The Other Side of the Speculum: A Male Doctor’s Point of View

  • Hang on to your knickers and read what a Doctor has to say on the subject of pap smears and pelvic exams.  What follows is a comment from Blogcritics.org written by a Doctor that uncovers an honest and all-male point of view (Warning: may be disturbing to some readers):
    Apr 07, 2010 at 4:08 am

    Hello,

    I’ve read several of the posts here, and just wanted to get a few things off my chest . . .

    I am a doctor myself, in a smallish town in the midwest. I’m in a specialty where we do not do pelvic exams, but of course I was trained in how to do them while in medical school. It has always bothered me, for a couple of reasons, but the male/female thing has been the main thing originally. I always got a small, secret thrill out of doing a pelvic exam (or a breast exam, for that matter) on an attractive woman. Because we were told that “it’s not sexual,” “it’s just a medical procedure, nothing sexual about it, no reason to have sexual thoughts,” I though I was weird. I didn’t worry that much because I knew I wasn’t going into an area where I would do exams, but…

    Then, during residency, I worked with a lot of doctors in the community, and discovered that, for most of them, it WAS at least partly sexual: they would sit around in the lounges and such and sometimes discuss the anatomy of beautiful women who’d been in, and on two occasions discussed, in front me and everyone else, the sexual anatomy attributes of women who worked in the hospital, nurses and such that were mutual acquaintances. I was horrified! I have to say, too, that many doctors, when I asked (because it bothered me), talked about it like, “Oh, it’s just another test to have to do, kind of boring, really.”

    Still, the inescapable fact is that a guy likes to look at a naked woman. Period. Doctors are no different. They like to look at naked women, too. So, if they get PAID to look–I mean, really LOOK–at a woman’s sexual organs, and even better, they get to touch them, well… So much the better! I’m not saying that doctors do exams just to get a sexual thrill, because the circumstances really don’t allow a full-out sexual experience, but given a choice between doing a lung exam on an 80-year-old guy or a pelvic exam on an attractive 30-year-old woman, I’d say most docs would MUCH rather do the latter. They’re only human. They would flatly deny having any such thoughts (in most cases), but deep down, they ARE men, after all.

    So, I think sometimes part of what prompts docs to urge women to have more testing is, that secretly they kind of like doing it. The money doesn’t hurt (i.e., they get paid to do it). In terms of pap smears being unnecessary for post-hysterectomy women, they also probably often just don’t know–there are several things in my specialty which GPs do wrong, all the time, even though they should know better. The ACOG recommends that even without doing pap smears, women have pelvic exams regularly, to screen for various cancers that are of very little risk. I’m sure part of that is just the “hyperscreening” that we’ve gotten sucked into, part of it is the money, and part is the male domination of women (gives you a great chance to stand there, fully clothed, with a woman who is naked and in a vulnerable position), and the chance to look at and touch naked women.

    My wife (my second wife) and I got married last year, just past age 50 (for both of us). She had a hysterectomy (for benign disease) nearly 20 years ago. Before we married, she got kind of funny one day, then when I asked about what was wrong she admitted that she had had to make an appointment to “get my pap smear,” which she felt guilty for missing for the previous few years. I informed her she didn’t need one any more, and she told me I was wrong, that her gyn had told her she DID need them YEARLY, even though she’d had a hysterectomy. I showed her the research and persuaded her not to go back, ever, to that gyn.

    Later, in looking at her records myself, I find that she had a small cyst removed from her back a few years ago. The surgeon did a complete pelvic exam as part of the physical before surgery. A VERY complete pelvic exam. There was no need for that (he did NOT record anything other than lungs, heart, breasts, and pelvic exam on his H&P report). A couple of years later she had a small cyst removed from her shoulder. THAT surgeon (a different one) did a complete breast exam as part of her H&P. My wife works in the hospital, with all these doctors (she’s in administration). She had her first colonoscopy last year, and the GI doc did a complete pelvic exam as part of her exam. Again, no medical reason to do that. She is not unattractive (not a magazine-model stunner, but attractive–I think she’s the most attractive woman in the world, but realistically she’s average attractiveness).

    In my office, I am now doing a small study. I’ve asked women who come in (either as patients or as family members of patients) who are aged 30-60, who have had hysterectomies, whether they have continued to have pap smears/pelvic exams and whether their doc has recommended they still have them. I rank them as “attractive,” “not unattractive,” or “unattractive,” being aware this is a judgement call and not really PC (but the ones I’ve judged “unattractive,” I think everyone would agree, are really not attractive at all). So far, I’ve had 14 women agree to answer my questions, and the results have stunned me: of the 4 unattractive ones, all were told they no longer need to have pap smears/pelvic exams, because of their hysterectomies (even though for one, the hyst’y was for cancer, meaning she DOES need to continue exams). Of the 4 “not unattractive,” 3 have continued to have paps/pelvics irregularly (not yearly but every few years, at least), and 2 told me their doc told them they needed them, in one case “yearly” (and her doc was the same one who told 2 of the unattractive ones not to bother with exams any more, including the 1 who had had cancer)–the other 2 never asked and were never told anything by their doc. Of the “attractive” ones (all of whom had hyst’y for benign disease), only 2 have continued paps/pelvics, but all told me their doctors have continually told them they need to come in for regular exams, including pap smears and pelvic exams (interestingly, all but 1 had the same doctor who’d told 2 unattractive ladies not to come back). My wife’s (previous) gyn had told one of the unattractive ladies not to have further paps/pelvics, and 1 of the attractive ones she really, really needs them regularly (and she has, until our discussion).

    Make your own judgement there, but that’s one more reason to be skeptical of attempts to get women to have regular exams. If I were a woman, I would not go to a male doc for such an exam, ever.   http://blogcritics.org/unnecessary-pap-smears/

IMG_0175

794 comments

  1. Interesting and worrisome. I wonder if there is a societal prejudice that attractive people are more vibrant and active so need extra care? Or if they receive increased levels of care across other specialties?

    • That is something I had not thought of and you may be on to something here. If a study was done on amount and quality of health care received based on attractiveness, I bet results would show attractive people did indeed receive more attention. In the case of the other side of the speculum, I found the good Doctor’s comments worrisome also. Especially given that frequent pap smears most often lead to unnecessary treatments that can cause harm. Not to mention the psychological damage from loss of dignity, modesty issues, and increased exposure to medical sexual misconduct. I doubt too that attractiveness has that much to do with being pressured into frequent unnecessary pap smears – most men aren’t that fussy! Thanks for your comments Katie.

      • There has been a study on attractive people and the care they recieve. And, yep, if you look good, you will always have longer doctor sessions, etc.

    • I don’t think it’s to do with giving ‘attractive’ people better care, I think it’s to do with these doctor’s preferring to examine the sexual organs of ‘attractive’ women rather than ‘unattractive’ women..

  2. Interesting blog!

    Way back when I was 17, I got my private pilot’s license, which meant a regular flight physical. When I was about 18 or 19 and went in for my renewal, the small-town doc wanted to do a pelvic exam on me as part of a flight physical. I refused, on the grounds that I couldn’t think of any pelvic condition that might cause me to wreck an airplane. And I wasn’t even sexually active at that age. The doc really pushed, telling me I was at an age that I really, really needed to get regular pelvic exams. I told him that might be so, but I would go to an ob-gyn to do it. He grudgingly issued my certificate “this time,” but warned that next time I would HAVE to have the pelvic. It was tantamount to holding my flight credentials hostage until he got a chance to peer up into my privates.

    The next physical was overcome by events, as I joined the Army and moved away.

    I have to say – I have generally been pleased with Army health care, and suspect that this is because they are on salary and not paid by fee-for-service. I rarely have the same doc twice in a row, sometimes men, sometimes women; but they were very quick to implement the guidelines of only doing a Pap once every 3 years unless the patient’s history dictates more vigilance.

    • I am so impressed that you had the presence of mind to refuse the pelvic exam, and that even though he was pushy you pushed right back! BTW it is also impressive you knew how to fly a plane at such a young age. And excellent point – what on earth pelvic condition would cause anyone to wreck an airplane!

      When I was in my teens I also had a pushy pap happy doctor telling me I would NEED to have a pelvic exam before he would renew my second prescription for birth control pills. I was still a virgin and started taking them, just in case. Well, the thought of having to go through such an exam bothered me so much that I decided to just stop taking the pill, and have never started up again. Condoms work just fine, plus they also provide other protection.

      Women can tell when something doesn’t feel right or when there is a gleam in the doctor’s eye that just shouldn’t be there! Unfortunately though I haven’t always been so wise and lucky when it comes to pelvic exams.

      • Sue, I was lucky enough to be in a program to encourage female interest in aviation. A local pilot got a grant for this purpose and went around to the high schools to see who was interested. Me me me me me! Oddly… there really WEREN’T many others interested, and my friends thought I was weird for wanting to do it. I doubt the guy even filled all the slots. The grant only covered ground school, but once you pass that exam, you only have two years to complete the flight portion and get your license. My dad was pleased that I passed and between his help and my summer job, I was able to finish my license during my first semester of college. I thought I might go on to fly professionally but… I am just too short. Most commercial pilots come from the military but I was six inches too short for USAF or Navy and just didn’t quite make it for Army helicopter requirements. So – on to other things.

        As for pushiness, well… yeah, I’m kinda known for that. Not always a desirable trait, but it has its advantages!

  3. That is awesome, good for you! I’m afraid I would have been one of the ones who might have been hiding under the desks though. I doubt that guy filled all the slots too! I’m sorry to hear the only thing that stopped you was your height, something you couldn’t change. I have always appreciated pushiness/assertiveness in a woman and wish there were more of us like that. I’m working on assertiveness myself as I’m more of the “eager to please” variety. But when it comes to pelvic exams I have learned to just say “no”. Not always the case with all things ha ha.

  4. Hi,

    Thanks for visiting and for the like :-).

    A male medical friend has said things very similar to what is in this post, which is just so sad and disturbing :-(. Apparently this is far more common than what we might think.

      • My friends and my aunt all said that same thing. There doctor didnot ask or say what they were gona do. I heard there doctors stuck there hand inside there gown and started doing breat exams with out concent. I could not deal with that. I think that is so wrong. no respect for concent is just sick. I would feel violated had a doctor donle that to me. and my boyfriend would feel disrespected.

  5. When I was 18 and my big busted friend went to the doctor with a cold and he wanted her to remove her bra. It pretty much alerted me from a young age that some male doctors are predators. At that same blog an ex wife of a doctor says the same thing. She said that when her husband’s doctor friends used to come over for a drink, once their tongues started to loosen up from the alcohol they showed a completely different persona. They went from acting like professionals to leary pervy men.

  6. When I was 17, a DR had me wear a paper shirt to listen to my heart, had me lie down, and lifted the shirt and told me not to cover myself. Mom was there (she is of the mentality “oh its just a body”) and assured me he looked away to listen, but he always looked down to lift and lower the paper shirt. I was horrified. I still am to this day. I wasn’t in a place to protect myself like I am now…but I get shaky even now, 13 years later, remembering that feeling of helpless vulnerability, being taken advantage of, and my mother doing NOTHING about it. Ironically, she never allowed pelvic exams on me as a child and agrees with my decision not to screen. I honestly think she thought he was just doing his job…but it taught me only I can protect myself from such pervs. I don’t think women doctors/nurses are any better/less pervy than the male doctors. Sadly, many such women go into the medical field for a sense of power (that’s what I’ve interpreted anyway). I no longer have a regular doctor and am committed to eating healthy and exercising and treating myself whenever necessary. Unless I go to urgent care, I don’t go. I’ve had too many experiences with such doctors that have left me traumatized. Thankfully, I have no desire to have children. I used to want them, but the terror of dealing with doctors and nurses and the medical profession left me anxious at the prospect. My decision to NOT have children is independent of that fear – I just don’t want them.

    • Thank you all for your comments. EJ I like how you put into words so well the feeling of being vulnerable and helpless to stop predatory behavior – and the hopelessness of knowing others cannot/will not recognize it. It is heartbreaking how it has affected your life, and I think that same type of thing can affect many women and how they live their lives. I know for me the prospect of having to submit to pelvic exams with a pervy small town dr. when I was a teen was enough to stop me from going on the pill – so that has affected my personal life a great deal. I also avoid drs and hospitals like the plague from having traumatic experiences. It is maddening how the attitude of “it’s just a body” or “we’ve seen it all before” is supposed to make us feel better. That type of defense only reflects a sense of skewed entitlement and is a way to coerce us into giving up our privacy and dignity, leaving us vulnerable to predatory behavior. Which in my own experience runs far too rampant and unchecked in the medical community.

    • I’m so sorry you have had such negative experiences with medicine. I’ve been an EMT for 4 years and now I am in PA school and I can tell you that I did not go into the field for power (I’m a woman)–as an EMT you are subjected to the men you work with and the patients that can turn violent on you quickly and yes, you do end up with power in many instances, but that is part of the responsibility of caring for others and I rarely saw my female coworkers abuse that, if anything a good deal of the time I was the vulnerable one. Now in PA school they stress to us the importance of keeping the patients properly covered and explaining every step so that they do not feel vulnerable, we have models that come in and tell us straight up if we are doing it wrong or inappropriately and I’m grateful for that. There were also several times in the emergency room when I had to stand up for female patients and tell the nurses and doctors that it was inappropriate for an exam to be done in certain rooms (or an EKG in the hallway on one occasion!), and the male providers always had a female with them to make sure they were professional–the ER though is different than an office, and you should never have felt so traumatized. I hope one day you meet a provider who is caring and sensitive and that you find trust in them for your needs!

  7. Sue and EJ, it is bloody terrible the way we are forced BY the doctors and system to be either compliant little sheep that are doing what we are told is best for us, or (according to the medical profession), not compliant nutbags who won’t accept what’s best for us. It shits me to tears that there is very rarely any middle ground. I also find it telling that when doctors are patients they are not ‘good’ patients, and freak out at the lack of control, possibility of care that is not right, etc etc etc, blah blah blah. It’s about time there IS some middle ground and patients like us are not put in the non-compliant crazy basket, but were instead put in the educated about her care basket. I guess it’s too much to wish that ALL patients were simply treated with some respect, and treated just how the actual doctors would like to be treated if they were the ones stuck in the hospital/medical centre/whatever.

