Women's Health in the 19th Century
This paper traces the evolution of women's health and medical practices through the 19th century, citing "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in the analysis of female hysteria.
# 25318 | 3,817 words | 12 sources | APA | 2002 |
Published on Apr 26, 2003 in Women Studies (Feminism) , English (Analysis) , Psychology (Disorders) , Literature (American)
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This paper explores women's health issues in the 19th century. The writer suggests that the attitudes of men toward women were central to issues concerning women's health. The paper looks at primitive gynecologic practices, allopathic medicine, personalities including midwife Martha Ballard and trends such as Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compound. The writer concludes that studying the history of the progress in women's health is an excellent way for women to learn what they will have to do to improve their own futures.
From the Paper:"In the 19th century, any female complaint was likely to be considered a nervous disorder. The woman in "The Yellow Wallpaper" is the victim of what contemporary men labeled "hysteria" for which many hysterectomies were performed. Getting out from behind that male imposed wallpaper was a major effort of will for women. If she complained too much, a woman would most likely be subjected to the new hysterectomy procedure developed by Dr. Robert Battley, which had a very high mortality rate. Doctors like the husband in Gilman's story provoked a reactionary movement that included the efforts of Dr. John Kellogg and Dr. Sylvester Graham, part of the popular health movement that flourished from 1820-1870. They encouraged loose, healthy clothing, exercise and steam baths for both sexes, advocated vegetarian, whole wheat, alcohol free diets and strongly rejected masturbation as sinful, lawless and unhealthy."
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Women's Health in the 19th Century (2003, April 26) Retrieved May 23, 2013, from http://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/women-health-in-the-19th-century-25318/
"Women's Health in the 19th Century" 26 April 2003. Web. 23 May. 2013. <http://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/women-health-in-the-19th-century-25318/>