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Pain and Prejudice: A Call to Arms for Women and Their Bodies

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A timely and powerful look at how our culture treats the pain and suffering of women. 'Women are in pain, all through their bodies; they're in pain with their periods, and while having sex; they have pelvic pain, migraine, headaches, joint aches, painful bladders, irritable bowels, sore lower backs, muscle pain, vulval pain, vaginal pain, jaw pain, muscle aches. And many ar A timely and powerful look at how our culture treats the pain and suffering of women. 'Women are in pain, all through their bodies; they're in pain with their periods, and while having sex; they have pelvic pain, migraine, headaches, joint aches, painful bladders, irritable bowels, sore lower backs, muscle pain, vulval pain, vaginal pain, jaw pain, muscle aches. And many are so, so tired … But women's pain is all too often dismissed, their illnesses misdiagnosed or ignored. In medicine, man is the default human being. Any deviation is atypical, abnormal, deficient.' Fourteen years after being diagnosed with endometriosis, Gabrielle Jackson couldn't believe how little had changed in the treatment and knowledge of the disease. In 2015, her personal story kick-started a worldwide investigation into the disease by The Guardian; thousands of women got in touch to tell their own stories and many more read and shared the material. What began as one issue led Jackson to explore how women - historically and through to the present day - are under-served by the systems that should keep them happy, healthy and informed about their bodies. Pain and Prejudice is a vital testament to how social taboos and medical ignorance keep women sick and in anguish. The stark reality is that women's pain is not taken as seriously as men's. Women are more likely to be disbelieved and denied treatment than men, even though women are far more likely to be suffering from chronic pain. In a potent blend of personal memoir and polemic, Jackson confronts the private concerns and questions women face regarding their health and medical treatment. Pain and Prejudice, finally, explains how we got here, and where we need to go next.


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A timely and powerful look at how our culture treats the pain and suffering of women. 'Women are in pain, all through their bodies; they're in pain with their periods, and while having sex; they have pelvic pain, migraine, headaches, joint aches, painful bladders, irritable bowels, sore lower backs, muscle pain, vulval pain, vaginal pain, jaw pain, muscle aches. And many ar A timely and powerful look at how our culture treats the pain and suffering of women. 'Women are in pain, all through their bodies; they're in pain with their periods, and while having sex; they have pelvic pain, migraine, headaches, joint aches, painful bladders, irritable bowels, sore lower backs, muscle pain, vulval pain, vaginal pain, jaw pain, muscle aches. And many are so, so tired … But women's pain is all too often dismissed, their illnesses misdiagnosed or ignored. In medicine, man is the default human being. Any deviation is atypical, abnormal, deficient.' Fourteen years after being diagnosed with endometriosis, Gabrielle Jackson couldn't believe how little had changed in the treatment and knowledge of the disease. In 2015, her personal story kick-started a worldwide investigation into the disease by The Guardian; thousands of women got in touch to tell their own stories and many more read and shared the material. What began as one issue led Jackson to explore how women - historically and through to the present day - are under-served by the systems that should keep them happy, healthy and informed about their bodies. Pain and Prejudice is a vital testament to how social taboos and medical ignorance keep women sick and in anguish. The stark reality is that women's pain is not taken as seriously as men's. Women are more likely to be disbelieved and denied treatment than men, even though women are far more likely to be suffering from chronic pain. In a potent blend of personal memoir and polemic, Jackson confronts the private concerns and questions women face regarding their health and medical treatment. Pain and Prejudice, finally, explains how we got here, and where we need to go next.

30 review for Pain and Prejudice: A Call to Arms for Women and Their Bodies

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    This should be a high school text book and compulsory reading for all doctors.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cass Moriarty

