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Ok, as if being a woman in this society didn t already make you angry at the medical establishment and how they treat women and women s concerns, this book will infuriate you However, it is highly useful to see where these attitudes come from that are still prevalent in how medical professionals today treat women From being dismissed as hysteric, to branding something a syndrome without ever trying to get to the bottom of it, to pathologizing the experience of being a woman Great book, really Ok, as if being a woman in this society didn t already make you angry at the medical establishment and how they treat women and women s concerns, this book will infuriate you However, it is highly useful to see where these attitudes come from that are still prevalent in how medical professionals today treat women From being dismissed as hysteric, to branding something a syndrome without ever trying to get to the bottom of it, to pathologizing the experience of being a woman Great book, really informative, I highly recommend it For Her Own Good is a historical survey of the many ways in which women have been told what to do for their own good by experts usually middle class white men over the past two hundred years The book includes sections on medicine, female health and sickness, homemaking, and child rearing, each one meticulously researched and extensively annotated The authors basic argument is that women have predominantly been viewed as incompetent to make their own decisions even when it comes to their For Her Own Good is a historical survey of the many ways in which women have been told what to do for their own good by experts usually middle class white men over the past two hundred years The book includes sections on medicine, female health and sickness, homemaking, and child rearing, each one meticulously researched and extensively annotated The authors basic argument is that women have predominantly been viewed as incompetent to make their own decisions even when it comes to their own bodies, their families, and their livelihoods without the intervention of professional experts Further, these experts have relied on the authority of science to convince women that the experts misogynistic prejudices are actually objective, proven fact.One of the most interesting sections in the book was about how, starting in the 1700s, men co opted the practice of medicine from women, who, through their activities as midwives and lay healers, had been their families and communities primary healers for centuries in fact, healing was viewed as part of the whole package of child rearing and running a household Then, with the rise of professionalization, distinct academic disciplines, the capitalist market, and other factors, men began to take over medicine as a gentlemanly, aristocratic profession However, whereas the female lay healers had relied on the transmission of tried and true medical information from one generation to the next such as folk wisdom concerning the healing properties of particular herbs and natural substances , the male professional doctors discredited this evidence based tradition and began inflicting a variety of horrific, un scientific, and dangerous cures on a gullible and trusting populace In many cases, the so called cure was far worse than the original disease, as in the case of a poison called calomel, which medical men commonly prescribed for ailments as minor as fever and stomachache and whose side effects included the erosion of the patient s teeth and jaw bone Most disturbing of all, the doctors were usually aware that these cures were painful and ineffectual, but peddled them anyway as a money making scheme In order to keep the new medical profession selective and exclusive, the doctors went on a woman bashing spree to discredit the muchliked and trusted female lay healers who saw healing as a community activity rather than a generator of wealth and who actually relied on observation and experiment to arrive at cures that truly worked This was one of the most vivid instances of male experts I use quotes because these medical men were mostly quacks and not experts in anything, but they saw themselves that way telling women how things should be done, especially in a domain that had traditionally belonged to women to start with and which they had successfully managed without male intervention for generations There is no doubt that the authors did their research while writing this book In fact, I would say that the book read almost a bit too much like an academic paper and could have been madeaccessible to the casual reader Nearly every page was crammed with long quotes and references, and there were a few times when the authors dug so deep into a specific issue that I had to read the back cover to remind myself what the overall argument of the book was The authors must have realized this when they made revisions for the latest edition of the book the first edition was published in the 70s , because they added a new chapter that was a good summary of their argument and helped to give it some context, as well as some new information on how this trend has played out in the early 21st century.I also felt a little uncertain about the authors thesis I wholeheartedly agree that paternalistic, bigoted men have no business telling women how to live their lives, especially through the deception of passing off personal opinion or small mindedness as scientific fact However, the authors seemed to be anti all experts rather than anti bad experts It was a bit hard to tell what the authors believed at all, since the book was only a historical review of these types of trends and not really their defense of a different point of view They made a few comments that indicated they felt nostalgic for a time when women raised their children with the help of other knowledgeable and loving women mothers, grandmothers, sisters, neighbors, etc and didn t need to jump every time the most likely male pediatrician or child psychologist said jump I can see where they re coming from, and I do think it s unfortunate how isolated and self contained most families are today, but I think that s a separate issue from whether to rely on experts or not I m sure that in the 1800s, listening to the advice of a friendly midwife, whose mother had taught her everything about the healing properties of local plants, was a wise course of action, especially given the alternatives But medicine today despite all its problems is far better andeffective than herbal tea and prayer, even if the person delivering such medicine is not as friendly or caring as a frontier midwife I have no patience with alternative medicine that hearkens back to a time when such flimsy folk remedies were all we had access to when I m in pain, give me an expert.My last comment relates to the editing of this book I am not the type of person who foams at the mouth every time