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Lorelei @hatpinwoman
, 13 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
I live with an illness that doctors largely dismissed & diminished for decades because it primarily affects women. At one point the “treatment” recommended for some sufferers was freezing cold baths.
I personally couldn’t get help for years, as a young adolescent, because my symptoms were presumed to be “woman’s problems”. And I’ve seen peers threatened with removal from their single mothers because their mothers must have “made them sick”.
Being an ill woman, or an ill female child (I got sick at 12) is to discover that the sexism that sticks to the surface of society like bubbles in a bath is endemic in medicine.
Even getting a referral to a paediatrician was difficult. My mother, trying to get my GP to do something, went to see him many times & the best he offered me a was a gynaecologist. It took my dad going (once) to get that referral.
If you look at the history of many illnesses you will see a bias against women. When MS was called “creeping hysteria” by some doctors, for example, it was for explicitly the reason it affects more women.
If you look at the testing of drugs too you will see that women tend to suffer more serious side effects than men because of the whole of medicine for so long has used the Male body as the default.
A quote like the following then concerns me on several levels

“From a medical perspective, the appropriate determinant of sex is gender identity...
It is counter to medical science to use chromosomes, hormones, internal reproductive organs, external genitalia, or secondary sex characteristics to override gender identity for purposes of classifying someone as male or female.”
This came from Dr. Deana Adkins who is a professor at Duke University School of Medicine and the director of the Duke Center for Child and Adolescent Gender Care (which opened in 2015).
The perception of women is not merely an idea in our heads. It is precisely because some doctors have an idea of women, already, that deviates from material reality and they hold it to be more important than material reality, that allows them to be sexist when giving us care.
We should all be free to frame who we are. Our name, our dress sense, our relationship to the world. That doesn’t mean the world must treat that information as objective fact and when gender identity is considered more factual than sex, women lose out.
They lose out socially with the removal of their sex segregated spaces and they lose out medically with the further conflation or them and Male bodied people. They also lose out in sport, politics and all the spheres we were (finally) making advances.
This is about progressive as a sleeping snail.
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