    Journalist Gabrielle Jackson was first diagnosed with endometriosis in 2001 and after writing about her experiences in The Guardian in 2015, and subsequently being overwhelmed with emails from other women who had suffered similar experiences, she focussed her interest on how women’s pain is treated in our modern healthcare systems. The result is her non-fiction book Pain and Prejudice (Allen and Unwin 2019), a brilliant and powerful examination of how the pain and suffering of women are treated Journalist Gabrielle Jackson was first diagnosed with endometriosis in 2001 and after writing about her experiences in The Guardian in 2015, and subsequently being overwhelmed with emails from other women who had suffered similar experiences, she focussed her interest on how women’s pain is treated in our modern healthcare systems. The result is her non-fiction book Pain and Prejudice (Allen and Unwin 2019), a brilliant and powerful examination of how the pain and suffering of women are treated in our own culture and around the world, how little is known about ‘women’s illnesses’, the bias towards male-centred medical research, and the continuing myth of ‘hysterical’ women labelled as such because their symptoms and pain cannot be explained. In a seamless blend of memoir and investigative journalism, Jackson confronts this issue from the historical to the modern, with a rigorous and intellectual interrogation of medical culture and practice, peppered with plenty of real-life anecdotes and examples from her own experience and from women she has met in the course of her work. Labelled ‘the silent disease’ because nobody knows how to talk about it, or wants to talk about it, endometriosis is only the tip of the iceberg. Jackson explores the ten chronic pain conditions that most specifically or often affect women, including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Migraine, Chronic Tension-Type Headache, Interstitial Cystitis, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Vulvodynia, Temporo-mandibular Disorders, Chronic Low Back Pain and Endometriosis, and investigates how these debilitating conditions frequently overlap and are often misdiagnosed or even ignored. She discusses the lost opportunities, lost employment or school days, the failed relationships and general ill health suffered by women as a result of this failure to recognise and effectively treat women’s health. She argues that ‘for most of human history, the widespread idea that a woman is inherently irrational and brimming with uncontrollable emotions and bodily functions has justified her subordination’ and she laments the lack of knowledge around female body parts and their functions, even the incorrect language commonly used – often by women themselves! She reveals numerous examples of how women’s pain – throughout history – has been minimalised, trivialised, ignored or mistreated. Covering everything from Aboriginal women’s health to the #MeToo movement, Jackson talks about how ‘racism, poverty, violence, trauma, abuse and stress all contribute to poor health, and women suffer disproportionately in many of these areas’, and discusses the links between anxiety and depression and poor physical health. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Jackson summarises her investigation by exploring the advances made in women’s health, and highlights some of the promising research and funding opportunities. Perhaps most importantly, Pain and Prejudice opens a frank and open discourse about women and their bodies, and urges everyone – men, women and medical professionals – to have informed conversations with each other and to vigilantly pursue improved women’s health.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer (JC-S)

    ‘I have a disease that I know nothing about.’ I picked this book up because I saw a reference to Gabrielle Jackson’s diagnosis of endometriosis. I was diagnosed with endometriosis in 1980, and I wondered what might have changed since then. ‘Endometriosis has been known as the ‘silent disease’, but that isn’t because women don’t want to talk about it.’ I quickly learned that while endometriosis was Ms Jackson’s starting point, her book is more broadly about women’s pain and suffering, and how that ‘I have a disease that I know nothing about.’ I picked this book up because I saw a reference to Gabrielle Jackson’s diagnosis of endometriosis. I was diagnosed with endometriosis in 1980, and I wondered what might have changed since then. ‘Endometriosis has been known as the ‘silent disease’, but that isn’t because women don’t want to talk about it.’ I quickly learned that while endometriosis was Ms Jackson’s starting point, her book is more broadly about women’s pain and suffering, and how that is treated (or not treated). Ms Jackson points to a lack of education about how our bodies work, and the social taboos and stigmas that prevent many of us from talking about our genitals, sex life, pain and reproductive processes. As she points out, many women do not know the names of parts of their anatomy. So how can women accurately describe the location of pain when they can’t identify where it is? Add to that the fact that in medicine the male is the default human being, then it is easy to see how women’s concerns can be overlooked and (or) ignored. Writing this, I am reminded that many women experience different symptoms of heart attack from men and consequently can be mistakenly diagnosed. Or, sometimes tragically, not diagnosed at all. So I kept reading, becoming more and more uncomfortable. I remembered, too, that I’d had many of the symptoms of endometriosis for at least ten years before diagnosis. ‘We need to know what is normal as opposed to what is common.’ Women are more likely to suffer from chronic pain than men, and less likely to receive effective treatment. I can relate to this, and I know several other women who can as well. How often are men described as being ‘hysterical’? This book is a blend of personal memoir, and presentation of reasons why women’s pain has been ignored. There are also some hopeful signs of a better understanding. But then I read about the earning differential between male and female doctors, that female doctors often take more time with their patients (which disadvantages them fee wise because of the way Medicare provides a greater benefit for some consultations than others). One outcome noted: ‘In 2018, an inner-Melbourne medical practice kicked off a media storm when it put up a sign announcing female GPs would be charging more than male GPs because women’s health issues take longer to deal with than men’s, and women tend to self-select female doctors.’ So, what are the answers? Surely the Australian health system is capable of recognising that then insertion of an IUD is more complex than a standard consultation? Surely the Australian health system is capable of recognising that biology can have an impact on medical issues? And, if you suffer from an autoimmune condition (as women do, more frequently than men), you’ll find some interesting information here. I’d recommend this book to most of my friends (male and female). Many women my age and older will be acutely aware of the social taboos and stigmas, that leave us with euphemisms and vague descriptions of ‘down there’. I’d like to think that younger women are more knowledgeable, but I wonder. Where to from here? I’ll leave the last word to Ms Jackson: ‘Pain isn’t killing us, but it is denying us our full humanity. Refusing to understand this fact of life for women is tearing opportunities from our grasp. And I say, enough.’ Jennifer Cameron-Smith