I see a grammatical or editing mistake, although I do notice such mistakes whether I want to or not But when I m reading a book especially a scholarly book that the authors want us to take seriously and that has been thoroughly and professionally edited no less than twice once for each edition , I find no excuse for sloppy, distracting mistakes Here s the way I see it let s say you have a deep love of and knowledge of music and are proficient at playing an instrument or two You recognize that the technical aspects of music, such as the different values of notes and rests and so on, are not the soul of music they are not why you enjoy listening to a sonata Nevertheless, if the musician doesn t understand the way these mechanics work if they botch the length of a quarter note, for example you will not only notice it, but it will mar what would otherwise be a beautiful work of art It goes from being music to being notes that are not well played, and it spoils your enjoyment That s how I feel about grammar in relation to language and reading Obviously, proper spelling, punctuation, and syntax are not the soul of language anythan individual notes are the soul of music But if you use language inexpertly by misunderstanding the purpose of a comma or botching the construction of a sentence, you have taken a thing of beauty and made it unpleasant.So let s just say someone should have read For Her Own Goodcarefully before sending it to the printer Ehrenreich put together a very comprehensive, well researched book on the effect of expert advice on women over a two hundred year span The chronicle is both hilarious and frightening We see women being celebrated as frail, delicate creatures whose reproductive organs are the source of every illness then later women are descended upon by psychologists and deemed too dangerous to run a family, having penis envy and ambition compelling them to kill their children Mothers were considered th Ehrenreich put together a very comprehensive, well researched book on the effect of expert advice on women over a two hundred year span The chronicle is both hilarious and frightening We see women being celebrated as frail, delicate creatures whose reproductive organs are the source of every illness then later women are descended upon by psychologists and deemed too dangerous to run a family, having penis envy and ambition compelling them to kill their children Mothers were considered the heart of the home for their childrearing powers, then considered too weak to raise their own sons It s enough to make a woman never buy a self help book again return return It s amazing to see how much the woman s role has changed in two centuries Before machines became a way of life, women had a lot of work to do Surprisingly, we learn that housecleaning was low on the list It wasn t until the the 20th century where women s boredom and advertisers met to compel a frenzy for housecleaning Early women were too busy making all their home s supplies When all of women s traditional work was being taken over by factories, and their healing knowledge taken away by men, the Woman Question arrived With so little to do, what was a woman s role in society What was her contribution to her household Early feminists argued that women were reduced to glorified prostitutes, with their skills and knowledge taken away The Woman Question is one that was debated until the feminists exploded into the 1960s and 70s return return At this point, after the women s rights movement of the 70s, Ehrenreich falters a bit when describing the Let s think about me, now attitude of women who eschewed a husband and kids for a childfree life She paints these as selfish people obsessed with money and free time True, many women feeling stifled under the confines of traditional society would start thinking of their own needs in a manner considered selfish after centuries of thinking solely of their family s comfort Ehrenreich seems to think that the advice of earlier experts who encouraged permissiveness went too far and made child haters of these women On the contrary, the childfree movement that stemmed from modern feminism is all about the choice to have children Since Ehrenreich clearly approves of abortion in her writing, it is strange that she gets a little touchy over the choice to be a mother or not Since the author is pro choice, she may not have thought out the connection to those who abstain from childrearing entirely, and how they must fight charges of selfishness just as those who get an abortion fight charges of being a murderer I wonder if Ehrenreich, being a mother, is aghast at how feminism inspired future generations of women to live a childfree life return return Other than that criticism, I found the book a valuable source of information I want to wave it under the nose of every person who thinks the feminist movement was a mistake I want to yell at them, Do you know where these doctors would put leeches on a woman because her husband could drag her in to a doctors office for an attitude adjustment Think of a place only her gynecologist would see that s where they put those leeches But, as Ehrenreich points out, there are many people who buy into the romance of the woman invalid, the lobotomized housewife, and sheltered female who never has to make an important decision Some may find this a blissful life, but as history proves, it s not necessarily a healthy one for women gender roles are social constructs. ( Download Book ) ⚆ Por tu propio bien. 150 años de consejos expertos a mujeres ⚔ Esta provocativa historia nos brinda una perspectiva sobre la mujer y la medicina radicalmente diferente de la que se nos hab a trasladado El resultado es una poderosa denuncia, tanto m s eficaz pol ticamente en cuanto que cient ficamente fundamentada La irrupci n de los expertos es decir cient ficos varones en mbitos tradicionalmente femeninos cuidado del hogar, salud de la familia, embarazo y parto, etc ha sido el hecho social m s destacado del ltimo siglo y medio, y constituye la coartada perfecta para desalojar a la mujer de estos dominiosAdem s de una extensa documentaci n desde revistas femeninas a discursos pol ticos, pasando por tratados de higiene , las autoras de este cl sico de los estudios de la mujer desvelan una confrontaci n por el poder que todav a contin a I absolutely loved Witches, Midwives and Nurses, so I thought this would be an expanded version of that And it s true that For Her Own Good was full of interesting facts But somehow, when I was done, I felt like I couldn t really summarize much of interest in a few words In fact, I was quite relieved to be done so I could move on to some light fiction although the book was full of interesting, often shocking, facts, reading it almost felt like homework by the end.I did dog ear a couple of I absolutely loved Witches, Midwives and Nurses, so I thought this would be an expanded version of that And it s true that For Her Own Good