Medicine carries the burden of its own troubling history. Over centuries, women’s bodies have been demonised and demeaned until we feared them, felt ashamed of them, were humiliated by them. But as doctors, researchers, campaigners and most of all as patients, women have continuously challenged medical orthodoxy. Medicine’s history has always been, and is still being, rewritten by women’s resistance, strength and incredible courage.
In this ground-breaking history Elinor Cleghorn unpacks the roots of the perpetual misunderstanding, mystification and misdiagnosis of women’s bodies, illness and pain. From the ‘wandering womb’ of ancient Greece to today’s shifting understanding of hormones, menstruation and menopause, Unwell Women is the revolutionary story of women who have suffered, challenged and rewritten medical misogyny. Drawing on Elinor’s own experience as an unwell woman, this is a powerful and timely expose of the medical world and woman’s place within it.