    • Nice to see you Jacqui. We are in different time zones, my day is just ending and I was happy to see your post. I agree there should be some middle ground, and how wonderful it would be if all patients were treated with respect all the time! Going back to something EJ mentioned in her post, it is entirely possible for drs to listen to our heart and lungs through a thin shirt or gown. There is no need for them to have us get naked.

  8. This all goes with the ‘get used to it, you’re a woman’ attitude, or ‘I’m a doctor and therefore entitled to see and touch your body’. I don’t know what they are taught when they are medical students, but there is no way they understand what it is like for a woman to be exposed and spreadeagled on an examination table whist they rummage around in the most intimate part of our body. I still remember my first pelvic examination. I was 17 and the (male) doctor forced my knees apart, as I wouldn’t comply with his verbal instructions to spread my legs. I felt violated – I WAS violated, but I have never spoken to anyone who understood how I felt. So I decided to keep quiet about it, until now, as I know that you girls will understand and not belittle how I feel.

    • I’m 40 years old, and have 6 kids, and I *still* have trouble spreading my knees for pelvic exams. I just don’t like the exposure. I was so grateful to my midwife in my last birth, she didn’t do a single pelvic exam on me during pregnancy or during the birth! I did my own Group B Strep swab, and beyond that…no pelvic exams of any kind. And guess what? My little boy was born just fine, thank you very much! My husband caught him with the midwife standing across the room. Of course she did check for tears after the birth, and then at my post-partum visit she did a Pap smear at my request…but that was it. There was no need for her to be constantly checking me.

  9. Oh Chrissy – I could weep for you. You were violated. I feel sick just reading about your experience. Of course you couldn’t comply with his request. – you must have been terrified. Doctors, nurses and midwives have no idea just how humiliating, degrading and horrifying intimate exams are to a lot of women. I don’t see why women “have to get used to it “. There is never any need to be naked for exams. It’s all about power and control. Get patients naked and submissive. Is it too much to ask for some dignity and respect?

  10. Chrissy what happened to you just shouldn’t happen. For a long time women have been silenced and told to “grow up”, “stop being so modest”, and “it’s for your own good”. Well, the tide is finally turning. Women have finally found a way to speak, and to speak to other women who share many of the same feelings and experiences. A few things are finally coming out into the open:
    – it is common for women to be pressured into frequent pelvic exams without informed consent
    – drs coerce and pressure women into these exams even after the woman has said “no”
    – it is common for drs to withhold prescriptions and healthcare until a woman submits to a pelvic exam
    – cervical cancer is rare
    – pap smears are extremely unreliable as a testing method
    – women are routinely stripped of privacy and dignity, thus leaving them exposed to predatory behavior
    – when a woman experiences sexual misconduct at the hands of medical staff there is little she can do because even if she does complain she is silenced/belittled, and the incident is covered up
    It has been a dreadful cycle of abuse that has gone on for far too long. And I haven’t even touched on all the physical harms that come from unnecessary over “treatment” and harmful testing. What happened to you is so upsetting, and you were only 17.
    Here is the link to a post written by a male who has a very accurate way of describing a pelvic exam:
    http://agalltyr.wordpress.com/2010/11/28/a-pelvic-exam-is-rape/

    • I think the male doctor in this post was probably onto something, but I do NOT get a good vibe from this agalltyr person. He talks about the importance of consent for pelvic exams and other touching, but he “wouldn’t date” a woman who got a pelvic exam because it would be cheating?!? Agalltyr seems way more concerned with women’s “modesty” and “purity” and reducing the number of other men who touch ‘his women’ than he does with said women’s health (mental *or* physical).

      Maybe we need to reconsider how often these exams are needed—and how they’re conducted!—but I don’t think it’s advisable to forgo them altogether, and my health is more important than my partner feeling threatened by someone else seeing a part of my body!

      • Elliot,
        “my health is more important than my partner feeling threatened by someone else seeing a part of my body”
        First of all my breasts and vagina are no just a part of my body they are my sexual organs. And it’s not just “someone” its strange male looking at, palpating, inserting into me, and fingering me for crying out loud!!!
        My husband has a big problem with that and so I, frankly. It is just as easy to book an appointment with a female doctor for these exams as it is to have your GP do it – It just requires you to dial a different phone number. We, my boyfriend and I, have been going over all these statements, and we just can’t believe your callous disregard for your partner, and yourself to be honest. Strange.

      • I’m 64 yrs. old & find my anus checked with her finger very humiliating & unnessary. She rolls it around as if I have a problem & have a prostate. I’m a female & don’t even think a pap semi at my age is necessary, unless I was having problems.This is her part of a yearly physical. My husband’s Dr. takes care of what he goes on for. Furious

    • Sure, they’re performed far more than necessary, but that doesn’t mean they’re unnecessary, but it’s still a “grey area” if the patient REQUESTS it? God forbid, what’s he going to do if his wife or girlfriend starts experiencing actual reproductive problems? Tell her she can either suffer, or she’ll be “cheating” on him if she does seek medical attention?

      Looking at the rest of his blog: In other places, he judges people who are trying to have sex without getting pregnant, people who “act sexy in public”, people who get plastic surgery, and he compared plastic surgeons to serial killers…. and he seems to be writing this from a world that only contains straight people.

      There are many, many good arguments that can be made that doctors perform pelvic exams with unnecessary frequency, and likely for their own sexual motives. The post on this page contains one of them. The reasons you list are others. The post that was linked to is something written by a man whose argument is based almost exclusively on his desire to dictate what other people should and should not do with their bodies or feel about the things that they are doing.

    • Cervical cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer in undeveloped countries due to lack of pap smear as a screening tool. In the U.S. it is less common due to pap smears. That being said, this article breaks my heart. I am a graduating senior at a U.S. allopathic medical school and will be going into Ob/Gyn. Our patients come to us trusting us to do what is best and necessary for them, and to hear about this rampant abuse of power is unacceptable. It is for this reason and more that I look forward to soon being able to provide quality healthcare in a safe and comfortable environment to women like me.

      • MD2B, your comment “cervical cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer in undeveloped countries due to lack of pap smear as a screening tool. In the U.S. it is less common due to pap smears” contains a clear purpose, namely, to convince women to screen. Women visiting this site probably do not live in undeveloped countries. Please read this article about cervical cancer in Australia (a developed country):
        http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/wh39.pdf In paragraph 6.11 the article states: “Invasive cervical cancer is a rare disease. The annual incidence was below 15 per 100,000 in Australia even before the National Cervical Screening Program began (see Figure 2.2), but current screening is detecting some kind of abnormality in about 5000 women of every 100,000 screened (AIHW 2003).”

        Cervical cancer was less than 15 per 100,00 before pap testing became routine. Cervical cancer has always been rare in developed countries, and is even more rare today. It is inaccurate to equate correlation with causation. Cervical cancer was already in decline prior to pap testing coming onto the scene, most likely as a result of better nutrition, hygiene, and protected sex.

        This site is all about women having access to truthful information about cervical cancer and screening. Many women are unaware that cervical cancer is rare, that a pap test is unreliable as a method of screening for cervical cancer, and that they have the right to say no to screening if they choose to do so. Women are not being offered truthful information or a choice when it comes to pap tests/vaginal exams. Many women are unaware they have a right to informed consent.
        http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2009/11/informed-consent-missing-pap-smears-cervical-cancer-screening.html

        Men are treated respectfully and offered information and a choice in regards to prostate cancer screening, even though prostate cancer is roughly 19 times more prevalent than cervical cancer. Women however are not being offered information and a choice in regards to cervical cancer screening. Men are being offered informed consent, women are not.

      • African women have unique risk factors for cervical cancer, you can’t compare Australia with Africa. Women here are often told the rates of cc are higher in Africa because they don’t have our “fabulous” program. (that harms vast numbers)
        This is designed to scare women into screening.
        The fact is their rates of cc were always much higher than Australia, the cancer has always been rare here and was in natural decline before testing started…so other factors are also, having an impact.
        Honesty is something missing from women’s cancer screening, we get stories, including the African scary story.
        You’re in a unique position to make a difference, I hope you do. Good luck with your future career. More women are looking for someone who’ll work with them, not dictate, scare, mislead or coerce….or push an agenda for their own benefit…usually profits.

      • MD2B: You nauseate me. B4 you “provide” your version of care, obtain treatment for your narcissistic personality trait. You share the same mantra of doctors that bullied me for years by refusing to answer my most basic medical questions. No answer, no treatment until I verified if I were up to date on my “exam.” I even had to disclose who I’d scheduled it with.

        Then my husband caught a doctor looking me over in the waiting room before telling the nurse he wanted to examine for a yeast infection. I had been prescribed antibiotic days earlier. My husband then, over the objections of the nurse, followed me to the exam room. This doctor saw him, and decided then and there to write the Rx down on the pad… The nurse relayed that he decided on second thought I didn’t need one.

        I never received informed consent for any exam. Exams/Treatments were simply issued and it was expected I’d automatically comply. For anything. And pregnancy? The excuse of bearing children is like a “go anywhere/do anything” pass to a doctor.

        Pain? How many times do we hear “might be uncomfortable or might feel some pressure” or “some women say they don’t feel anything.” Or the “a couple Advil will help with cramping; but this will only last a few seconds.” Such as uterine biopsy. Colposcopy with biopsy. Cryosurgery. Scrape the cervix until you see blood. Doctors always feign ignorance. But immediately afterward somehow remember how terribly painful these exams are.

        Today, no doctor will allow his newborn son to be circumcised w/o local anesthetic. There’s nothing worse than hearing a baby boy scream as his penis’ foreskin is cut. Today this hygienic and religious procedure is painless. So explain why doctors aren’t offering meds/sedation/anesthesia both pre and post to women? In a hurry, lazy, or uncaring? Why leave husbands and family to deal with this?

        Keep your empty promises of providing better care and not abusing. You’re not different than any of the others.

        When a prospective doctor says he/she will provide informed consent, invite the patient’s chosen advocate into the room, provide pain control, be honest, and truly stay out of our bodies unless really necessary…then and only then will women, men, and children “enjoy” advanced care.

      • Even the cervix’s of women in developing countries don’t escape scrutiny. I would think that women in developing countries have far bigger threats to their life and well-being than cervical cancer. HIV/Aids (for women aged 15-44 years, HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death worldwide),maternal death, survival of their children, violence, tuberculosis, access to clean water and food, adequate shelter, mental health (depression is the leading cause of disease burden for women in both high-income and low- and middle-income countries), injuries such as burns (burns are among the top 10 leading causes of death among women aged 15–44), other diseases such as malaria (Malaria is one of the most severe public health problems worldwide. It is a leading cause of death and disease in many developing countries), access to education, and recently there has been a black plague outbreak in Madagascar.

    • this agalltyr person is a misogynistic asexual psychopath mchaterton.

      here is some more appalling gems

      -“People who act sexy in public encourage other people to get themselves into trouble with sex.”

      -“I think the religious got it right. Although I normally oppose religion (on principle), I agree that abstinence is the best policy on sex. If you’re not going to start a family, then it’s a bad idea to have sex with anyone.”

      -“A pelvic exam is like rape. Rape isn’t about violence. It’s about the loss of control over one’s own body.”

      -“Only a woman herself or someone with whom she already shares physical intimacy (lover or husband) should perform any physical exam”

      -“Sometimes I think I want to have sex. I’ve tried sex a couple times before, I almost think I’d like to try it again, but I keep running into a problem. when I take the whole truth into account, I find that I actually don’t want to have sex.What keeps holding me back is that I know sex is dangerous”

      -“What women in porn really need is someone (a boyfriend or husband) who actually cares about them, and if they can’t find such a person then they would be better off not being sexual at all.”

      -Jesus could have been a physical alien

      -“Kidnapping an animal and holding it captive, people refer to as owning a “pet”

      srsly..where is anonymous when you need them?

      • While the stuff this person is saying is pure bile, your word choice is problematic. It probably wasn’t your intention, but puting asexual along with words like “misogynistic” and “psychopath” implies there is something wrong with being asexual.

  11. Oh Chrissy, I am so sorry that you had to go through that. I hope that by finding other likeminded people it is helping you to get over/deal with it. Yes, you WERE violated, against your will, and if there was any justice in the world, doctors and other medical staff that force (sorry, strongly suggest for the woman’s own good) this sort of examination onto women should be charged with assault.

  12. Jane, Sue and Jacqui – many thanks for your kind words and support. It is a great comfort that you understand and empathise. If any other man had done that to me, we know that it would be considered an assault as I was not OK with what he was trying to do – to the contrary, I was trying my best to resist. And scared out of my wits as I didn’t know what was happening. But because it is a man in a white coat, it is considered to be OK. In fact, I was just ‘a silly girl’ who would not do as she was told by the good doctor. And all for nothing – they don’t do this kind of ‘routine’ stuff anymore in this country as it is not considered to be necessary. Bastards.

  13. Jane thank you for the link – it revealed a very interesting story. Unfortunately it is really difficult to stop doctors who abuse women http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/chi-doctor-sex-charges-gallery,0,2850650.storygallery
    Chrissy, the first time I had a pelvic exam I was not prepared for the experience. Even though I had an idea of what was involved from having read about them, I had a hard time believing that what was taking place was actually happening to me. Naming the exam a “pelvic” exam is misleading, especially if you are not informed about what takes place beforehand, because the pelvis is not in any way the focus. The VAGINA is the focus of the exam, and the way it is spotlighted, examined, probed, fingered, and spread open is truly difficult to comprehend unless you have experienced it, up close and personal.

    My first experience was enhanced because the dr kicked the humiliation up a notch by not providing a sheet or gown to cover up with. He left me completely naked during the exam. I was in my early 20’s and never knew any better. I just assumed that was the way they were supposed to be done, and it was only years later that I discovered we are supposed to get something to cover up with.

    Drs are only, as you say, MEN who happen to be wearing a white coat, and we don’t know them or know we can trust them – we only know that we’re expected to trust them. There is also an assumption and expectation that we are supposed to be just fine with undergoing this violently intimate exam, yet it goes against all we have known how to be.

