This is Part Two of my conversation with feminist historian Elinor Cleghorn about her brilliant book, Unwell Women. If you haven’t listened to Part One yet, we suggest you head there first - it’s Episode 5 of the podcast.
In Unwell Women, Elinor explores the history of medicine, exposing the fundamentally social, cultural and political foundations of medical practice and the long shadow that a troubling legacy of prejudice casts over the development of objective knowledge. She explores the intersection between illness, pain, belief and science, busting myths and equipping women with the knowledge they need to take control of their medical care.
In part two, we discuss:
- Medical feminism, and how women are not just unwell women but have fought for women’s rights - in health and in life - throughout all of medicine’s troubling history
- Pregnancy - how history can help us understands today’s dire rates of maternal mortality (especially for Black and other marginalized women)
- Male birth control... or lack thereof
- The rebranding of hysteria and how we see it play out in the 19th and 20th centuries
- Why telling your story is so important and how we can join together as a collective force to continue building on what all those who came before us have achieved
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The quotes you will hear read during the interview are taken directly from the book, Unwell Women.
Transcription is available here
Mentioned in the episode:
- NATAL podcast
- Unrest documentary
- The Sex Lives of African Women - Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah
- Matrix - Lauren Groff
- Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë
- The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - Anne Brontë
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