was full of interesting facts But somehow, when I was done, I felt like I couldn t really summarize much of interest in a few words In fact, I was quite relieved to be done so I could move on to some light fiction although the book was full of interesting, often shocking, facts, reading it almost felt like homework by the end.I did dog ear a couple of interesting quotes from the book A quote from an 1830s Grahamian on p 61 alas, the Grahamians proponents of vegetarianism and health food stores didn t gain much traction Any system that, of itself, creates a privileged class who can by law, or otherwise, lord it over their fellow men, destroys true freedom and personal autonomy Any system that teaches the sick that they can get well only through the exercise of the skill of someone else, and that they remain alive only through the tender mercies of the privileged class, has no place in nature s scheme of things, and the sooner it is abolished, the better will mankind be I found the following descriptions by a man named Watson especially hilarious pp 224 225 He was writing in the 1920s The ideal child, he wrote, is, a child who never cries unless actually stuck by a pin, illustratively speakingwho soon builds up a wealth of habits that tides him over dark and rainy days who puts on such habits of politeness and neatness and cleanliness that adults are willing to be around him at least part of the day who eats what is set before him who sleeps and rests when put to bed for sleep and rest who puts away two year old habits when the third year has to be faced and this There is a sensible way of treating children Treat them as though they were young adults Dress them, bathe them with care and circumspection Let your behavior always be objective and kindly firm Never hug and kiss them, never let them sit on your lap If you must, kiss them once on the forehead when they say good night Shake hands with them in the morning I love trying to picture my friends with two year olds shaking their kids hands in the morning An eye opening and very informative account of how women have been treated over the past two centuries in the medical industry Ehrenreich takes us through the history of the establishment of the medical industry, how to raise children, how feminism changed and adapted over the centuries, and up to modern society and how women are viewed There are sections on female health, the rise of sick and languishing women , how they were treated, the creation of home economics and its importance, how to An eye opening and very informative account of how women have been treated over the past two centuries in the medical industry Ehrenreich takes us through the history of the establishment of the medical industry, how to raise children, how feminism changed and adapted over the centuries, and up to modern society and how women are viewed There are sections on female health, the rise of sick and languishing women , how they were treated, the creation of home economics and its importance, how to rear children and suggestions suggestions on how to be the perfect wife, andAll of it is annotated and researched with a giant footnote section in the end to refer to For Her Own Good Two Centuries of Experts Advice to Women demonstrates how attitudes towards women in the health industry started and how these attitudes have remained These biases are still well and thriving in the medical industry today.From looking at how the medical establishment was created upper class white men who had money to go to university, but did not study anatomy or how to treat illnesses to how midwives were vilified, removed, and replaced by men with no knowledge of female anatomy to male doctors dismissing women as hysterical and doctors who specialized in the psychologically abnormal experience of being a woman this book will hit a lot of nerves For a book that was first published in 1978, this book has aged fairly well Very informative and a great read Best Takeaway Fact With a patriarchal self confidence that had almost no further need of instruments, techniques, medications, Osler wrote If a poor lass, paralyzed apparently, helpless, bed ridden for years, comes to me, having worn out in mind, body, and estate a devoted family if she in a few weeks or less by faith in me, and faith alone, takes up her bed and walks, the saints of old could not have doneSir William OslerNow at last the medical profession had arrived at a method of faith healing potent enough to compare with women s traditional healing but one which was decisively masculine It did not require a nurturant attitude, nor long hours by the patient s bedside In fact, with the new style of healing, the less time a doctor spends with a patient, and the fewer questions he permits, the greater his powers would seem to be Actually super interesting, if impossible to summarize to anyone who casually asks so what are you reading without their eyes glazing over A tour de force through the history of the medical establishment, capitalism, psychiatry, child rearing, feminism and modern society in general that draws a lot of really interesting connections. Well documented history of how the medical industry has ignored, mismanaged and abused women Relevant, this is still happening today If I wasn t currently taking a Women s Studies course load I would have found the bookinteresting I found the writing stale, textbook style and cumbersome I think it has a lot of important information and is a valuable read but it was dull in its presentation. I read this as an undergraduate in college Away from home and in the company of other women who were passionate about learning, I saw the world open up to me Reading this book alongside other books such as Barbara Walker s The Woman s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Anything in Virginia Woolf s collection, Betty Friedan s The Feminine Mystique, and others I became extremely aware of the women who fought so hard so that someday I could have an education and the possibility of equality in m I read this as an undergraduate in college Away from home and in the company of other women who were passionate about learning, I saw the world open up to me Reading this book alongside other books such as Barbara Walker s The Woman s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Anything in Virginia Woolf s collection, Betty Friedan s The Feminine Mystique, and others I became extremely aware of the women who fought so hard so that someday I could have an education and the possibility of equality in my own society I remember losing sleep over what I read in the pages of this book It was shocking and horrifying And yet, it felt like the biggest gift anyone had ever given up to that point in life I felt something click inside me I felt aware of my own power for the first time This book will always hold a special place in my heart I do wonder what I would think of it if I read it now, so many year later