    Just because a person has studied such subjects as biology and anatomy does not, in my mind, automatically entitle them to ask me to undress, spread my legs, and offer up my vagina for examination. To suddenly let go of all I have known how to be. But this has been the expectation, and the women who don’t comply have been told to find a way to deal with their own “immaturity”, “modesty” and “silliness”. A blame-the-victim approach that has been a very clever and sadly effective tactic.

    I have recently come to understand that some of those MEN in white coats know exactly what they are doing, and enjoy it.

  14. Sue, that creep of a doctor was either completely oblivious to your vulnerability, didn’t care or enjoyed the power trip . Doctors like that should not be allowed anywhere near women. What the hell do they learn when they are medical students? I dread to think what their training must be like, just treating people as body parts, with no thought to a person’s feelings or psyche.
    It certainly doesn’t require much in the way of intelligence to understand why a woman is uncomfortable being examined in such an intimate way. Lying naked on our backs with our legs open is a sexual position, and it is a very natural and pleasurable position to be in with a man we love and are intimately involved with.
    Being in the same position for a ‘pelvic’ exam with a doctor, is it any wonder that we struggle with the concept as it remains fundamentaly a sexual position. And then we are expected to allow them to look at and touch our sexual parts, most of the time for completely unneccessary examinations which add nothing to our health and wellbeing. The final insult is that we are expected to be OK with this!
    If we don’t like it and try to avoid it, or get upset by it, we are accused of immaturity, told to grow up, get used to it, suck it up, all part of being a woman, being responsible, blah blah bloody blah.
    It really makes me sick. So many of us have been hurt by all this.

    • Thanks Chrissy, and you are so right it is a sexual position which only adds to how wrong it feels. What I disliked most (before I stopped having paps) was the exchange of glances that sometimes happened between the humming and hawing of “oh no I don’t need a pap today” and the dr’s aggressive insistence. There was the nightmarish dread and captured, helpless feeling I got, and what I perceived to be the dr’s victory, amusement, and look of gloating anticipation. I hated that almost as much as what followed.

      When medical students are encouraged to practice pelvic exams on anesthetized women it teaches them that it is okay to disregard women’s privacy and dignity. It teaches them that they are entitled to coerce and pressure women into these humiliating exams, and even when they seem to know exactly what effect they are having they still ignore women’s feelings about them.

      • have you read the essay from Claire T. Porter, “I’m taking back my pussy” ?
        http://womenagainststirrups.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=questionnaire&action=display&thread=12
        She describes her gynecological experiences where you probably will recognize a lot. About feeling powerless and having to endure the sexist attitude from a male gyn which is probably very common for women to experience.

        I agree it’s an extremely sexual position for a woman to be in. The other reason why it is so awful, is that it is not just a sexual position, but also a very powerless one, which I believe can force women to associate powerlessness (basically being raped) with sexual arousal as it is our instinct to spread our legs when we are horny. Thus, for a woman to spread her legs, likewise signals the brain for sexual arousal which she doesn’t want at that time of course (most not), because it is a ‘medical’ procedure and she doesn’t want sex with the doctor.

        Therefore I also believe that these gyn exams are rape even when a woman consents to it. She may verbally and rationally agree to it, but her body screams NO and most women do not listen or respect their own bodily feelings in this context. With all the fear mongering about cancer and the fear for the exam itself, she can’t even make a rational decision (and not that it has to be a rational one, because rationality is used to justify the whole ordeal and rationalize her feelings of violation away) because the mind is locked in fear and can’t think clear anymore and this is exactly what doctors want. There are so many benefits for them to keep using the medieval pelvic exam:

        to satisfy their sexual lusts
        for the powertrip
        for the money
        and the fear this exam generates in women also keeps them traumatized, in fear, unable to think CRITICAL about the so called need for them

  15. It’s so annoying to read many women’s comments on forums who are pap happy and see male gynecologists, arguing that male gyns couldn’t possibly be spending all those years in med school just so they can ogle at and fondle naked women for a living.

    And why not? Besides they get to view and penetrate naked women, they are even being paid for it (as opposed to regular men who need to pay to watch porn or visit a prostitute) and they receive a high status in society and lots of respect to sexually dominate women on top of it, the nasty perverts! All those years in med school very much pay off in the long run!!

    In a society where men relentlessly make sexual comments whenever they see ‘boobs’ and vagina’s, why does it have to come to a surprise that men in a medical context have these same thoughts when they see naked female patients?

    The argument that the context is too cold and clinical doesn’t fly with me. It can only arouse them even more, when they are not ‘supposed’ to have sexual thoughts because repressing sexuality results in even stronger arousal, but they are very good in hiding it. I’m sure many of them also use the visual imagery they get in their offices to jack off on when they get home. The fact that the woman is completely submissive and powerless gives them the added powertrip too, it’s no surprise then either that it was a man who invented this exam, they’ve always enjoyed to sexually dominate women.

    There is in fact a male gynecologist who ironically argues that men should never be a gynecologist and says most of them treat women like sexobjects. I also agree with him that they have a subconscious motivation (and not always subconsciously, but I guess the so called ‘good doctors’ have this subconscious motivation as opposed to the ‘bad’ ones who are at least more aware of their own motivations and can admit for themselves why they are in the business) to be in a powerful position towards women.

    Here’s an article about what he has to say:
    http://womenagainststirrups.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=questionnaire&action=display&thread=39

    The late doctor Robert Mendelsohn also wrote a book ‘Mal(e) Practice’ in where he argues that gynecologists are misogynists.

    When I started my yahoogroup, Women Against Stirrups in 2004, I could hardly find any site, blog or forum that questioned or criticized the practice of gynecology, much to my shock and frustration. I did find one blog that questioned the motivation of why *men* would choose this profession.

    One medical student commented:


    I,m a guy and it’s good to read some common sense. I
    went to med school but dropped out in my 3rd year for
    money reasons and the fact I was disappointed with the
    bulk of drs. I had soo revered for years. First, there
    was a very strong message that MEN should be drs.
    Women lacked smarts, physical strength, and strong
    character to be drs. Also the group that was most
    sexist, and most interested with having “fun” with
    females were those going into the personal areas of
    medicine; ie. OB|GYN and urology. This experience has
    made a BIG impression on me. I strongly think it is
    weird and wrong for a women to see a male dr. While in
    school it struck me. How does a guy with all the parts
    and hormones of a guy suddenly get a pc. of paper and
    get the right to cross the line that husbands and boy
    friends only do. Too often the word “professional” is
    used to give extreme rights to those who should not
    have them. I consider it sexual assault for a female
    to be intimately trouched by a male dr. And I think it
    lowers the womens dignity about as far as it can go. I
    think if women just think for a moment…”this is a
    guy, who went to school and has a title. No matter
    what though, this is a GUY!” And as pointed out what
    kind of normal guy would want to be an OB|GYN?? What
    would be his motivation?

    Women get some brains…men have dominated women in
    all areas for centuries and have always given
    themselves the right to cross lines that are walled
    off to women. It is only recent history that women
    were “allowed” in Med school.
    IRV”

    Some other comments I collected about male
    gynecologists that show
    they aren’t as well-intentioned as they try to make themselves out to be:

    Dr. Alice Rothchild speaks about her student years
    in gynecology :”.. women were always referred to as
    “girls”; one frequent comment by the chairman was,
    “The only good uterus is a uterus on the table!”;
    middle-aged women were referred to as “the three F’s”
    (forty, fat and fertile).
    ..
    Our gynecology text advised women that their role in sexual intercourse was primarily to satisfy the husband.”
    http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/rothchil.htm

    (this story I read in a magazine:)
    A journalist wrote that he had a chat with a gyn,who was bragging
    about the fact that he and his colleagues were once
    invited to attend a congress about HIV, where
    afterwards they were invited to have sex with prostitutes
    on the costs of those who organized the congress( that
    was the provider of a certain brand of condoms, I
    believe)

    (From a magazine, Interview with a prostitute:)
    A call girl talks about her job and her clients, one of her clients; a
    gynecologist called her to make an appointment in his
    gyn office. She waited in the waiting room behaving
    like a normal patient untill it was her turn. After
    they had sex in his gyn room,(he would first have
    licked her pussy while she was on the examining table
    and afterwards f##ked her) he put his pants back on
    and called in the next patient.

  16. I have often wondered how male doctors are deemed to be capable of stepping outside of their biology. Men are very sexual beings, highly visual and by nature very much attracted to women, yet male doctors after a number of years of study and training are considered able to set this aside and become completely non-sexual in the company of female patients?

    I have also not yet met a man who does not carry some degree of male chauvinism about him, no matter how small. It would seem that medical school may well enhance this chauvinism and enable them to abuse their power and position. I also don’t buy the cold and clinical setting is off putting for them. It may be cold and clinical for us, but it is their work place and is a very comfortable setting for them. The power dynamic between men and women is amplified in this situation. Are we really supposed to believe that they don’t enjoy this power?

    Yazzmyne, I found your articles to be very interesting. Your comments on the vulnerability of women during gyn exams resonated with me. How many times I have lain there with alarm bells ringing in my head – it just feels so very, very wrong. I struggled with these feelings for years, thinking I was a really strange person, as no one else appeared to think the same way. You know, the ‘all part of being a woman’, ‘it’s OK, he’s a doctor’ garbage that gets thrown at us when we object to being exposed and touched by complete strangers. It is such a relief to find other women who feel the same way about these exams and the disgusting way gynaecology is practiced to the detriment of women’s mental and physical health.

    • Chrissy, I agree that medical school may enhance the male chauvinism that is inherent in every man to some degree. Some medical drs seem to have their own special brand of chauvinism, one that goes well beyond the standard. Some drs seem to develop a way of being and speaking that reminds me of dog trainers teaching their pets how to do tricks. Maybe they have a class in med school that is similar to a dog training/obedience class, geared towards “handling” patients – Patient Training and Obedience 101.
      I like your points about the cold and clinical setting being a comfortable setting for them, and how it creates even more of a power imbalance. Also, we are naked while they are fully clothed. We are in a very vulnerable and sexual position on our backs with our legs spread wide. The light shining on our vagina also adds to the power imbalance. In addition, the proximity of the dr’s face to our private bits is extremely disconcerting. The alarm bells start to ring very loudly at that point. And I agree it is such a relief to be able to find others who feel the same way.

    • your a smarty Chrissy, I feel exactly the same way and could not have said it
      better myself. It’s absolutely ridiculous thinking they have us all fooled. I have a male Doc friend who is forever trying to look down my blouse when he thinks i’m not
      aware,

  17. From Unnecessary pap smears the point of view for a doctor’s wife.
    “I was married to a male doctor for 12 years, believe me, they DO notice, sometimes enjoy and will change the way they do a consult and what is included if they find the patient really attractive.
    My ex-husband was careful not to do anything that couldn’t be justified medically or by usual procedure. Given doctors in the States include routine intimate exams when not clinically necessary, it gives them a lot of leeway.
    My ex-husband never felt he was taking advantage, it was a perk of the job. I strongly disapproved and he stopped mentioning it to me but when his colleagues had a few drinks at our home, the lascivious talk would start. Even one colleague who strongly denied he even noticed, he was a professional after all, admitted you can’t turn off the male genes and he had his “favorites”.
    It disgusted me.
    My ex-husband warned me away from male doctors when we met and told me to forget annual physicals, they were not clinically necessary or even helpful.
    I still use a self-test kit my ex-husband sourced for me every 5 years. His colleagues don’t mention self test kits to their patients because they want to do the exam. Although one obese older patient got the offer of a self-test kit.
    It goes on…unspoken and denied, but use your common sense. Do you really think a heterosexual man is not going to notice and enjoy having a young and/or attractive woman naked with legs spread apart in front of him and being able to touch and probe? My ex was surprised that many young women were happy to expose themselves like that now that female doctors are available.
    Anyone who thinks they don’t notice after a period of time is kidding themselves. Unattractive women and older women are safer, my husband would go through the motions or express his disgust to me if they were overweight or unattractive in some other way.
    Some young women don’t care and even feel more comfortable exposing themselves to a man. A young woman (family friend)told my ex-husband that her doctor had an erection after giving her a pelvic exam. My ex-husband covered for the doctor, but told me later that sometimes that happens, just as it happens elsewhere in life when you’re stimulated visually or physically.
    Don’t kid yourselves…a medical degree does not change all the normal urges and reactions.”

    • Mary, great addition to the discussion that reveals a whole new side of the speculum. And great find from the annals of Blogcritics. The patience required to sift through the 177 pages really does pay off with some very revealing information, thanks for sharing this.

    • You are so right….I worked in the medical field and heard discussions between residents when patients and other nurses were not around. I guess they thought because I was a man that I was ok with it. I forbade my wife from going to anymore male doctors for women issues.

  18. Wow. This post keeps showing up in my blog stats. Apparently people end up here a lot, and apparently my own blog post that compares a pelvic exam to rape is linked somewhere above, but frankly I don’t want to get actively involved in the discussion because I think I’ve already described my feelings in great enough detail, and I’d only end up arguing in circles. Some people seem to prefer to put their faith in fallible human beings (“doctors”). Other people (like myself) would rather put their faith in themselves and let nature take its course. Although, I did try to suggest a reasonably respectful compromise between these two extremes at the very end of my blog post.

    But the title of this post is what keeps getting my attention. Why should anyone care what a male doctor thinks about a pelvic exam? He’s not the one being treated like a piece of meat. I don’t care what excuses he thinks he has for his behavior.

    If you convince someone to allow you to disrespect her, it’s wrong. If someone actually asks you to disrespect her, it’s still wrong. There’s no getting around the lack of respect. As far as I’m concerned, there’s pretty much no justification for disrespecting someone’s body. Physical illness be damned. Better to die with respect than to live with disrespect.

  19. What I find odd are the number of “Christians” who I bet put their faith in doctors. Maybe it isn’t clear to many, but in the Christian religion “God” represents nature and spirituality, while “Satan” represents the artificial and materialistic world created by human beings.

    Take as an example when Jesus went into the desert and was tempted by “Satan” to be given all the power and riches in the world. Take as another example the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden. Knowledge is what enabled this artificial world we live in right now to be created.

