumstances, sent home with what is, essentially, a pat on the head, only to suffer severe health consequences later? That is not a rhetorical question, by the way. The answer is: several times more than men.

Some of you reading may remember reading on the news about a woman in Florida who was asked to leave the emergency room, since there was ‘nothing wrong with her,’ only to die right outside the hospital as the cops who had arrested her for non-compliance were trying to get her into the patrol car. Even as she’s lying on the floor, dying, people around her insist that there’s ‘nothing wrong with her.’

It’s easy to find excuses in the media for this particular case. She was loud, and had a history of being disruptive, she was heavy set (we are told her weight in the freaking headlines, for dog’s sake). But mostly, she was female (and also black), and complaining of pain.

Oh, you may say, but that’s just one case, why are you making noise about that?

Because it’s not one case. From the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, in 2001–fifteen freaking years ago!–here’s the abstract from “The Girl Who Cried Pain”

In general, women report more severe levels of pain, more frequent incidences of pain, and pain of longer duration than men, but are nonetheless treated for pain less aggressively. The authors investigate this paradox from two perspectives: Do men and women in fact experience pain differently – whether biologically, cognitively, and/or emotionally? And regardless of the answer, what accounts for the differences in the pain treatment they receive, and what can we do to correct this situation?

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