Here’s a fascinating glimpse into how radical feminist rhetoric has undermined the project of being human. Joy Stevens unpacks the trauma of reproductive medicine taking its cues from Eve-defaming discourse rather than an ethics of creation (ht Jake at Mere Orthodoxy):
What does it say about our culture when our medical establishment consistently ignores and belittles not only a severe and disabling illness in close to one in ten women, but actual visual evidence of highly destructive disease? When it distrusts women—highly educated, intelligent women—and relegates them, with disinterest bordering on contempt, to a lifetime of severe pain and disability, despite repeated attempts over decades for help?
Here’s what I think it says. It says women today, after all the feminist movements of the last 150 years, are still not valued as whole people. We have transferred the disdain formerly directed at women’s independent dreams and career aspirations toward our normally functioning female bodies. Our cyclic fertility, which should function well without disease or medication, is treated by our doctors and society, as our oppressor, something to be controlled, flatlined, and then ignored. Then, when something goes awry with our reproductive system, the emphasis of our medical establishment and our culture, is not that of healing, compassion, or holistic treatment, but of punishment and disdain. This treatment more resembles that given a machine which no longer does its work properly, rather than a suffering human being.
Many, many, women today are given unnecessary hysterectomy and left, still, with severe endometriosis pain external to the uterus. Others are literally and financially bled dry through endless repeat surgeries by unskilled doctors who, knowing these treatments are not effective in the long term, still take the money. Others are automatically prescribed birth control pills and drugs such as Lupron without warnings of side effects, or without thorough testing of these drugs for the condition prescribed. Countless real women are suffering and being disenfranchised of such priceless things as health and fertility, and I believe this is a failure of feminism.
We need change in these arenas, but we need it to come from a deeper place than just more research and types of treatments. It needs to come from an appreciation of woman as whole people—creatures with both brains and bodies that are designed to function a certain way, and that includes healthy cycles and fertility.
How the pendulum has swung. Now all doors marked “fertility” are being locked and for what? Freedom? Flourishing? Hardly. Makes Black Widow’s sorrow in Age of Ultron more plausible than ever, eh?