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sheree | Keeping Up With The Penguins

    Ladies! When was the last time you were accused of being “hysterical”? If you’re anything like me, it was recent, and you’re still so angry about it that you’re grinding your teeth right now. That anger is felt, understood, and reflected in this jaw-dropping new book from Gabrielle Jackson, Pain & Prejudice. Braiding together memoir and science, she explores the ways in which social structures—particularly the medical system—have underserved and oppressed women, keeping them sick and in pain, fo Ladies! When was the last time you were accused of being “hysterical”? If you’re anything like me, it was recent, and you’re still so angry about it that you’re grinding your teeth right now. That anger is felt, understood, and reflected in this jaw-dropping new book from Gabrielle Jackson, Pain & Prejudice. Braiding together memoir and science, she explores the ways in which social structures—particularly the medical system—have underserved and oppressed women, keeping them sick and in pain, for far too long. Allen & Unwin was kind enough to send me a copy for review. Jackson is a journalist; in 2001, she was diagnosed with endometriosis, and then, in 2015, adenomyosis. She has spent years researching these conditions, and the broader medical system in which they are studied and treated. In this book, from Plato’s wandering womb to the present day, she unpicks the complex social history that has got us to this point. “Women are socialised to believe their pain is normal,” she says, and she’s writing this book to give voice to the silent suffering of centuries. An extended review of Pain and Prejudice is available for subscribers at Keeping Up With The Penugins.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Krista McCracken

    Fantastic read that I recommend to any folks living with chronic pain, pelvic pain, or who have overlapping pain conditions. A broad look at the medical field's failure to research, listen, and treat pain in women and gender non conforming folks.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carol - Reading Writing and Riesling

    Read this book! A powerful read. Its spotlight on Endometriosis week - Endo - read this book!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Annika