    When you put too much of your faith in the artificial creations of human beings and trust that they will “save” your life, you are basically worshiping “Satan”. I’m an atheist, but the symbolism is clear to me now.

    Remember that he who saves his life will lose it, but he who loses his life will save it.

    • I’m a Christian ad I completely agree with you. It’s been very frustrating for me to speak with other Christians about not vaxing, using homeopathy, herbs, etc and they look at me like *I’m* crazy! They definitely rely on doctors over and above God, it’s so sad to see them getting sicker and not realizing it’s time to put the doctor aside and call on God.

  20. Just wanted to point out that if you’ve had a hysterectomy but still have your cervix you still need regular exams.

    I had a ‘breast exam’ from a chiropractor when I was 18. It was very clear it was not a typical breast exam. I never went to him again. About 10 years later with the self-confidence of a young woman instead of an adolescent, I wrote a letter to the Chiropractic Board knowing statute of limitations was done but said if another woman filed a complaint, I wanted that incident on file. Two more piled up and the investigator said thanks to the objectivity of my letter and the amount of detail, he was able to dis-bar that doctor. The other two men had had affairs with him, clearly I had no personal bone to pick.

    As long as the doctor is practicing its not too late to voice your experience and concern.

    • 12thhouse, I couldn’t agree more…one complaint can make all the difference. I know when the Police were investigating a dermatologist here and it received some media coverage, more women came forward….
      Women may walk away from an assault and try and rationalize what just happened or mistakenly believe they’re the only victim of this doctor/nurse etc…how could they take on a specialist? Many probably fear they’d be fobbed off with the, “you must have been mistaken” line. It would be frightening to stand alone and point the finger. These men choose their victims carefully too, looking for those unlikely to challenge them and make a complaint.
      Similar fact evidence is very important…often these assaults follow a pattern, the abuser has a modus operandi. (mode of operation) One complaint can turn into multiple complaints that are all strikingly similar.

      I depart company with you on one point though, no one “needs” regular exams, all cancer screening is elective, to be rejected or accepted as we see fit. I’m not surprised you use that terminology as it’s all women ever hear, we must do this or should do that…I have not had a hysterectomy, but have made an informed decision not to have pap tests and would never allow pelvic or breast exams, thankfully, the last two are no longer recommended here in Australia. (I’d refuse them anyway)
      We have to challenge the “should” and “must” thinking. I think that terminology is used to manipulate our thinking, so in the end we view this testing as compulsory. It’s no longer a choice, an option, but an unwritten law and that’s wrong on every level.

  21. 12thhouse, I am glad that you were able to get something done about that quack, but I find it very, very offensive that you have decided to tell other women that they “need” regular exams. Women don’t “need” any sort of exam. Do not ever presume to tell me, or any other woman what she does or doesn’t “need”.

  22. Don’t know if this topic is still open, but I need to provide my input. I am been in the medical field for over 30 years, the majority of it as a physician’s assistant. I am male. The numbers of perverted males out there doing intimate examinations on women is phenomenal. I have heard stories that make me want to leave the profession. I recall one internal medicine resident who went on to an OB/GYN residency and wrote back to his old friends to say “I’m still not tired of looking at pussy.” I have seen young women forced into unnecessary pelvic exams and leave the room in tears. I knew of an OB/GYN who openly filmed his pelvic exams on young Planned Parenthood patients. When one protested the nurse told her she had signed a permission form in the waiting room that she could be filmed. I have been in an operating room where medical students lined up to examine anesthetized women (I am ashamed to say I was young and naive then and stood by and said nothing; today I would be in the administrative office screaming). I have done many intimate exams on female patients, but only when they were absolutely indicated and with the utmost professionalism and caring. I have three daughters under the age of 20 and would NEVER allow them to be examined by a male provider. I must agree that there are, for lack of a better word, perverts out there with medical licenses who will take advantage of women who were sadly taught that they must succumb to whatever the man in the white coat says. I so admire a woman is able to stand up and say no when being pressured by a doctor to do something she knows isn’t needed. And how my heart aches for those who are too scared to say no.

    • Anonymous, your comment hit home for me at a deep and significant level. I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge on this topic, thank you. Your daughters might not realize it yet, but they are very fortunate to have your experience to help guide and protect them.

  23. I am a victim of sexual abuse, every male in my life has taken advantage of me in one way or another, that is, till I met my husband. Having physical exams, pap smears, pelvic exams and breast exams has ALWAYS made me feel violated, I hated it every time I would “need” another one. After reading this I’ve become so enraged, going back in time to each and every exam, from the time I was a child and the doc spread my legs and felt around to “check for proper growth” down there, to the time I was a preteen and the doc made me hop across the room to check breast development, to all the “necessary” pelvic exams as a teenager and every time in between! I was burning with anger, hatred in my heart, the desire to get revenge on these sick sadistic freaks, then I just broke down crying. All my life, the people who are supposed to care about you, do right by you, keep you safe and healthy didn’t. Deep down I always knew this was true, I felt it every time, I feel it now which is why I refuse ANY of that for my own children, but reading this brought up all the trauma and unresolved feelings about it. I was VIOLATED, not once, not twice but over and over again and not just by your average pervert but by doctors too. I refuse this life for my daughters, I refuse it for any other woman, we need to do SOMETHING to stop this type of abuse that goes unnoticed!

  24. When I was 18, I had state-funded (welfare) insurance because I was poor and naive. I went to the local clinic and the PA gave me a “full” exam which included him putting one finger in my anus while his other fingers were in my vagina. That was the longest, most uncomfortable and painful exam I ever had. I did not know for many years that I was violated. I was around 30 years old when I realized that there is no “female” exam like that! Now, I am disgusted. Yet, it continues. I had Kaiser insurance for several years and they want me to get a pelvic exam every 3 months. I had two exams scheduled in their “women’s health center” within a month! I canceled that insurance for that reason. My new provider started in again with needing the exams but I refuse to go. If my comment helps anyone, that’s why I’m providing it. What can we do about this abuse ladies?

    • Most of my (female) providers prefer to do a rectovaginal exam (the type you describe and insist does not exist) to more accurately asses the uterus and because they are more likely to pick up on any problems with a more thorough exam.

      There are respectful providers. I have only gone to midwives and others recommended by women I trust. In general this care has been nurturing, helpful and reassuring, since there have been several reproductive cancer deaths in my family – women who did not have access to consistent care.

      I gather no one here knows anyone whose life was saved by the discovery of an abnormality during a pelvic or pap. I do.

      • Em, the role of the bimanual exam (insertion of fingers into the vagina) is to detect ovarian cancer. The role of the rectovaginal exam is less clear, and you will get a different answer depending on which doctor you ask. I have never had a doctor perform a rectovaginal exam on me, but all doctors I have gone to have inserted fingers into my vagina. The bimanual exam has poor specificity and is done differently by different doctors. Research has shown that insertion of fingers into a woman’s vagina has never accurately detected any ovarian abnormality – ever. Please read this article written by three female doctors: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/jwh.2010.2349 You will find the section on bimanual exams on page 7.

      • Wow, how wonderful to post something about being violated and then being told that my violation did not happen. I am not insisting that anal exams “does not exist.” I was told this by later providers that it was unnecessary to have an old man’s fingers in my anus when I was 18 and perfectly healthy!!!

        I do know there are respectful providers. I had one midwife for my third child who was incredible. But she could not get an MD to support her, so she was forced out of practice. I have yet to find another MD or a PA who respects their patients. Just last week, I went to my new doctor for a “follow up” appointment to talk about whether the back pain medication he gave me was working. He had a male student in the room and they did another “full” examination of me even though I was just there to say, yep the medicine is working. This exam included both of the men lifting my breasts with their hands simultaneously and placing their stethoscopes under my breasts to listen to my chest. That was another first for me. Sure, they may really want to hear my chest sounds, but you know, I prefer a man buy me a drink first before he grab my breast with his hands without asking and cup it in his fingers for several seconds!!!

        As for your final statement, Em, regarding anyone knowing someone whose life was saved by an abnormal pap. My life exists because I had an abnormal pap that lead to cancer treatment. My grandmother’s life was saved by a hysterectomy. My mother is currently in treatment for cancer of the cervix.

        Thanks for attacking me! Do you know any victims of rape in real life? How about you go mock them and leave me alone!!!

  25. I don’t know that I agree with this — my female doctor (when I was 17 — first time at a gyn) was really rude and insensitive and treated me like I was stupid for asking her questions. It was such a bad experience that I didn’t go back again til now — age 28. My male doctor was done in less than 2 mins (open, pap smear, done) then I made him give me a breast exam also, but he patiently answered all of my questions. Bleh at both of them, but the male was the better of the two for answering my questions.

  26. I really dislike how this guy just generalizes to ALL male doctors, and all men really, based on himself, a few examples, and a sketch little study he set up in his practice. Please. This is a terribly biased post, and should be taken as one person’s perspective.
    I won’t deny, obviously, that some doctors (male or female) may unfairly take advantage of patients, directly or indirectly so. But to say that all do, and male ob/gyns are just there for the thrill, is a gross injustice.

    • THANK YOU for saying this! I am currently a medical student and was incredibly off-put with the way that it was generalized to all male Doctors. I’ve seen colleagues (both male and female) put in countless hours of studying and practicing to make sure that they are going to be excellent Doctors in the future. I also have colleagues who are more or less afraid of going into this field for fear of patients who will think that they are trying to take advantage of them (and again, this applies to males AND females). I admit that there are creeps out with blurry intentions, but please PLEASE understand that not ALL male practitioners are the same.

      • For me it’s not a question of a doctor taking advantage, I simply feel more comfortable with female doctors/nurses etc…and I don’t have pap tests, mammograms, pelvic or breast exams. I’m talking about general care. I see my choice of doctor as my business and don’t feel the need to justify my decision to anyone. I find it curious that sometimes a request for a female doctor will be met with, “a nurse will be present” – that misses the point entirely, if I don’t feel comfortable with a male doctor, how does adding another set of eyes help?
        If I ever needed an invasive exam or test for persistent and unusual symptoms, I’d insist on female medical staff. My choice…
        I wouldn’t worry, some men and women prefer same gender care, others don’t mind.

      • Oh, boohoo, we made you men feel bad and now you’re going ‘wah wah not all men are like that! :(‘
        Knock it off. There are enough of men out there who are predators that we need to assume that almost every man we come across is a predator for our own safety. Change the behaviour and thought processes of all ‘those other men’ so they respect us, and then we’ll stop generalizing.

    • C. I think you missed the point of the study. The Doctor is not stating that all male doctors are taking advantage, rather a man likes to look at attractive naked women and ” doctors are no different”. If your attractive, a man cannot help himself to notice all your attributes. I think all women who are attractive know deep down the doc doesn’t’ mind, ‘at all’, examining and probing your body. To think otherwise is truly naive. But some women with issues rather enjoy the exchange now don’t they. My x- girlfriend admitted that one. Disgusting and completely inappropriate.

  27. I am a female physician myself and these comments are very disturbing to me. I have not personally seen or heard my male colleagues acting in this manner but I believe it. Before medical school I had a bad experience myself in college with a male doctor and since then will only see female doctors for my pelvic exams. I will encourage my daughters to do the same. Like C. Says, I doubt all male doctors are perverts, but I feel more comfortable with someone who at least has the same organs and experiences.

  28. After reading all of these stories, I feel so grateful that I’ve had zero experiences like this. Some of these experiences people have had make me want to puke and some make me absolutely furious at the same time. I just want women and teens to know that if your doctor is doing or asking you to do something unnecessary that makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to speak up. I’ve had to specifically ask for a female doctor to do my breast exam before when I went in to get a lump checked.
    Given there are probably some great, professional male doctors out there, but in my personal opinion, a man has no right to examine my body and make judgements on it when;
    a. He does not have a vagina or any of the experiences that go along with having one.
    b. He does not know how it feels to lay on a doctor’s chair stark naked with his legs spread wide open for the world to see and poke at.

    I’m deeply sorry for all of the wrongs that have been done to female patients, and I hope sometime in the near future something major is done about it.

  29. i have seen several dr’s, both male and female. i will never again see a female GYN. everyone that i have ever seen has tried up tell me that their experiences were so much worse than mine, and refused to do proper exams on me. the only 2 doctors who did proper exams on me were both male. and thanks to both of them, i was able to have a full hysterectomy that was severely needed. other doctors would tell me that i was “too young” to have the kinds of problems that i had. So while i agree that there may be many male dr’s out there that can’t put aside their proffessionalism to perform necessary medical exams on somebody of the opposite sex (and that goes for both males and females), there are good dr’s out there that can. so while i respect your opinion and your desire to be seen by a dr of the same sex, i do not agree that it should be that way for everyone, and i don’t appreciate the fact that you tell women that they don’t need those exams, and especially by male dr’s. while it may be true that some don’t, it’s also true that some do.

    • Anon, The fact is the medical journals have found no evidence that routine breast and pelvic exams are of any clinical value. No one here is saying if you find a lump in your breast or you have symptoms that you shouldn’t have an exam. But if you are asymptomatic the exams are of no use. This isn’t opinion, this is the latest medical evidence.
      As for you getting a male doctor perform a hysterectomy- I did come across a study that showed that male doctors are more likely to recommend them than female doctors. However, the study I read inferred that it was not a good thing and it showed that it may have to do with there being more older male doctors who are less up to date with the latest ways to deal with female issues.Personally I find hysterectomies performed on women who do not have cancer are a symptom of a male dominated profession where there is no regard for female reproductive organs and even some misogyny. Doctors do not remove testicles and penises unless there is cancer. Yet womens organs are treated as though they are disposable. I think your female doctors showed some respect for female organs and not something you just throw out.
      The uterus performs many functions besides supporting a fetus. It produces prostacyclin which prevents blood clots sticking to your blood vessels which is why women have an advantage over men with heart disease. It also houses the oxytocin receptors. The same hormones that make your uterus contract during childbirth are the same ones that give you contractions when you orgasm. Taking out a uterus unless absolutely necessary to me indicates ignorance on your doctors part of the other functions that it has. You did not indicate what you issues were but I am sure there were other ways to deal with them than removingthe organ. Symptoms are a sign of a problem. A good doctor tries to fix the problem, not rip out the organ giving you the problem. That’s just an ignorant overreaction.

