For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts Advice to Women

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Oct 2, 2013 - Social Science - 432 pages
This women's history classic brilliantly exposed the constraints imposed on women in the name of science and exposes the myths used to control them. Since the the nineteenth century, professionals have been invoking scientific expertise to prescribe what women should do for their own good. Among the experts’ diagnoses and remedies: menstruation was an illness requiring seclusion; pregnancy, a disabling condition; and higher education, a threat to long-term health of the uterus. From clitoridectomies to tame women’s behavior in the nineteenth century to the censure of a generation of mothers as castrators in the 1950s, doctors have not hesitated to intervene in women’s sexual, emotional, and maternal lives. Even domesticity, the most popular prescription for a safe environment for woman, spawned legions of “scientific” experts.
 
Barbara Ehrenreich and Dierdre English has never lost faith in science itself, butinsist that we hold those who interpret it to higher standards. Women are entering the medical and scientific professions in greater numbers but as recent research shows, experts continue to use pseudoscience to tell women how to live. For Her Own Good provides today’s readers with an indispensable dose of informed skepticism.
 

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User Review  - wealhtheowwylfing - LibraryThing

Ehrenreich and English look at what kind of advice we've been given for the last two hundred years. Although they provide a good deal of social, political, economic, and general background to the ... Read full review

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User Review  - Devil_llama - LibraryThing

A history of how the status of women has changed since the Industrial Revolution, when the modern gender roles were delineated based on the new divisions of labor. Very well researched, and well ... Read full review

Contents

In the Ruins of Patriarchy
3
1 v0 Witches Healers and Gentleman Doctors 37
39
The Vitch Hunts v The Conflict over Healing Comes to Aznvriea
76
FOUR The Sexual Politics of Sickness
111
1r11 Microbes and the Manufacture of Housework
155
The Domestic Void The Romance of the Home Domestic
166
SIX The Century of the Child
201
SEVEN Motherhood as Pathology
231
The Expert Allies with the Child The Doctors Demand
258
Obligatory Oedipus Complex Ccmimunism and the Crisis
276
to the Sexual Bfarketplace
295
Miccentury Masochisrn Gynecology us Psychotherapy
325
The End of the Romance 2004
341
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About the author (2013)

Barbara Ehrenreich has written and lectured widely on subjects related to health care and women's issues. She has contributed articles to Time, Harper's, and The New York Times Book Review, among others. She is the bestselling author of nearly 20 books including Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch.
 
Deirdre English has written, taught, and edited work on a wide array of subjects related to investigative reporting, cultural politics, and public policy. She has contributed to Mother Jones, The Nation, and The New York Times Book Review, among other publications, and to public radio and television.

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