    I’m giving this book four stars because it sheds light on a really important topic which isn’t often discussed. Women tend to experience more pain than men in their lifetime, yet often can’t find adequate or compassionate treatment for their pain and associated conditions. This book was well researched and presented an interesting mix of the authors own experience, statistics, and insights from doctors she had interviewed. However... I had a lot of frustrations with how this book was written and I’m giving this book four stars because it sheds light on a really important topic which isn’t often discussed. Women tend to experience more pain than men in their lifetime, yet often can’t find adequate or compassionate treatment for their pain and associated conditions. This book was well researched and presented an interesting mix of the authors own experience, statistics, and insights from doctors she had interviewed. However... I had a lot of frustrations with how this book was written and the way in which it approached some issues. Overall I found the structure really difficult to follow. Not only were the same statistics and key points repeated seemingly in each chapter, a handy explainer on the main conditions discussed in the book comes RIGHT AT THE END! It would have been super helpful to present this at the start of the book so that when the author repeatedly discussed say, painful bladder syndrome, I actually knew what that was. At times the book felt dismissive of psychological illness somehow, which I understand was not the authors intention. Like, not all pain can be treated with medication and sometimes yes it might be “all in your head” or at be very least, psychological therapy can help you deal with chronic pain. A doctor is not a monster for suggesting that a woman with chronic pain that is unresponsive to traditional treatments should seek psychological help. On page 168, Jackson criticises a doctor for stating that “there is a lot of psychology, just as much as there is pathology [in gynaecology]”, yet just four pages later shares another quote from a doctor in a positive light, which states “we know there is a relationship between pain and mood, we know that when mood is worse pain will be worse... they’re interrelated issues-you can’t treat one without treating the other”. So on the one hand, Jackson is highly critical of doctors for seeing their patients through a psychological lens, but then lets slip a few pages later the importance of doing so, and indeed a few chapters later the book briefly discusses how pain can continue long after any physical damage resolves. We know that women suffer from anxiety at much higher rates than men and it would be interesting to see a sincere discussion on how this could manifest as pain. The book seemed needlessly disparaging towards men at times. Jackson makes a remark that straight, while male doctors are unlikely to be discriminated against, bullied or harassed. While I 100% agree that women and non-white doctors are more likely to face these issues, and the research backs this up, the research also states that a sizeable minority (in one study of junior doctors I found it was 32%) of male doctors reported being harassed at work. That’s a lot more than few, and to brush off the toxic culture in medicine as something that only impacts women and minorities is to downplay the whole situation. In a similar vein, Jackson tells the story of a woman who died from sepsis after repeatedly being ignored by the medical system. It’s a sad story and Jackson implies it happened because the patient was Aboriginal and female, however I can think of two recent cases where the symptoms of teenage white boys were brushed off by the medical system and they ended up dying of preventable illness. To frame this as just a women’s issue overlooks the broader picture of the flawed system that doctors operate in (even if women may be more likely to suffer because of it) and how this could be addressed. Okay one last point - there was no discussion of the current opioid crisis and how this might be playing into doctors reluctance to treat pain with medication or take reports of pain seriously. I know you can’t cover everything in one book, but I suspect it’s another one of those bigger factors contributing to women’s poorer outcomes, which again was not mentioned at all. I want to reiterate that overall this book was enjoyable and informative and I recommend reading it. I just feel like it could have been a lot better if it were structured more clearly and there was a better appreciation for the bigger picture, rather than distilling the main message down to “women experience pain and it’s because of the patriarchy and misogyny”. I felt a similar way after reading Invisible Women so maybe I just have an issue with books that report on data...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brianna Bell

    A very valuable read, and one that was highly engaging. By a hundred pages in I had already sworn, cackled and rolled my eyes inadvertently at various times. This isn’t just a book for women either. Everyone should read it. You will learn so much. And probably even laugh a little. (Also a note on “women” - the author addresses gendered language in her introduction). A few warnings particularly if you’re reading as a disabled person. While I enjoyed the book on the whole, the author is clearly not A very valuable read, and one that was highly engaging. By a hundred pages in I had already sworn, cackled and rolled my eyes inadvertently at various times. This isn’t just a book for women either. Everyone should read it. You will learn so much. And probably even laugh a little. (Also a note on “women” - the author addresses gendered language in her introduction). A few warnings particularly if you’re reading as a disabled person. While I enjoyed the book on the whole, the author is clearly not au fait with disability activism (nor does she purport to be). A number of points in the book (e.g. p 313, 321) note that “pain doesn’t kill”, despite the book not drawing in any research regarding links between chronic pain and suicidal ideation. Failing to accurately identify the cause of suicide makes it impossible to accurately measure the impact of health conditions (historically this was an issue for deaths caused by cancer which were nevertheless recorded as acute issues like septicaemia). Complying with this flawed system perpetuates the dismissal of chronic pain by the medical system and limits our advocacy. Additionally, a warning that autism and ADHD are implicitly classed as “psychiatric and academic problems” made more prevalent by “sperm...corrupted by DNA damage” in older fathers (p154). As I said, nevertheless a very valuable book and highly engaging to read. [Cover description: The title is “Pain and Prejudice” in large red text with nails sticking into it. Its surtitle is “a call to arms for women and their bodies”. The author is Gabrielle Jackson. The cover also features a floral representation of a female reproductive system. The endorsement featured in the bottom right corner on the cover is “This book is a brilliant, blood-drenched page turner. Every girl, woman and man—and most particularly every doctor—should read it.” Emily Wilson, Editor at New Scientist].