      • that’s right, you do not know what problems i had. the problem wasn’t that female dr’s i saw refused to take out my uteris, it was that they refused to believe i could have the problems i did. they all said i was too young to be having these problems and comparing my situation to their own, so they refused to even look at any options except throwing more birth control at me. i understand a hysterectomy is an extreme step. but i spent several years trying all the alternative options and things only got worse. since my hysterectomy a month ago, i can tell you i have not had a single problem that i had before, because they were all tied to irreversable problems with my uteris. i have have to respectfully disagree with you that cancer is the only reason to have your uteris removed. i do not reccomend that every woman do it, and i do not reccommend they take that into account lightly. i did not go into making this decision lightly. i had years of tests, and research (not online google searches either). i didn’t do it because it was convenient or because a dr pushed me into it. i did it because, in my case, it was what was needed to be done.

        in my comment, i might not have been clear. i agree that some women may never have any problems and therefore do not need exams. i also agree that there may be some male dr’s that will take advantage of the fact that they “get to” be around that all day. however, what i got from this article was that the author believes women should never been seen by a male dr because all male dr’s are pigs. if you hear of a certain dr that somebody else has had problems with, or even if you get a funny feeling when sitting in the waiting room, by all means, find a different dr! God gave us women’s intuition for a reason. however, there may be women reading this that have had problems, and should get checked out, but will now be too scared to because the only dr’s in their small towns are males. i will say, though, on that note, that any good dr, will always give you the option of having another woman (be it nurse, friend, dr, parent, etc) in the room with you while doing the exam.

      • Anon, can’t you say what the problem was that you had with your uterus? I am interested to know because I still find it hard to believe that it could only be fixed by a hysterectomy.If your female doctors “threw more birth control pills at you” , then I suspect it was a hormonal issue that should have been fixed by perhaps an endocronologist. From what little information you gave, the physical removal of an organ for what sounds like a hormonal issue is IMO not the appropriate treatment. BTW my mother had a hysterectomy years ago. It brought on many permanent problems that did not appear in the first few years. I hear of too many doctors in the US quick to offer hysterectomy when in other parts of the world it is not nearly so popular.That, to me suggest US doctors are way behind other countries when it comes to fixing women’s health problems. I don’t know if you are in the States, but I would be weary of an American doctor advising a hysterectomy.

      • 1 in 3 American women will have a hysterectomy by age 60, 600,000 are performed every year. That’s a very high number, many are unnecessary. We have the reckless overuse of the pap test and huge over-treatment, pressure and coercion to have unnecessary pelvic exams that carry risk, add unhelpful breast exams that lead to biopsies, mammograms that benefit few, but lead to significant over-diagnosis….and women being denied the Pill if they refuse the excess…and a lot more. It shows IMO, a deeply entrenched disrespect for the female body and for women generally…and a cavalier disregard for our health, rights and lives.

  30. Wow, this is very disturbing. I had a female GYN from age 18-29 and she INSISTED I get annual paps and pelvic exams or she would refuse to give me birth control. She would not budge on this, even though I have been monogamous since 16 and have never had a STD or any suspicious results. I just see my general practitioner now since I have permanent birth control and she is fine with me going 3 years and declining them all together if I prefer (however she doesn’t have the option to threaten to withhold my BC)

    My OB was a gay male. I was very comfortable with him. And honestly I realize people are only human, it’s not wrong to look or to be mildly aroused by what you see, but how you handle that is what matters, you need to stay professional at all times including when talking with other doctors

  31. I remember when I was 20, not long married and very naive (40 yrs ago) and pregnant my husband wanted the best for me and sent me to an OBGYN for antenatal care. He was just a dirty old man. Each visit he had me strip off and up on the couch and did a pelvic exam. I knew no better. I just felt terrible about it. I was so glad when we moved away from that town to another and the did didn’t do anything like that. I had to wait for ages in the Dr office onetime and I noticed he had a paper on his desk with a list of the OBGYN in the state. I had time to check it to see if the dirty old man was on it. He was. I eventually became a midwife and then I knew just what a dirty old man he was. Yuk.

  32. Do you ask your doctor what their sexual preferences are? What if your female doctor is gay or bisexual, isn’t that the same as having a heterosexual man performing the exam? Of course the choice is yours! Personally I prefer male doctors because women always pamper me and that makes me uncomfortable. But I think it’s wrong to judge all male doctors just because they are male!

      • I agree nnnno, it comes down to patient comfort, (fear of assault, embarrassment, power dynamic etc.) there should be no need to justify our preference for a female or male doctor, it’s a personal decision that’s our business. I well recall the days when women were mocked if they mentioned their preference for a female doctor or they were patronized/dismissed by medical people. (or their receptionists)
        So IMO, if a women (or man) is uncomfortable with a male/female doctor, then they can judge all they like, and use the doctor of their choice. In the provision of a service, I’m free to choose the person who provides the best fit, whether that be a doctor, dentist, accountant or anyone else.
        The profession needs to be reminded some women (and men) mind very much, that’s a fact, and it’s inappropriate to judge, challenge, mock or engage in debate.

        Nicole, you prefer male doctors, so be it, your choice, but then aren’t you doing the very thing you’re criticizing others for: judging all female doctors, assuming all will pamper you? If you’re saying it’s wrong to judge all male doctors just because they’re male, isn’t it equally wrong to judge all female doctors because they’re female? Surely your point would be best made by having NO preference at all, male or female doctors are fine for anything.
        Of course, when you read through this and other forums, I can’t help but think a lot of the trauma might have been avoided if these women had opted for a female doctor or had that choice. Often it only becomes an issue after our eyes are open and we’re suffered abuse. The greatest risk is when we’re young and that’s often a time when we’re most vulnerable. (less confident, more likely to be intimidated by doctors and others, less life experience, more likely to use free clinics/unknown doctors, need birth control (that consult can trigger abuse) childbirth etc.)
        I was aware some doctors were predators at an early age and avoided doctors altogether, now I simply feel more comfortable with female doctors, my choice…and I also, happen to have a female dentist and accountant. It’s telling that no one thinks it’s odd having a female dentist or anything else, but some feel the need to scoff at the preference of a female doctor, I see that as their problem, not mine.

      • If the woman is lesbain or bi, I figure it’s the same as far as gratification goes. It’s still an attack to impose these things on someone, whether the assailant gets any form of gratification from it or not.

        I don’t personally figure any male gets into this profession for non-pervy reasons. I know that’s judging them all the same way, but they didn’t accidentally get into this profession. Men also tend to be more confrontational in their style (although the women learn the same thing or were already that way to begin with).

  33. I’m a Doctor from Australia, not yet specialised, only a couple of years out of medical school in fact and I just can’t believe this article. Maybe it’s a generational thing. Maybe the original author has issues and so is projecting them onto people around him but this just doesn’t match my experience.

    I’ve never enjoyed doing a pelvic exam on anybody and I’ve never met anybody who has. I’ve certainly never been in any setting where I’ve discussed a pelvic exam socially or conversationally for any reason or where any other doctor has done so, even though I’m a bit of a fixture in the rec room. I also can’t imagine that if anybody tried to discuss one that the other doctors I know would think it was acceptable.

    To be honest I don’t do many pelvic exams in hospital or on GP (family doctor) rotations, probably only one a month or so averaged out, and not many of those on young women. Breast exams tend to be limited to woman who’ve felt a lump so they’re understandably very scared and the situation is very serious, I’ve never seen one done or heard of an actual case of one been done without justification (except on one famous American TV drama).

    The truth is that what’s described in the author’s post just doesn’t wash with what I’ve seen, or my personal experience. I’m not sure if it’s a cultural difference between generations, or a cultural difference between countries, or if he’s just a sicko and projecting onto those around him, but it’s not my experience at all!

    • Kyle I definitely think it’s a generational thing. I have found older male doctors to be so utterly arrogant that I just cannot bear to be in the same room as them. Their sense of entitlement, the lack of respect for modesty. I don’t think any of that was taught in medical school years ago. My mothers generation were treated like pieces of meat. I know some that had to give birth to a room full of medical students without their permission and I know one whose vagina was used for teaching purposes, again to a group of male medical students, when she was in hospital for something totally unrelated without her permission. This happen over 40 years ago and she is still traumatised to this day. A complaint to the hospital resulted in her being banned.
      As for breast exams I have had to endure one everytime I went to the Family Planning clinics along with my forced pap smears. They would make you have one if you wanted the pill. I didnt know that I could refuse because they used to tell us we wouldnt get the pill without one. All lies of course.
      Once I asked my male GP for the pill. Big mistake. He tried to persuade me to try something else. I refused as I am not keen on having foreign objects in my body. He got angry and only gave me three months supply and told me I was having a breast exam at my next visit.
      As I said in my other post male doctors have some real problems with women making up their own minds. I would like to find a new young doctor but I don’t know where they are.

    • Appreciate your input Kyle and glad to hear that your experience is different. That said, the problem is that you may not be representative, and even a small number of people with dangerous attitudes can do a lot of harm if they are enabled by the system they are part of. Women are continually placed at risk of many negative outcomes due to a culture of ignorance and a continuing use of self-serving denial by those within the profession. The posts on this and other blogs provide lots of evidence that very bad things happen to women as a result of a paternalistic system that enables the harmful practices. The following comment about systemic factors that enable harmful practices is from
      http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/critical-decisions/201208/inappropriate-touching-in-the-doctor-s-office/comments#comment-250527
      It would be progressive if all physicians took seriously the information on this and similar sites and started to be part of a solution rather than continuing to deny, minimize, or reject the knowledge, expertise and lived experience of those who have spoken about the harmful practices.
      Abuse may be encouraged by the system
      Submitted by john davies on August 31, 2012 – 7:57am.

      “When the ‘pill’ (oral contraceptive) was first widely available in the 1970s, the drug companies crafted guidelines for its prescription that justified a prolonged sexual assault for any male doctor that wished to take advantage. It was common for females wanting the pill (some of whom were children, requiring it for non-sexual reasons), to be forced to do a striptease in front of the doctor, and then, when naked, have their breasts groped for an extended period.

      The drug guidelines allowed just about every form of touching and questioning a perverted doctor could wish for, and what’s more, the same was allowed every few months when the prescription was renewed.

      Did every doctor use the opportunity of the pill to abuse their patients? Of course not. But, remember, the pill, which was not ‘medicine’ treating an illness, was required by very many extremely healthy young women at the beginning of their sexual life- and this was putting temptation beyond compare in front of a generation of male doctors.

      In many European countries, this practice continues, where women are expected to strip naked in front of the male doctor, and stay fully naked, even for questioning and exam stages that require no bodily access at all. This process, while a treat for some bad doctors, is designed to make people submissive and pliable to ‘authority’, which is why the more forceful populations of English-speaking nations no longer tolerate this behaviour by doctors.

      The intimate medical inspection of any Human beyond early childhood is very controversial if that inspection is done to a person without any previous signs of disease or injury. Certainly, the examination of the external genitalia of patients who did not previously suggest they thought they had a problem there is almost always going to be abusive, and without medical validity. When doctors got to grope every single young adult that was forced to appear before them (with no medical justification at all- which is why such school exams no longer occur in countries like the UK), latent abusive tendencies were bound to be activated in a significant proportion of doctors.

      When doctors are told they are allowed to touch the clitoris of a female, or the penis of a male, or ask intimate sexual questions (obviously in situations where the patient has not previously suggested a problem in those areas), the doctor is being programmed to be abusive. Add to this the fact that doctors are clever enough to be extremely manipulative, if they so wish, and are protected against legal action by a raft of extremely powerful and influential professional bodies, and you craft a nightmare.

      Go read about the Mormon doctor who spent a whole career abusing a town of victims, from young children to the oldest women. Go read about one of the highest men in Australia’s medical community, who made a speciality of subjecting young, attractive flight-stewardesses to prolonged sexual assault in the name of a regular medical inspection.

      The common pattern is the abuse of patients who are not appearing in front of the doctor because of illness, but because of some required inspection. Indeed, most claims of abuse are against doctors who only see the patient once, because of some required work-place or insurance medical inspection.”

      • FL, an excellent post. (how did I miss it?)
        I often wondered (at age 18 or so) why women were forced to submit to an assault to get the Pill, so many of my Uni friends were distressed by those exams, some couldn’t do it and managed with condoms, others took the “sophisticated woman” approach…I’m mature and can cope with all of this, whether that was true deep down, I’m not so sure.
        I KNEW those exams were unnecessary.

        It shows how a male dominated medical profession will take advantage in the worst possible way when the system provides the perfect opportunity. Many could tell themselves they were just following clinical guidelines, knowing full well there was absolutely no clinical need for these “exams”.

        I know these practices were abusive.
        I noticed very early on that some women who might not be considered attractive, got the pill with no fuss at all, a quick blood pressure test, while the attractive ones got the works. There is no doubt in my mind these women were being assaulted and the system enabled it and protected their abusers.
        One girl with a weight problem and bad acne got the Pill for many years with just a blood pressure test, nothing else, but the SAME male doctor had very different requirements for several other girls staying in the same College. (women do talk and compare notes)
        Of course, many women felt trapped if they wanted the Pill, and there were very few female doctors in the late 70s.

        Some women were also, scolded about their morals (pre-marital sex) and even questioned about sexual practices. One of my friends (a virgin) was questioned about her sex life in general consults, she found it puzzling, I felt he was waiting for her to ask for the Pill or admit she was sexually active so he could force the exams onto her, although some women got pap tests even before they were sexually active. IMO, some doctors simply couldn’t wait with that sort of temptation in front of them. (of course, they could cover their tracks by simply saying, “I thought she was lying”…) I think some doctors got a kick out of simply questioning young women about sexual matters and even enjoyed the tussle of wills leading up to reluctant young woman submitting to the “exam”, his power had won the day. Remember sexual assault is mostly about power.

        What chance did young women have who simply wanted to get medical care or the Pill? Not having access to the Pill must lead to unwanted pregnancies, so I assume some of these women were later abused when they needed pre-natal care or during childbirth, the system of abuse eventually got them.
        It’s interesting when women get talking, the accounts spill out…so much trauma is still so raw, even after the passage of decades. It was painful even when they thought it was necessary, horrifying to find out it was unnecessary.

