Kudos to Eugene Weekly for encouraging some non-dude-centric letters (Letters, 7/14). In this sexist world, I needed a little encouragement.
In the middle of the grief over the loss of every woman’s right to choose, my 19-year-old daughter is struggling with severe endometriosis. I have watched her experience sexist treatment in health care routinely. Endometriosis is not widely known, as it is estrogen-driven and therefore largely affects people with uteruses. Her severe pain has been belittled even by her own gynecologist, who last month said, “Call us back when the pain is more severe.”
The countless times she has ended up in the ER with severe pain, she has been given a pregnancy test routinely. It does not matter that she explains she has not been sexually active. Even when I have been with her and verified information, a pregnancy test has been given “just to make sure.” Sometimes, she’s been tested without her knowledge and told afterward, “Well, you’re not pregnant.”
There’s an underlying assumption that if you’re a woman of a certain age, complaining of abdominal pain, you cannot be trusted to simply verify that there’s no way you could be pregnant. You’re told, “We just want to be on the safe side.” Perhaps the thinking is, as a woman you’re having sex with people without your knowledge, or maybe it’s the hope for another immaculate conception.
This seems to fit right in line with our national fundamentalist Christian beliefs. Praise the Lord Jesus Christ!