Making Women's Medicine Masculine: The Rise of Male Authority in Pre-Modern Gynaecology
Making Women's Medicine Masculine challenges the common belief that prior to the eighteenth century men were never involved in any aspect of women's healthcare in Europe. Using sources ranging from the writings of the famous twelfth-century female practitioner, Trota of Salerno, all the way to the great tomes of Renaissance male physicians, and covering both medicine and surgery, this study demonstrates that men slowly established more and more authority in diagnosing and prescribing treatments for women's gynaecological conditions (especially infertility) and even certain obstetrical conditions. Even if their 'hands-on' knowledge of women's bodies was limited by contemporary mores, men were able to establish their increasing authority in this and all branches of medicine due to their greater access to literacy and the knowledge contained in books, whether in Latin or the vernacular. As Monica Green shows, while works written in French, Dutch, English, and Italian were sometimes addressed to women, nevertheless even these were often re-appropriated by men, both by practitioners who treated women and by laymen interested to learn about the 'secrets' of generation. While early in the period women were considered to have authoritative knowledge on women's conditions (hence the widespread influence of the alleged authoress 'Trotula'), by the end of the period to be a woman was no longer an automatic qualification for either understanding or treating the conditions that most commonly afflicted the female sex - with implications of women's exclusion from production of knowledge on their own bodies extending to the present day.
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Making Women's Medicine Masculine : The Rise of Male Authority in Pre-Modern ...
Monica H. Green
No preview available - 2008
addressed Agnodice Avicenna birth Chapter childbirth circulated claim codicological compendium Conditions of Women context copy Early Modern England Europe extant female body female genitalia female patients female practitioners fifteenth century fourteenth century France gender German Green Guy de Chauliac gynaecological and obstetrical gynaecological literature gynaecological texts Hartlieb Hildegard of Bingen History Italy Johannes Johannes Hartlieb knowledge Lanfranc Late Medieval later Latin learned Library literacy literate medicine male physicians male practitioners male surgeons manuscript masculine medical books medical practice medical practitioners medical texts men’s menstrual Middle Ages Middle English midwives Mondeville Monica H mulierum Muscio’s obstetrical Oxford Paris Perretta recipes regimen Renaissance repr Rosegarden Salernitan Salerno Secrets of Women sexual sixteenth surgery surgical texts on women’s textual thirteenth century tradition treatise Treatments for Women Trota Trotula Trotula texts twelfth century uterus vagina vernacular woman Women’s Cosmetics women’s diseases women’s health Women’s Healthcare women’s medicine women’s secrets