Around the world, ceremonies, public art installations, concerts, lectures, and educational events are commemorating the fallen of the First World War, to make beauty, peace, and sense out of a century of global grief. These ceremonies provide a critical sense of closure to a world still reeling from the political, economic, and personal ramifications of… Read more →
Seeking Health and Doing Harm: Gender Bias, Medical Sexism, and Women’s Encounters with Modern Medicine
A 2011 survey completed by faculty at forty-four medical schools in the United States and Canada indicated that 70% of institutions did not have “a formal sex- and gender-specific integrated medical curriculum,” failing to provide adequate instruction on specific health topics for which sex- and gender-based evidence exists.1 This striking statistic, coupled with a personal… Read more →
Golden Girls, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and the Legacies of Hysteria
On September 23, 1989, the fifth season of Golden Girls opened with a two-episode arc entitled “Sick and Tired.”1 The show as a whole focuses on the fictional comedic escapades of four older women sharing a home in Miami, Florida. The story line that opened the fifth season, however, was deeply autobiographical in nature, as… Read more →
Finding Satisfaction: A Review of Hysteria
Having researched and delivered conference papers on the topic, the medical historian in me danced a little jig when I heard Sony Pictures Classics was releasing a movie called “Hysteria.” I did, however, enter the theater with some reservations. Motion picture portrayals are notorious for being historically inaccurate, and if films are true to history, those not in the field tend to find it a little, well, boring. (That is unless Werner Herzog is narrating it with his dry but inadvertently humorous observations.) Thankfully, the $7.50 spent on a matinee wasn’t a waste at all. Just about anyone- unless you are akin to the Victorian “social purist” Anthony Comstock- can walk away from this movie feeling quite satisfied.