Even in this day and age, the medical profession is a sector still dominated by men. However, there is one job that is slowly being taken over by women. The American Medical Association reports that 85% of gynecologists and obstetritians (ob/gyn) are now women, and men are slowly being pushed out of the ward.
This discussion has been taken to Twitter where women shared their delight and some their dismay at the lack of male gynecologists. The topic of abuse of power was mentioned, with women sharing uncomfortable experiences they’ve had with their male ob/gyn ranging from being hit on, flirted with, assaulted to feeling like they weren’t being listened to or taken seriously.
This comes at the same time as George Tyndall’s court case, a ob/gyn who has reportedly assaulted up to 350 women by abusing his power as their doctor. The case has attracted a lot of attention as it is the highest settlement reached ($852M) in what can only be called a historic moment for 710 women affected by his crimes.
Other horrific stories of malpractice and a lack of empathy or understanding have also surfaced as women share their stories and feelings towards male ob/gyns. Another common topic has been the discussion of ‘the husband stitch’ which is an extra stitch put in when repairing any tears a woman might have faced from childbirth or episiotomies that can cause great pain for the woman, simply to make sex more enjoyable for men by making the vagina tighter. It has been described as an urban myth but for many, many women it is a very real and very scary and painful thing.
On the other hand, people have also shared stories of praise for their male ob/gyn to say that they are more empathetic and take better care of their patients. They show genuine concern for their patients and take everything that they say seriously.
Others have stayed out of the discussion by simply saying, if you don’t like male gynecologists then simply request a female one.
This discussion has been ongoing throughout the #NotAllMen discussion and only highlights the fear and vulnerability that women face on a daily basis. Not all gynecologists are predators or unsympathetic towards their patients but enough display damaging behaviours that it taints women’s experiences and only increases the fear that women face towards all situations.
On a positive note, women advancing in the profession is a huge achievement and is a win for womenkind.