      • ‘Go read about one of the highest men in Australia’s medical community, who made a speciality of subjecting young, attractive flight-stewardesses to prolonged sexual assault in the name of a regular medical inspection.’

        Hi, does anyone have more information about this case?

        I tried looking on Google but I can’t find anything about it. xx

  34. No Nicole, having a gay or bisexual female doctors is not the same at all. I’m sure I’ve had lesbian doctors do exams on me. It hasn’t bothered me at all.
    It just that everytime I read a story in a newspaper about sexual or some other kind of professsional misconduct it seems to be committed by a man. There’s even a book called America’s dumbest doctors full of stories of some unebelieveable crimes committed by doctors and about 90% of them are commiteed by male doctors. The authors even say they tried looking for more crimes committed by female doctors but they just couldn’t find that many. So I think the prudent thing to do is to hedge your bets and stick with a female.
    BTW I have probably dealt with more male doctors than female and I find the same problem with all of them. They will give a choice of some treatment and if I don’t pick the one they want me to have they try to persuade me. They seem to not like me making my own decisions. I have never had that problem with female doctors- they have always respected my choices. With some male doctors I’ve had to resort to yelling at them because they don’t listen. I think some of them have issues with women having a mind of their own.

    • Well I feel sorry for you, in Sweden men aren’t afraid of women maybe that’s why I have no problem with a male doctor. Mind if I ask if you would go to a gay male doctor. And I don’t appreciate the fact that you seem to tell me to reconsider my choice and want me to go to a female doctor. I’m perfectly capable of making my own decision!

      • Do what ever you like Nicole. I don’t tell others what to do.It’s only my experience. I probably wouldn’t go to a gay male doctor. Only because I have worked with gay men and I found a lot of them thought women’s bodies to be repulsive. I would hate to think that a gay male doctor is repulsed by me.

      • Can you explain your reaction? I was asked a question and gave an honest answer. You gave, I assume, some abuse without any reason why you think it was justified. Add something intelligent instead of insults. It only reflects on you. I don’t see what wrong with my answer. I used to hear gay men say “yuk, women” around me. So why would I want to go to a gay male doctor and think of that at the back of my mind? (And I don’t have a problem with gay men, my best friend was gay). My answer is justifed. Not only do gay male doctors not have the plumbing, but they don’t even have a female partner with whom they might be able to share experiences with such as pregnancy or period pain.
        One again say something intelligent instead of hurling insults and add to the discussion, if you can.

      • It’s obvious that the gender and sexual orientation of gynecologists does play a role in how they view women’s genitals because I too have heard of a male gay gynecologist while defending the argument that ‘not all male gyns are in the business for the sexual thrill’ because he is gay, he couldn’t help but inform us that a lot of vagina’s he had to examine, were just ‘yuck’. So if a gay man naturally finds vagina’s disgusting, is it that far a stretch to believe that a heterosexual male dr may enjoy examining a woman’s genitals? And being turned off or on by the sight of vagina’s is also proof that they aren’t so objective about it as they want us to believe. I’m sure most heterosexual gyns aren’t scared of women either regardless of the country they are in.. especially not when she does what he wants and he’s standing fully clothed in between her legs while she is buttnaked..

    • I am not retyping all that out, and frankly I find it EXTREMELY offensive that you would ask me to change my Gravatar image, and even if I did change it to post here the min I changed it back it would have changed here. I have used that account to respond on about 50 different forums and have never in the 6 years I have been using it been asked that and when someone once asked me about why I use it I inform them it was an image created by a great friend of mine who suddenly passed away of a heart attack due to the neglect in the American medical system for those that can’t pay their exorbitant rates. Also by asking me to do that you are not being any different than the dr’s you are writing about because you are sexualizing a body part just as they are but instead of being under cover about it you are publicly turning breasts into a dirty thing rather than the way I nourished my daughter.
      I logged in from a different account to respond to this and would have taken it up with your privately if I could have found a link to e-mail you. This is one blog I won’t be recommending or reading again.
      Lexie

      • Pet lexie, I apologize for offending you as that was not my intention. The breasts in the picture were beautiful, and yes certainly for nourishing an infant the way nature intended. It was more that, given the topic, well I did just think the two shouldn’t be put together, naked breasts and speculum pictures. In any event, I am sorry for offending you and I appreciate you commenting here.

  35. As a woman who was sexually molested by a Doctor at the age of 5, this article was hard to read…even got hot flashes and dizzy… But this is what I have always been afraid of… Ever since I had an Un-gloved pelvic exam during my kindergarten physical… I’m so disturbed by this…

  36. I’m 26 and my obgyn informed me that I need to have to still have it done every year even though I had a hysterectomy. But he is also very inappropriate in sooo many ways, he even offered to “help me out” with a sexual problem I was having. He is no longer my obgyn. I see a woman now, mainly because I blame him for needing the hysterectomy in the first place. I have 3 friends that also stopped going to him because they thought he was a pervert. He is very attractive too so I think it gets away with it a lot because of that. I had been seeing that obgyn since I was 18.

  37. Doctors can not legaly refuse woman the pill untill she has an pap smear or pelvic exam. there is a Harvard law student. Heather Dixon that wrote a paper on how the pelvic exam requerment for the pill is not legal. for one it prevents the womans right to bodily privacy. and prevents informed concent.

  38. I wasn’t ready for my first pelvic exam. I was 15 or 16 and throwing up bile on my period, so my mom took me to her OB/GYN. She (the OB/GYN) dismissed my mother’s concern that I had PCOS (I’m pretty sure I do), and told me I needed a pelvic exam ‘to make sure I don’t have two vaginas or anything’.

    I said that I didn’t want it, but was made to do it anyway. When I told the OB/GYN I hated using tampons, she reacted oddly. I think she thought I was molested or something I don’t even know. I wasn’t used to having things up there, so I didn’t use tampons. But I had to endure the pelvic exam, a completely foreign and uncomfortable experience. I didn’t like the OB/GYN’s finger up there, nor the metal thing she put there as well. As someone who’d only used tampons once because they felt weird, this felt very invasive.

    I didn’t like it and I felt weird down there for a long time afterwards. I cried the entire drive home because it felt weird and hurt.

    Thankfully I switched ob/gyns and am very comfterable with my current one. I guess I’m a bit overdue for my obligatory ’21 years old get a pap smear’ pap smear, but I hope it’ll go okay.

  39. I am not sure what to make of this article. I think it casts a broad brush on the profession. I had my first Pelvic exam when I was 16 – went all by myself with a forged note from my mom because she was not really interested in taking care of me. The GYN was a really nice lady, the procedure was uncomfortable and I still think it was necessary. I had other GYNs at Planned Parenthood through my teens and twentys until I could get insurance. None of the experiences made me feel violated, and I had been sexually assaulted in the past so let’s just get that question out of the way. I do not question the experiences of any of the commenters, I just have concerns with the author’s quick call to judgement of all male ob/GYNs as perverts. The OB/Gyn practice where I went with both of my children was ran by two male docs and they could not have been any better. They were professional and courteous and always had a nurse in the room with them if my husband could not make the visit. Maybe I am just lucky but I think there are just as many compassionate, caring non-perverted male doctors as female. IMHO.

  40. My mom had a hysterectomy in her 30’s, and in her 50s got cervical cancer. it was caught and taken care of, idk if it was because she got regular pap smears (idk if she does, is what Im saying) or if she noticed symptoms and got it checked out, but isn’t that a reason to get checked regularly? especially for someone related to someone with cervical cancer.

    granted, i would much rather have regular checkups with a women than a man

    • Cervical cancer is a rare cancer. It is less common than cancer of the ovaries, kidneys, pancreas. Less common than lymphoma. It doesn’t even scratch the top 10 most common cancers. Do you get checked for all of those?

      There are also ways to screen for cervical cancer that are more sensitive, more accurate and less invasive than paps – for instance, the CSA blood test, if you have a family history or are truly worried about this rare cancer.

  41. I was violated by a WOMAN doctor. I was in my teens and had to go for regular pap smears because I was misdiagnosed as having PCOS. I was already uncomfortable with the idea of having one but she made it worse because she was so cold. After becoming visibly frustrated with me because I was so uncomfortable, she accused me of not being able to go through with the exam because “I must have been sexually abused in the past.” Which I most certainly have not. As a matter of fact, the closest I have every been to someone sexually abusing me was that day, in that exam room with her. A couple weeks later, I got a letter in the mail stating that she would have to drop me from her care and I would need to find a new doctor. I was so traumatized by that experience, it took my new doctor YEARS to get me comfortable with her. But she was kind and patient and I don’t fear those exams anymore.

    • My god, that sounds almost exactly like what happened to me. I was forced into my first pelvic/pap because I wanted to be on birth control, and they refused it to me unless I complied. I was literally bawling on the exam room table while she did the procedure. Then she and the nurse left so I could ‘compose’ myself and I pulled on my clothing as fast as I could, feeling utterly and totally violated. The Dr. said I should get counseling for previous abuse, gave me my prescription, and sent me on my way. Later I got a letter saying I was no longer welcome.
      This was over eight years ago and I’m still bothered by it.

      • It sounds as though you never said a word to them about any history of abuse, but then your rights were abused (clearly coerced you into the test), you were emotionally and physically abused (continuing the exam while you are crying, assuming you need counseling for past abuse), and then they added further abuse by sending you letter denying you health care. No wonder that you are still bothered by it eight years later.

  42. My wife worked in a clinic around male residents. When she was pregnant we told her male OB/GYN we did not want any residents present or involved because of her working relationship. When she was in the hospital prior to childbirth a resident showed up and said he had to examine her. He explained that this was necessary. I was livid. We eventually capitulated but I was suspicious as well as upset. This resident worked in the clinic. This so called christian resident ended up getting a female resident pregnant and then would not even talk to her. I also worked in surgery and witnessed a resident get an erection putting a body cast on a 15 year old girl. Not all doctors are dirty but there are plenty that are. I would recommend women not marry a doctor. Their ego is such that they feel they can hit on any nurse and get away with it. One orthopedic resident took nude pictures of his conquest at medical conferences. Little did he know his wife found the pictures. She was waiting until his residency was done before divorcing him. That way she could insure he paid heavily for his transgressions. I suggest all women go to female doctors. Men are men, whether they are doctors or cops. They all have sexual thoughts…Period!

  43. One other thing. One of the PA’s in town is known for telling the girls needing sports exams that they need PAP smears. Mothers, you better be going with your daughters to make sure this kind of thing isn’t happening to your daughters.

  44. When I was 21 years old, I had a large cyst on my ovary. I had it surgically removed and my GYN wanted to see me every 6 months. Due to the insurance I had, anything more than 1 visit to the GYN a year required a referral.. I called my primary care physician for that referral. I was told that they wouldn’t give me a referral as they could do the exam in their office. Well, I had been seeing that doctor since I was 10 and didn’t feel comfortable with him examining my private areas.. He’d already seen everything else on me, but he didn’t need to see that… I pushed for the referral and wore them down until they finally agreed to give me one… The day of my GYN appointment, I went and picked up the referral and happily went on my way to my appt… When I got there, the office staff informed me that my referral wasn’t signed by the Dr. therefore wasn’t valid… So, I take myself back to my primary Dr. and was promptly informed that he would not sign it since he could do the exam himself…. Well, I’m not one to take crap from anyone (especially when I was 21).. He came out to talk to me and informed me that it would be unethical for him to refer me to a “specialist” when he could perform the exam… He pretty much eluded that it would be insurance fraud.. I proceeded to inform HIM that I wasn’t comfortable with him examining me in such a way.. I have known him since childhood and didn’t want him looking down there… He absolutely refused to cooperate with me and we ended up yelling at eachother in the waiting room.. I pretty much told him to Kiss off (not so nicely) and walked out. I never went back to him… A few years ago I went to a dermatologist and guess who is working in the office… My old primary care physician… I really wanted to say something to him… Now that I’m 44, I really now understand how wrong he was… That was pretty much sexual harrassment and he really shouldn’t be allowed to perform gynelogical exams… There is something very wrong with a Dr who insists on performing an exam that the patient is clearly uncomfortable with… As soon as they see the discomfort, they should OFFER to refer the patient….

  45. I have only had two pelvic exams, one at 17 and one at 20, both times for birth control. I have always had a female doctor because I was FAR to shy to even think about having a male do it and my first one was about as fine as a pelvic exam could be. The doctor allowed my mother to stay in the room, she talked me through everything and she made sure I was comfortable with ANYTHING that she did before she did it.

    I went back to her for a year later to refill my birth control prescription but she told me that someone my age did not need to have one every year, but every other year, so she didn’t do the pelvic exam but gave my prescription.

    When I moved to Arizona I had to change doctors and I was sent to Women’s Health to get my new birth control. I had my husband come along because I was of course very nervous but again I had a female doctor. She asked me when my last pelvic exam was and I explained to her that it had been over a year and what my previous doctor had said. She called us both crazy! A few minutes later I was in a paper gown and she had shooed my husband out of the room. She did not talk to me though the entire thing, it all happened so fast and it hurt way more than my first one. She also started doing a breast exam that was NEVER mentioned. It made me uncomfortable and nervous but since she was a female doctor I did not say anything.

  46. When I was about 13 I getting a chest x-ray, which I had gotten done before. This time the doctor was a man. I purposely did not wear any metal, and I told him that. He asked me to take of my shirt anyway, and I did. Then he said take off your bra (a sports bra with no underwire/metal), and I told him no, because I’d never needed to before. He kept insisting that I need to take off my sports bra and I said no, so I went out and got my mom, and he finally told me I could keep my bra on. Does anyone know if that was normal? I generally trust my gut in those situations and it didn’t see right to me. I’m 16 now, and haven’t had any pelvic or breast exams yet, but I know I will never let a male doctor perform one on me.

    • Lauren, that is not normal. There was no reason for him to insist for you to take off your bra.. I would suggest that your mom always be present for any exam… Anytime my kids have had xrays, I’m in the room.. Behind a wall of glass, but in the room watching everything… I’m so sorry you had to experience that!

