Complaints and Disorders: The Sexual Politics of Sickness

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Feminist Press at CUNY, 2011 - Health & Fitness - 173 pages

From prescribing the "rest cure" to diagnosing hysteria, the medical profession has consistently treated women as weak and pathological. Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English's concise history of the sexual politics of medical practices shows how this biomedical rationale was used to justify sex discrimination throughout the culture, and how its vestiges are evident in abortion policy and other reproductive rights struggles today.

Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of many bestselling books, including Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America and Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America.

Deirdre English, former editor of Mother Jones magazine, is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.


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Title Page
A Perspective on the Social Role of Medicine
Women and Medicine in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth
The Sick Women of the Upper Classes
The Sickening Women of the Working Class
Notes on the Situation Today 1973
Concluding Thoughts

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About the author (2011)

Barbara Ehrenreich is author of the 2002 New York Times bestseller Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. She has written nearly twenty books, and has been a columnist for Time magazine and the New York Times. She has contributed to The Progressive, Harpers, The Atlantic Monthly, Ms., The New Republic, Z Magazine, In These Times, and

Deirdre English is the former editor of Mother Jones magazine. She has written for the Nation, New York Times Book Review, San Francisco Magazine, S.F. Chronicle Sunday Magazine, Vogue, and public radio and television. Currently, English is a professor at University of California, Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism.

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