gender, language, sex, vulva, womb

Vulvagate: why the words we use for our bodies matter

Is it OK to use 'vagina' to cover all the internal and external female sexual organs? 'Vulvagate' reminds us of a lost world of passages, gates and doors.

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birth, dissection, midwives, museums and collections, womb

The skull inside the doll…

Webster was much possessed by death And saw the skull beneath the skin... (T.S. Eliot, Whispers of Immortality) I was very excited when the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (@RCPEHeritage) tweeted pictures today illustrating that they have been ‘X-raying two of our circa 18thc midwifery manikins (also known as ‘phantoms’) – to discover that… Continue reading The skull inside the doll…

Bad History, Galen, Hippocrates, hysteria, sex, womb

Hysteria from Hippocrates

(updated 19 July 2018 - and, thanks to Minji Lee of Rice University, subsequently available in Korean here) Please can we just get something out of the way once and for all? The disease of 'hysteria' was neither described nor named by Hippocrates. I know The Sun says it was, but it's wrong. And it's… Continue reading Hysteria from Hippocrates

alternative medicine, Bad History, doctors, Hippocrates, remedies, sex, womb

I can forgive Gwyneth for the jade eggs and mugwort, but not for this rubbish about Hippocrates…

Like many people, I find the claims of Gwyneth Paltrow's 'modern lifestyle brand' Goop pretty irritating. I was sufficiently cross about the claims for the benefits of vagina steaming that I wrote something for The Conversation about it. And I loved Dr Jen Gunter's blog post about jade eggs and in particular the way Gunter gently… Continue reading I can forgive Gwyneth for the jade eggs and mugwort, but not for this rubbish about Hippocrates…