  47. Reblogged this on Ricky Still Loves Lulu and commented:
    Me oh my this is disconcerting. I recently had to have a lady-parts procedure (I honestly can’t remember what it was called). It was traumatizing for a number of reasons, from the nurse vacantly staring at me pre-procedure and saying, “Well, since your pap came back kind of abnormal you have HPV” (this is without looking at any of my test results), to having a male gynecologist who, upon completing the exam, rather than telling me I could sit up, just leaned forward and offered me his hand. It didn’t help that he insisted on talking about the circus the whole time he was down there, either. I’ve never been comfortable with male gynecologists, and it’s a prejudice I’m comfortable hanging onto.

  48. I’m 32 and had a hysterectomy last October for stage IV endometriosis. I go to an all-female clinic and they told me right off that pap smears are a non-issue for me. That said, I’m glad to know about this in case for some reason I have to switch, and it sheds some light on previous (male) gynecologists who did a lot of exams while completely missing cysts and tumors that were slowly killing me. My actual surgeon, a gynecological oncologist, was male, but deferred to my actual gynecologist (female) for exams and ultrasounds, and I think he did a grand total of one pelvic post-surgery to make sure the stitches were healing and then he sent me on my way. There are ethical male gynecologists out there. I’m just sad that this seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

  49. Same old same old. There is a consistent pattern with these stories–they are all very similar, i.e. a young woman goes to the doctor because of a sore throat or because she needs the pill, and the male doctor insists on giving her a pelvic exam, and if she refuses, the doctor gets defensive.

    The problem is that people are like sheep. We are trained since childhood to just go along with whatever is popular and acceptable. For so long the media has told women that they HAVE to submit to these invasive exams. Doctors simply cannot tolerate people questioning them with critical thinking. They hate people thinking for themselves.

    There is no question that many male doctors find it a turn on examining attractive women. To pretend otherwise is ludicrous. The thing that angers me is the idea that women HAVE to submit. These exams MUST be done; if not, the woman might die. It’s all scare mongering. I really wish people would come out of their trance and think for themselves. We don’t have to do ANYTHING. It’s our bodies. Stop being sheep and do your own research. There isn’t a single shred of evidence that pap smears save lives. It’s all down to brainwashing.

    • Ugh wtf is with the posts that deride and blame AFAB people, after being culturally raised as women, for feeling pressure to defer to men in positions of authority? Fuck off with your “sheep, do some research and have some guts to think for yourself” issue. People who are AFAB and perceived as women are not to blame for growing up and existing in a patriarchy. You’re clueless if you think no woman has ever doubted and blamed themself for situations like those just discussed. If you’re really so interested in preventing the encroachment on the autonomy of people who are perceived as women, direct your energy towards those at the top of the hierarchy and with the most power. Fuck yourself for victim-blaming.

      • CO, your anger prevented you from understanding my point. I never once said that women are to be blamed for their own assault, you [word removed by moderator]. I said that people are like sheep because they, male and female, are trained since childhood to trust other people instead of thinking for themselves. Now that we have the internet, we have no excuse for ignorance. The medical profession knows that they can brainwash BOTH men and women through the media.

        That was my point, yet you overreacted like a typical hateful feminist. In future please pay attention to what people say before you reply in anger.

      • Lmao, “dumb cunt.” You’re definitely enlightened and above all the sheep and brainwashed zombies, little boy.

        Listen to you. You don’t even understand what you even wrote. Telling people that due to some personal failure of not being informed enough and not thinking for themselves is the reason why they were assaulted is BLAMING THEM.

        Not everyone has access to the internet, you overprivileged [word removed].

        What the fuck does it matter how “ignorant” someone is or not? They never should be and never deserve to be assaulted. It’s fucking irrelevant.

        Btw quit derailing with tone policing, you tiresome, clueless piece of [word removed].

      • Damn dude, are you 14 years old and just realized that your parents’ vision of the world isn’t the only interpretation there is? You burst in here whining about sheeple and trances and checked back to see if people were impressed that you finally discovered the concept of social constructs and that sometimes people lie for money.

        Listen, if you love misogyny and hate feminism so much, what the fuck are you doing here?

        lol, did you even read my replies? If you don’t understand what the fuck I’m saying, don’t fucking reply. There’s a shit ton of sexism and feminism 101 resources out there, and check out racism 101 for intersectionality. If you ever become sincere in learning how to be a decent person instead of getting all ~emotional about being infested with ego, someday you’ll thank me for putting you in your place with my diamond-grade cunt.

        We all gotta start somewhere, and some of us start out as a pimple on king kong’s balls.

      • Perhaps so many feminists are “hateful” because they get told things like their emotions are making them incapable of comprehending what’s being said, rather than being a valid response to it.

    • I see this as a very valid point and not as victim-blaming. Stephen has put just as much responsibility on doctors as he has on the patients in his comment.

      • It is never the patient’s responsibility to prevent their own assault.

        Check how anesthesized patients were used as teaching tools for vaginal exams without their consent. No matter how informed and assertive they were, how could they have prevented that from happening?

        Stephen’s line of thinking deflects from the root of the problem and focusses only on the symptoms.

        It’s one thing to decrease your chances of being assaulted or the victim of some other crime as much as you personally can, but it’s completely another to say it is your own fault for not being informed and for being a ~sheep.

        The only way to eliminate misogynistic assault is if abusers did not assault anyone in the first place. These fuckers need to be shamed and outed by their fellow male colleagues.

      • In the world we live in we HAVE to stand up for ourselves. Of course this can’t be done ALL of the time. But when we fail to educate ourselves and take a stand for our rights then people WILL take advantage of us. That is the world we live in. It would be great if the world wasn’t like that. It would be amazing to know that everyone we come in contact with are genuinely concerned about us and had our best interests at heart. That’s a world where all of us want to live. I understand Stephens point though. I don’t believe he was saying it’s the abused fault that they “allowed” themselves to be taken advantage of but that is how you took it. Although I’m thinking, It’s probably how you’ll take my comment too.

        It’s true that (especially with Women) we have been taught to support the men in our lives and through out history to not question but to be submissive. That is the point Stephen was making. We live in an age (or at least culture) where we can step outside of that box now. If we want the world to change, if we want to be treated better then we have to unite, educate and demand the change. A form like this helps us get there.

      • I don’t argue that people should not stand up for themselves. \

        “We HAVE to stand up for ourselves … [if not,] then people WILL take advantage of us” does imply that if someone fails to “stand up” for themselves (which in itself can be problematic- I’ll get to this) then they are at least partly responsible for being taken advantage of. The implication is that if only they had been educated… if only they had spoken up… if only they hadn’t been too afraid, too frozen, too shocked… then they wouldn’t have been abused.

        Even if someone does “stand up” for themselves, the potential for abuse is still there. Sometimes, depending on the situation, people may not be willing to retaliate against their abuser for fear of worsening the situation (further physical attack, death, etc). What if the victim is underage? What if English is their second language? What if they are an undocumented immigrant? Etc.. there are many reasons why someone may not choose not to “defend” themselves.

        I find the discussion of people “standing up” for themselves problematic because the goal posts are easily moved. How much is enough? If someone does their research and is attacked, did they not do enough research? If someone was assertive and attacked, were they not assertive enough? I don’t think this kind of discussion is productive because it shifts attention to what the victim did or did not do to to bring the attack upon themselves (I know you don’t see your own argument that way, but what else is the point of talking about what a victim should or shouldn’t do, “or else”?) instead of highlighting the abuser’s behavior, tactics, responsibility, etc..

        Again, I am not arguing against people learning how to defend themselves. I agree that it would be beneficial if people learn about what abuse is, their rights in the medical setting, their right to autonomy, common tactics of abusers, because this is the kind of world we live in. BUT. If they do not, then I don’t think they should ever be shamed for it.

        Because it very much simplifies the variety of experiences an abuse survivor may have, or come from.

        It also implies that abuse is so easily AVOIDED- again, the emphasis being on the responsibility of the abused- rather than examining WHY there is this pattern of men abusing perceived women.

        I also disagree on your separate comment, https://forwomenseyesonly.com/2012/09/09/the-other-side-of-the-speculum-a-male-doctors-point-of-view/comment-page-1/#comment-2879

        Not only is it tone-policing, but it sets up a false equivalency. Someone in a privileged position abusing the marginalized holds the weight of the status quo behind them. Moreover, I don’t represent you. I only represent myself. Because women are not a monolith. Someone who would use me as a “representative” of “all women” (please, as if they would really define that as anything other than “white, cis women”) is a fool in any case.

  50. When I was a minor (16) my doctor, male, sent me to his friend who was a doctor to have a transvaginal ultrasound to prove that I had a genetic disorder. I didn’t know enough to question the logic.

  51. I am currently a college student studying biology and am planning on being a doctor – quite possibly an OB/GYN. I am deeply interested in the field and don’t think I would ever conciously take advantage of my position of control over any patients, but it definitely scares me that some doctor’s might and do. I have never felt overly uncomfortable or taken advantage of in a doctor’s care but that could be partially because I grew up in the military health system and haven’t needed a gyno visit yet. I definitely will keep this in the back of my mind as I continue my education and eventually pursue my MD. I think that if you have the time and opportunity to choose your own doctor’s definitely educate yourself and find one you can be comfortable with – I have heard plenty of women who are happy with their male OB/GYNs and I assume they would never suggest I talk to them, because of my interests, if they weren’t professional about exams or anything else. Don’t jump to conclusions, but be confident if you are uncomfortable or feel the need to seek a second opinion. Sadly it seems a lot of people get stuck because of insurance issues and such… Someday I hope that I can be a female OB/GYN and provide many women with peace of mind and relief in a stressful and vulnerable position.

  52. When I was 17 I had my first pap smear done by a woman doctor. She had her finger inside me and “felt” me a little too long. During it I didn’t know better that she was lingering too long. Afterwards she told my mom “I think she liked it”. So, moral of the story is it’s Not only men doctors whom conduct themselves in a disorderly and unprofessional way. Men are not only the ones whom put sexuality in pap smears and pelvic exams. This article is precisely why I would never have a male gyn. I will never let a man do an exam on me like that. Unless it is my husband. But, you also have to be wary of women gyn’s as well. You really just have to research whom this person is. If you are transferring care to a new gyn book a longer appointment if you can so you can get to know them a little first. If you don’t feel comfortable with them with your clothes on then don’t get undressed for them. go to someone else.

  53. I don’t get the U.S obsession with genitalia, if they’re not unnecessarily chopping bits off bo6s, they’re putting things into girls.

  54. This blog is disturbing. The comments made are so so sad. Until this very day and reading this I have never thought back to the day my mother took me at 16 to her gyn for a ‘check up’. I think she wanted to check if I was sexually active. The gyn must have been 70 if he was a day and I remember so clearly how violated I felt. I was molested by my stepfather at 6 years old, date raped at 15 (all without my mother knowing) and had to be subjected to an unnesessary ‘check up’ and internal exam by a gyn at 16. It’s no wonder I have huge issues with sex to this day and I’m 39. 😦

    • I am terribly sorry to hear of your violations. May I suggest that you explore an avenue to prevent others from experiencing the violations to which you were subjected. The only sexual violations that I have experienced have been at the hands of doctors. Two such occurrences took place at a major clinic in Midwest. There is a serious problem with women being sexually violated and exploited by doctors.

  55. Nicci, I’m so sorry.
    That’s the real tragedy here, that almost all of this damage was/is avoidable. Routine pelvic exams are not recommended anymore for good reason, they carry risk, even unnecessary surgery and there is no evidence of benefit. Dr Carolyn Westhoff, ob-gyn (and an American) has written several articles on the futility of this exam and the risks, she partly blames this exam for your high hysterectomy rates (1 in 3 US women will have one by age 60 – gulp…so much for the well-woman nonsense) and for the loss of healthy ovaries after false positive exams. You’ll find her articles online.
    Putting women and teenagers through an unnecessary invasive exam that carries risk is hard to understand, IMO, it’s very bad medicine and seems to be protected by a medical profession that now relies on this annual exam to keep up revenue/profits. I’m middle-aged and have never had a routine pelvic exam and never will…I would never risk my health by handing over my asymptomatic body for an unnecessary rummage-around. Routine breast exams have been out for some time as well, there is no evidence of benefit, but they lead to excess biopsies. I’ve always refused them. I’ve also passed on mammograms (when I turned 50) and have never had pap tests. (as a low risk woman) All informed decisions made after I did my own research, I found official sources of information to be biased and unreliable and most doctors just recommend women have screening, some pressure, some use coercion. I found a great doctor who listens to me and respects my decisions.

    The damage that is done in the name of women’s healthcare is shocking…we need to trust our bodies and protect them from harm. If we make an informed decision to test, at least we understand what we’re agreeing to, we’re not just having something “done” to us.
    The doctors I respect are the ones who are fighting for change – for some respect for informed consent and for evidence based testing. Excess is about profits, not doing what’s best for women.
    I admire the doctors who respect, defend and protect women, not defend and protect pap testing, mammograms etc
    People like Dr Gilbert Welch, Dr Margaret McCartney, (who declines pap testing as well) Professor Michael Baum, UK breast cancer surgeon, Dr Peter Gotzsche from the Nordic Cochrane Institute and a few others.
    These doctors remember the motto: first do no harm.