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alyce Caswell

    Very thought-provoking and downright concerning. The author's personal journey with chronic pain provides a credible voice here, though part of me wishes there had been more examples involving other women.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Katie Goldey

    This book is easy to read, captivating, and important. It’s a book that everyone with a woman in their life should read! I found it incredibly validating and full of the words and explanations I never knew I so deeply needed to hear. Five stars!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    Love

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chloe Anderson

    I don’t usually write reviews on here, but this book ended up being a lot more interesting than I expected. Having a chronic illness myself, I thought I knew pretty much all there is to know about it and god was I wrong. The research and figures within this book completely shocked me and not to mention quotes directly from GPs. Before reading this I was already very skeptical of the healthcare system and it’s approach to chronic illnesses because of one too many strange remarks and awkward appoi I don’t usually write reviews on here, but this book ended up being a lot more interesting than I expected. Having a chronic illness myself, I thought I knew pretty much all there is to know about it and god was I wrong. The research and figures within this book completely shocked me and not to mention quotes directly from GPs. Before reading this I was already very skeptical of the healthcare system and it’s approach to chronic illnesses because of one too many strange remarks and awkward appointments with the GP. I have been told so many times that fibromyalgia is all in my head and for a long time I believed it. My mum had the same experiences. After reading this it sparked discussions between me and my mum about her diagnosis journey and the hardships she faced. And through Jackson’s account of her experience with endometriosis my mum and I were able to comfortably talk about her other overlapping conditions. I didn’t realise how many more conditions she had and I’ve gained so much more respect for her. I think women, doctors, everyone should give this a read whether that’s to better understand yourself and your body to more comfortably describe problems to doctors - I’ll admit before reading this I was totally uncomfortable with ever discussing “lady problems” to a doctor which is just ridiculous and maybe if I did mention it I would have had an earlier diagnosis - or to be more aware of the issues present within medicine that often go overlooked.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cassidy Menard

    3.5--As much as I agreed with everything Jackson writes here and think everyone should read this book, I don't know if I got as much as I was hoping I would. The book introduces readers to medicine's fundamental lack when it comes to the research of pain (i.e. research that predominantly affects women or people with female genitalia and endocrine systems), but I think for someone whose already done a lot of reading in this area, it doesn't offer new information. And in hindsight, I don't know wh 3.5--As much as I agreed with everything Jackson writes here and think everyone should read this book, I don't know if I got as much as I was hoping I would. The book introduces readers to medicine's fundamental lack when it comes to the research of pain (i.e. research that predominantly affects women or people with female genitalia and endocrine systems), but I think for someone whose already done a lot of reading in this area, it doesn't offer new information. And in hindsight, I don't know why I thought one person would be able to present a solution to a systemic problem in under 250 pages. That was unfair of me. However, I would certainly recommend this book if you're unfamiliar with chronic pain, as it presents a fantastic overview of other pain literature. The central themes are consistent across chapters: female pain is undervalued and disbelieved, our medical system was built by men to serve men, and what we consider chronic conditions may only be chronic because we've never really applied female-tested solutions to the problem (women being the primary sufferers of chronic pain).

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    This book was an easy, flowing read for the most part and I flew through it. It’s powerful and moving, but I couldn’t help but think that those who most need to read it just won’t. The descriptions of the female anatomy and medical conditions were a little more clunky to read and seemed to miss some explanation. The lived experiences and summary of research was fascinating and more than made up for the drier parts. I learnt some things about endo that I didn’t know, and increased my empathy for t This book was an easy, flowing read for the most part and I flew through it. It’s powerful and moving, but I couldn’t help but think that those who most need to read it just won’t. The descriptions of the female anatomy and medical conditions were a little more clunky to read and seemed to miss some explanation. The lived experiences and summary of research was fascinating and more than made up for the drier parts. I learnt some things about endo that I didn’t know, and increased my empathy for those diagnosed (and not yet diagnosed) with it. Despite not having that condition, the description of the healthcare system and it’s management of women’s health and pain rings true for me, and accurately reflects my own experiences. The author brings together some disparate ideas and sees them together neatly. This is a book that needed to be written, and should be read by everyone, particularly those with Y chromosomes and penises.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Matthews

