Bad History, doctors, gender, internet, midwives, museums and collections

Exhibiting our past: “This Vexed Question”

There's been a lot of interest online in a temporary exhibition which has recently opened at the Royal College of Physicians in London: "This Vexed Question: 500 years of women in medicine". I was disturbed by some of the media reports, in particular one in Culture Trip which started with the comment that the RCP was 'dissecting… Continue reading Exhibiting our past: “This Vexed Question”

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gender, religion

Pandora: the Greek Eve?

(John William Waterhouse, Pandora, 1896) In the beginning, there was – a man. Later, there was also a woman. That’s the basic plot of both the Judaeo-Christian and the ancient Greek creation stories, with woman as a late arrival on the scene. In the first of these Mediterranean traditions, woman is made from man – specifically,… Continue reading Pandora: the Greek Eve?

diseases, gender

Being a historian: when the personal is historical

On the theme of my favourite history blogs, as introduced here: another blog I enjoy very much is Nursing Clio. It took me a while to 'get' the title; I used to think it was a nursing history blog, but it's far more than that. The USP, among medical history blogs, is the point that… Continue reading Being a historian: when the personal is historical

gender, pregnancy

Women and humour in history

Do men always get the best punch-lines? I was once at a conference where one of the speakers illustrated his points about gender in ancient Rome by referring to a story about Winston Churchill and Nancy Astor. Quick-witted, the first woman Member of Parliament, Nancy Astor’s reputation has been tarnished by her support of Chamberlain’s policy… Continue reading Women and humour in history