If you haven’t heard, there’s a lot of controversy over women’s pain in regards to periods, uteruses, their cycles and just in general. With recent talks about endometriosis, the disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows instead, outside of the uterus, people are tending to hear women speak more than ever.
Yet, there is still is a big issue of doctors and people not taking women’s pain seriously. Largely because pain, in general, is subjective and is experienced differently per person, but also from social norms. A lot of the times, women were expected to be quiet about their pain and ‘just deal with it‘. As a woman who used to experience dramatic nausea of period-pain and actually throw-up because it was so bad, I can testify that the notion of ‘just dealing with it’ is very much true.
“Our fear of speaking out about pain is deep-rooted in the historical concept of ‘hysteria,’ coined by neurologist Sigmund Freud in the 19th Century. Derived from the Greek word hysteria, meaning uterus, hysteria was once the go-to diagnosis for any inexplicable illness experienced by a woman,” Elle said. “There are a lot of messages that are undermining a woman’s interpretation of her own mind. Deduce from that what you will but the ingrained belief that men are strong and women are wallflowers might have something to do with women’s pain being viewed as less serious.”
There are even jokes now about how men deal with pain versus how women deal with pain, usually referred to as ‘The Man Cold’. Here’s a video showing how a father acts like his minor cold is the end of the world, whereas the wife continues about her day, conquering the household duties, kids and work while sick.
“What’s most dangerous is not when a woman goes to a doctor and her pain is dismissed or disbelieved – it’s when it’s happened to her so many times that she stops speaking up. She stops going. She just decides she has to live that way and that she has no option. Or, that she’s seen it happen to so many women in her life that she never even goes and seeks medical attention at all because it feels hopeless and pointless to do so. Not only does it put that woman’s life at risk but it sets a precedent. It sends a message that the situation is hopeless,” Abby Norman, author of Ask Me About My Uterus, said.
This past year, doctors claimed that the pain women suffer from menstrual cramps can be compared to being ‘almost as bad as having a heart attack‘.
Can we please just recognize already, as a world, that women are incredibly strong and deal with pain that f*cking sucks?