    Pain and Prejudice was a fascinating read. It explores the way that female pain is treated by the medical profession and the challenges that women with chronic pain face in trying to get their voice heard. Gabrielle Jackson herself suffers with endometriosis and chronic pain and this empathy allows her to provide a unique perspective on what it is like trying to make your way in a world that chooses not to acknowledge your pain or, at best, treats you as an inconvenience that must be tolerated. Pain and Prejudice was a fascinating read. It explores the way that female pain is treated by the medical profession and the challenges that women with chronic pain face in trying to get their voice heard. Gabrielle Jackson herself suffers with endometriosis and chronic pain and this empathy allows her to provide a unique perspective on what it is like trying to make your way in a world that chooses not to acknowledge your pain or, at best, treats you as an inconvenience that must be tolerated. I was shocked to learn that even for conditions that mainly affect women, the subjects for medical trials are still overwhelmingly male. It is assumed that a drug will work the same way in a male test subject as it will in a female test subject despite the obvious differences in their physiology. Jackson is generous in explaining all aspects of chronic, female pain and makes it accessible for those without the medical knowledge to understand all the different technical terms. I learned so much from this book but reading it did not feel like a chore. I would say that the last section which set out a summary of the most common types of chronic female pain did start to blur into one big pain synopsis and a few days after reading it I would struggle to tell the difference between the conditions but, nevertheless, I appreciated Jackson giving a spotlight to each condition and explaining it in laymens' terms. It makes this book a great reference point not just to give women suffering from chronic pain the vocabulary to express what they are going through but for all of us to better understand our fellow human being and remind us that if someone says they are in pain, they should be listened to and it should be deemed important enough to do something about it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Josephine

    5 stars. I am writing this on my phone so I apologise if I make typos. I just want to congratulate Gabrielle Jackson for writing a book that is articulate, informative, full of hope and just incredibly validating. These are the sort of books the world needs. It was hard to read at times, but that difficulty was balanced with empathy. It encapsulates so much of that which women with chronic pain experience. It is not a carbon copy of other books on endometriosis. Jackson’s background in journalism 5 stars. I am writing this on my phone so I apologise if I make typos. I just want to congratulate Gabrielle Jackson for writing a book that is articulate, informative, full of hope and just incredibly validating. These are the sort of books the world needs. It was hard to read at times, but that difficulty was balanced with empathy. It encapsulates so much of that which women with chronic pain experience. It is not a carbon copy of other books on endometriosis. Jackson’s background in journalism is evident in the best way. The research is unparalleled when compared to all that I have read on this sort of pain. I could go on about how this book is a triumph, but I think the most important take away is that this book was someone saying “it is okay - I understand” and that feeing is priceless. Thank you, Gabrielle Jackson.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Franzi Oberrauter

    I won't go into too much detail why "Pain and Prejudice: A Call to Arms for Women and their Bodies" should be recommended reading for human beings with female reproductive organs and health practitioners alike. It's an engaging and highly valuable read; it facilitates a thought-provoking dicourse about female representation (or lack thereof) in medicine and science. Jackson opens a discussion into improvements for individuals with reproductive organs (Cudos to her for using inclusive language!), I won't go into too much detail why "Pain and Prejudice: A Call to Arms for Women and their Bodies" should be recommended reading for human beings with female reproductive organs and health practitioners alike. It's an engaging and highly valuable read; it facilitates a thought-provoking dicourse about female representation (or lack thereof) in medicine and science. Jackson opens a discussion into improvements for individuals with reproductive organs (Cudos to her for using inclusive language!), quote: "Pain isn’t killing us, but it is denying us our full humanity. Refusing to understand this fact of life for women is tearing opportunities from our grasp. And I say, enough." What a enjoyable and informative read!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Toni Kely-Brown

    This was a excellent book to listen to as an audio book. The author writes about chronic pain and how women's pain isn't taken as seriously as men's. I really enjoyed the social and historical chapters where she demonstrated that women are more likely to be disbelieved then men and how medicine and medical research as been developed for men, by men. It was fascinating and whilst I didn't always agree with everything the author said, she challenged me to think how patriarchal societies and cultur This was a excellent book to listen to as an audio book. The author writes about chronic pain and how women's pain isn't taken as seriously as men's. I really enjoyed the social and historical chapters where she demonstrated that women are more likely to be disbelieved then men and how medicine and medical research as been developed for men, by men. It was fascinating and whilst I didn't always agree with everything the author said, she challenged me to think how patriarchal societies and cultures has treated the suffering and pain of women over many centuries and even in today's contemporary medical world. I would recommend this book to all women to read or listen to!

