How Doctors Take Women’s Pain Less Seriously - the Atlantic
Early on a Wednesday morning, I heard an anguished cry—then silence.
I rushed into the bedroom and watched my wife, Rachel, stumble from the bathroom, doubled over, hugging herself in pain.
“Something’s wrong,” she gasped.
This scared me. Rachel’s not the type to sound the alarm over every pinch or twinge. She cut her finger badly once, when we lived in Iowa City, and joked all the way to Mercy Hospital as the rag wrapped around the wound reddened with her blood. Once, hobbled by a training injury in the days before a marathon, she limped across the finish line anyway.
So when I saw Rachel collapse on our bed, her hands grasping and ungrasping like an infant’s, I called the ambulance. I gave the dispatcher our address, then helped my wife to the bathroom to vomit.
Also SeeGrand Unified Theory of Female Pain essay by Leslie Jamison
The moment we start talking about wounded women, we risk transforming their suffering from an aspect of the female experience into an element of the female constitution—perhaps its finest, frailest consummation. The ancient Greek Menander once said: “Woman is a pain that never goes away.”He probably just meant women were trouble, but his words hold a more sinister suggestion: the possibility that being a woman requires being in pain, that pain is the unending glue and prerequisite of female consciousness.
If using your body to speak betrays a fraught relationship to pain—hurting yourself but also keeping quiet about the hurt, implying it without saying it—then having it “work” (mother noticing the bones) would somehow corroborate the logic: Let your body say it for you. But here it doesn’t. We want our wounds to speak for themselves, Knapp seems to be saying, but usually we end up having to speak for them.