  19. 5 out of 5

    maces

    Absolutely fantastic book. I think almost everyone should read The book gives such a fantastic primer on women's health - the normal physiology of a woman's hormones and reproductive cycle. And the common things that can go wrong. Then, she delves in to the history of "women's health" and the historical reasons why women have always been treated differently, and how that looks today. I'm a GP with a special interest in women's health, and biopsychosocial medicine. This book reinforced some stuff I Absolutely fantastic book. I think almost everyone should read The book gives such a fantastic primer on women's health - the normal physiology of a woman's hormones and reproductive cycle. And the common things that can go wrong. Then, she delves in to the history of "women's health" and the historical reasons why women have always been treated differently, and how that looks today. I'm a GP with a special interest in women's health, and biopsychosocial medicine. This book reinforced some stuff I already knew, taught me some new things (history of hysteria) and helped me clarify some other things in my head too. Highly recommended.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Katia Jade

    Pain and Prejudice explores the current status of women and the pain conditions they experience, the relevant historic and present attitudes, cultures and practices in medicine which are falling short of addressing the needs of women in pain and looks to future research and hope for better understanding. I learned a lot, had some experiences validated and found myself profoundly grateful for the privilege I have had in my own mildly messy history with chronic illness.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    A must-read. It explains not only the prejudice of the system and our research priorities but they way we discriminate against ourselves as women - where we downplay our pain, are likely dismissed far more easily than our male counterparts (any why) and need to know how to be insistent about our own health needs.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sophiealka

    This story is necessary and intensely relevant. Shame that it's not well-written, but I can overlook that for its critical contribution to the gender equality and public health debate. Ask any woman about the themes in this book and it will resonate with their personal experience or the personal experience of a close female relative/friend.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Merit

    Definitely excellent marketing with the name and cover. Pain and Prejudice follows Jackson's pieces in endometriosis in the Guardian and how women's pain is generally ignored and sidelined by the medical establishment. This is a relatively short book, and a good two and a half chapters (out of eight!) were devoted to describing women's anatomy or common illnesses that women are prone to that are historically considered products of women's hysterical imaginings. The notion of 'hysterical women' i Definitely excellent marketing with the name and cover. Pain and Prejudice follows Jackson's pieces in endometriosis in the Guardian and how women's pain is generally ignored and sidelined by the medical establishment. This is a relatively short book, and a good two and a half chapters (out of eight!) were devoted to describing women's anatomy or common illnesses that women are prone to that are historically considered products of women's hysterical imaginings. The notion of 'hysterical women' isn't new, and I feel Jackson could have developed it further - she circles around menopause but skips over puberty. Jackson never delves deep enough into a topic before skittering to the next chapter so I was ultimately left wanting a different book on the topic.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    I though I was pretty knowledgeable on the female body. But I have learnt more than a thing or two from this book. It definitely reflects its title... the pain and prejudice that women are and have been subjected to is written about in a very accessible manner. It leaves me with many questions, and many topics to discuss with female friends and family. A worthwhile read indeed.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Veeti Tandon

    The section on historical research is the best part of the book

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    3.5 stars

  27. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Hunt

    A much-needed manifesto on women and the treatment of pain in the medical system.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nell

    A really good read for the majority of female-bodied people, whether or not they suffer the pains the book discusses.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rosie

    This book is such an eye opener. I highly recommend everyone. EVERYONE should read it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ilona

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The list of things I've learned: 1. A lot of women tend to have chronic pain that is not treated. 2. But apparently, you are not supposed to feel pain most of the time (!) 3. In most of the medical experiments and trials, the research subjects are males (including tests on mice). 4. Due to that, doctors cannot correctly diagnose women, thus write them off as hysterical or difficult. 5. WTF The list of things that did not excite me in this book: 1. The second half of the book that lists various diseas The list of things I've learned: 1. A lot of women tend to have chronic pain that is not treated. 2. But apparently, you are not supposed to feel pain most of the time (!) 3. In most of the medical experiments and trials, the research subjects are males (including tests on mice). 4. Due to that, doctors cannot correctly diagnose women, thus write them off as hysterical or difficult. 5. WTF The list of things that did not excite me in this book: 1. The second half of the book that lists various diseases and describes the lives of celebrities that have said diseases. Wonder if this is the right book for you? Read Jackson's article that summarizes the main points of it: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandst...

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