  56. I think most women have a very strong natural sense of who’s creepy or not – even when it is a doctor. However, society keeps imposing things like “grin and bear it” when in fact, it is your own body – you have your own choices and you do NOT have to bear it.
    My own mother has always supported the notion that male gynecologists are better at what they do than female gynecologists. Sound absurd? And sexist? Well, it is. She has no claims to back it up and repeats it like a broken record, as though it is the ultimate truth. And she keeps on going to male gyns because she truly believes in this. Mind you, she is only 42 so it is safe to assume that it is not quite a generational thing. I believe it has to do more with what society is imposing on us as women AND as patients. Put your health and trust in the doctor’s hands – he knows best. But sometimes he doesn’t. All the comments I have read above are proof of this. And I think it is time to start listening to people’s experiences and concerns rather than belittling them. Telling a woman who has been molested by a male gyn that not all male gyns are like that is a poor way of facing the issue she has faced. It is basically like telling her “put your valid concerns aside and simply love men even when they are predators”. No. Just stop this approach all together, because you are doing more harm and good.
    At age 17 I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, which according to my doctors messes up your hormones almost entirely, but I also had irregular periods. My ever so caring grandmother found a very respected and “professional” endocrinologist whom we visited when I had just turned 19. We both sat and showed him my blood tests, spoke about my hormonal issues, about my diagnosis etc. Mind you, in front of his office, the women were largely in their 40s and 50s because apparently it usually takes a while for this disease to be caught and I was “lucky enough” to know early. When we brought up my irregular periods, the endocrinologist immediately said I should be screened to make sure there are no cysts or anything else wrong , causing my hormonal disbalance even though as a endocrinologist he knew that my Hashimoto’s disease was messing up with my hormones. My grandmother was quick to say that no, I couldn’t be screened internally because I was a virgin. The doctor looked at me, in disbelief and said “Really? Not even once?” I honestly didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as a reaction. His question was beyond absurd so I just smirked and confirmed that no, I had never had sexual intercourse with a man. Boy, I wish that had discouraged him. I don’t know if he didn’t believe that a 19 year old girl could be a virgin or if he thought that I was lying to get out of it, but he kept pressing during the same appointment and during the next one. Myself AND my grandmother who was with me each time, had to insist that, no, he is not “examining” me that way until he finally settled for screening me through my stomach, looking clearly displeased with the fact that neither of us would budge. And even after that screen showed that nothing was wrong with my uterus, glands etc, do you know what he said? That an internal exam would still be more reliable, as a way to guilt us into “doing the right thing”. He wasn’t even a gynecologist. Let that sink in. When we left the office, my grandmother and I agreed that I wasn’t going back to that doctor. We listened to our instincts and I was better off for it.
    Two years later, at age 21 and still a virgin, I went to a female gynecologist who upon learning that i was a virgin simply said “That’s okay, we can screen your ovaries/uterus etc” from the stomach area. And that was it, she did , it was all fine yet again, no cysts etc. Close to the end of the appointment, she said “Make sure to tell your next gyno you’re a virgin so that they know to screen you like this and not internally.”.
    My next gyn, two weeks after that was a man, and the first thing he said when my grandmother and I went into his office was “Who’s getting the pelvic exam?”.
    The clear differences between these experiences have got me thinking that even though many male gynecologists are good at what they do and probably do not abuse their power, I am simply better off with a woman. And no amount of pressure from my mom or society has managed to convince me to get a pelvic from a male gyn and I don’t intend on letting it happen any time soon.
    Trust your instincts, ladies. If you don’t like a doctor, do not agree to an exam with him. Stick to your guns and don’t let yourself be bullied into a humiliating or painful experience. Because trust me, you are unlikely to forget the time you gave in to do something you knew would embarrass you. And to all the doctors abusing their power, shame on you. You shouldn’t be a doctor in the first place.

    PS: My mother has told me about her horrific experiences with the male midwife during my birth and still lets society brainwash her into believing male doctors are more capable of handling a woman. ( Word choice on purpose ) I’m sure they believe they are.

  57. Maria, I think women who are bullied or coerced into invasive testing often carry trauma right through life. It never leaves them…
    I saw a study that showed opportunistic pap testing can lead to psychological issues, yet our screening authority encourages GPs to do just that….screen opportunistically. It’s not surprising women end up traumatized, we may be happy to see any doctor for a ingrown toenail, but he/she may not be our choice for a pap test. We may also, be caught off guard and unprepared mentally and physically for an invasive test. We’re being forced into something we don’t want at that time or at all.
    I’m pleased your grandmother supported you…the consult room can be an intimidating place. I think we need to be careful with doctors, especially new/unknown doctors, stay alert and have an exit plan if you become uncomfortable. It’s far better to make an excuse and get out, than live with trauma for the rest of your life. I think coercion is a very serious matter and IMO, coercion negates all consent. Hardly surprising some women feel they were assaulted after being forced into testing…when informed consent is required for all cancer screening and the Pill has nothing to do with cancer screening, it is IMO, an assault. Can you imagine a man being told he must have a rectal exam or he can’t have Viagra? Or a colonoscopy before he can receive non-emergency medical care…yet many women face coercive demands on a regular basis, especially American women.

  58. K, by yearly exam I assume you mean the well-woman exam. This is not recommended in many countries, it’s not an evidence based exam and IMO, is far more likely to harm you.
    I’d take a look at the evidence base for these exams and practices in countries like the Netherlands, Finland and even the UK. Routine breast and pelvic exams are not recommended at any age in symptom-free women and no pap testing is offered before 25 in the UK and 30 in Finland and the Netherlands and under the new Dutch program only HPV+ women aged 30+ will be offered a 5 yearly pap test.
    At 21 I can’t think of any routine health checks or screening that might be helpful…if you’re on the Pill, a regular blood pressure test is necessary. Otherwise, I’d just be seeing a doctor when I need to…for medical advice or for symptoms. In mid-life many people see the doctor every year or two for general checks (blood tests, BPT)…and some people have mammograms and bowel cancer screening. (at 50)
    Some countries recommend breast screening at 40, but I’d be very careful following that recommendation. I know some American doctors do routine visual checks of the genitals, this is not recommended in many/most countries. The very suggestion is horrifying, I’d run, not walk out of that consult room.
    Basically, most of the invasive exams and testing on the symptom-free female body are IMO, unnecessary, unhelpful and even harmful and cancer screening is elective…always make sure you know what’s being done to your body. A simple test can lead to some very ugly places.

  59. There are many articles covering pap tests and young women and why they’re a bad idea.
    This is a summary from the UK that may be of interest.
    http://www.screening.nhs.uk/cervicalcancer-qa
    In my opinion, the new Dutch program is the best in the world for those women who wish to test, it identifies the small number of women at risk and protects the vast majority of women who are not at risk from unnecessary testing and over-treatment and it offers HPV self-testing.

  60. My husband is an internal medicine resident, as are many of his friends. I showed him this article and he and his counterparts all agreed that when doing pelvic exams, there is absolutely nothing sexual about it. It’s ALL about context. I don’t find the tone or supposed intent of this article to be helpful or insightful at all. If your motive is to induce anxiety in women, well done. I am certain you will get many page views because of this, but at what cost?

    I’m not saying there aren’t some physicians out there who don’t get a rush out of giving a pelvic exam to an attractive woman, but there are many, many who don’t. My husband says he finds pelvic exams terribly awkward and would prefer never to have to give one ever again.

    • If I were secretly a sexual predator who loved giving pelvic exams, and when confronted my co-worker and the wife of my co-worker, I would lie and say that “there is nothing sexual” about pelvic exams. It’s a shame that you are callously dismissing the experiences of many, many women in this thread of comments. This blog post is about AWARENESS and letting women know that they (not doctors) are in charge of their own bodies. Even if your immediate circle of doctor friends were telling the truth, that is only a handful of doctors in one geographical location out of hundreds of thousands of doctors.

    • Betsie, do you really think that your husband would admit that he got sexually aroused? I doubt it. You only have his word for it. But even if your husband was able to look at naked attractive women in a non sexual way, that doesn’t mean many other doctors don’t. I find your comment to be extremely naive.

    • Betsie,

      You should ask your husband to give up doing pelvic exams. He should let female doctors and residents do them. See how your husband can refuse to do pelvic exams at http://patientmodesty.org/studentconvictions.aspx. it is very normal for heterosexual men to be sexually aroused when they see a naked woman. Do you really think your husband can stay pure in mind 100% of the time? Even godly men who have committed to purity have lustful thoughts from time to time. One pastor said he had some lustful thoughts when he saw some scantily clothed women on a beach. He made a decision to not go to that beach anymore. Pelvic exams are worse than scantily clothed women because women’s private parts are exposed in pelvic exams.

    • Betsie,
      I’m sorry about the other comments. I don’t usually post on these things but I think the article is too outrageous to leave it.
      I’m a medical student in the UK and I’m doing my obs and gynae placement at the moment. We all have to learn to do speculums and vaginal examinations by the end of our placement. I’m a woman, and I find it awkward and a bit difficult to perform a speculum, and I know the majority of my colleagues feel similarly. It’s not something any of us look forward to and really it’s just something we want to get good at and then leave it.
      I’ve no idea what it’s like in the US, but in the UK women are meant to have speculums every 3 years either after the age of 25 (England) or after 20 (Scotland) to get a smear test done – which has greatly reduced the incidence of endometrial cancer. It’s also often done by female nurses. So the opportunity for general practice doctors to see young, healthy and ‘attractive’ patients and get to give them a speculum is rare. Most of the speculums they do will have suspected pathology. Who finds it sexually attractive giving a speculum to a woman who has smelly/bloody/purulent discharge coming from their vagina?

      I’m sure it probably does happen, where doctors do find it stimulating but I cannot imagine it would be this big a problem … I wonder if there is a blog site where men have posted their experiences of being sexually abused by the perverted female doctor giving them a prostate examination.
      I think this blog just panics women about getting an examination that could be necessary and make them more prone to suspect it’s a form of abuse, and falsely accuse doctors. Yes – it’s uncomfortable, that doesn’t mean the doctors are only doing it for their own joy!
      Perhaps more communication about the examination, what exactly is going to happen and what the doctor will be doing will help to prevent this in the future.

      Sorry – I’ve been rambling, but I’ve just found this whole thing a bit gobsmacking.

      • Outraged Medical Student,
        I hope you are also suitably outraged over the prosecution of the British GP earlier this year who was found guilty of filming intimate examinations on his watch. His victims totalled over 300, the youngest being 14 years old. But this is rare isn’t it? I’ll say it was rare – he got CAUGHT. How many others share his perverted tendencies. Have you read some of the posts on this website from women who have been violated and traumatised by (mainly) male doctors? Are you outraged on their behalf?
        How telling that you save your outrage in defence of your medical fraternity.

  61. I think what this article has achieved Betsie, is the confirmation for a lot of women who feel that there was something not quite right about their pelvic exam, that pehaps they were the object of unprofessional conduct. And instead of just brushing it off and telling themselves that they are being silly and the doctor is a professional, that perhaps they should listen to their instinct and they were right after all. I think that a lot of women would find it hard to reconcile what they felt and the context of where it happened and this just brings it out into the open. So I think it’s a good thing and it doesn’t cause anxiety but it just validates what women have experienced (Including myself). And just from my experience and my friends’ experiences nearly all of us have had an experience where we have walked away feeling something was amiss-whether it was a remark or staring just a little too long or making requests that are not clinical requirements.
    Nobody knows what another person is thinking or feeling when they are doing pelvic exams and breast exams. Nobody is going to admit that they enjoy doing them and I am sure that a lot of doctors do dislike doing them, but let’s not kid ourselves, some obviously do. In fact it can’t be that unusual when I heard that medical students actually have made up a well known acronym -TUBE-totally unnecessary breast exam.

  62. You cant speck for all woman. some woman do find these exams sexuall . If a woman wants a pap or pelvic and knows the risks thats one thing. But there are alot of doctors who make woman feel as tho they have no right to refuse or they try to withhold unrelated care untill the woman sumits. Even if a doctor only sees the exam as meadical weather they like it or not pap smears do involve penetration with objects. So if a woman feels forced to have a pap smear or is told she “has to” this is a form of rape as far as the law is concerned.

  63. Wow, Stephen, I don’t think you couldn’t hit any more misogynist tropes if you *tried*. You want to know why feminists are nasty to you? It’s because you are a pig-ignorant, misogynist douchebag. It’s so obvious you think you’re one of the “good guys”—that would be hilarious if it wasn’t so unbelievably wrong. I feel sorry for every woman in your life who has to listen to you spew bullshit and call her “too emotional” and “dumb cunt” whenever she disagrees with your obviously superior Man Opinions and Mansplanations.

    You’re used to people caring about your opinion because you’re a man, even when you know jack shit about the subject. You’ve been spoiled utterly rotten by the patriarchy and now you’re throwing a tantrum like a petulant two-year-old. You are not enlightening anyone on this thread; you are just painting the walls with your own poo. No one wants to see it.

    tl;dr: Shut the fuck up and go away. No one cares about your opinion. Get used to it.

    • Thanks for that, Elliot. You said exactly what I wanted to say.

      Reading these comments makes me want to leave the planet. I cannot BELIEVE the ridiculous victim-blaming and gender stereotyping being spewed out. It’s extremely insulting- women are emotional wrecks! men only think with their penises! women should prevent these things from happening to them! Men have lots of testosterone= they’re all sex mad! I sincerely hope somebody is just trollin’ and doesn’t actually believe what they’re saying- Men are more intelligent than women and if it wasn’t for men women would have nothing!- WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK? Misogyny is running rampant on this thread, and it’s making me want to vomit.

      As for the original topic:
      I am deeply sorry to everybody who were violated by doctors (of any gender). It’s a sad fact that malpractice exists across the health profession spectrum, and anybody can be a bad doctor. It is not just men, it is not just women. ANYBODY can be a bad doctor/nurse/midwife/dentist/orthodontist etc etc etc. We need to hold these people accountable for their behaviour, so that it does not happen again.

      • Male doctors are in court on regular basis for abuse of women, very few women believe it happens…pailrider

  64. When I was 13 and started menstruating, my mother decided all my problems were caused by the fact I was sexually active (which I wasn’t) and forced me on birth control. I was terrified of men due to previous abuse. I was so terrified I wouldn’t even go near male teachers. I remember I cried during the entire pelvic exam, but my mother didn’t believe me that I was still a virgin, and the doctor didn’t confirm or deny it. I’ve always been scared of pelvic exams since then, and when I was 18 I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in the vulva. It had nothing to do with the birth control or abuse, it was just a genetic mutation, but extremely rare.

    My gyno oncologist, Dr. Townsend was the most gentle, kindest man I had ever met and he made me not afraid of the exams anymore. He talked to me while he worked, he told me that if anything made me uncomfortable he would stop immediately and we were never alone. There was always a female nurse there to hold my hand, help explain things and to make sure I was comfortable. He always made sure I knew exactly what he was doing and he was always modest, making sure I was covered appropriately and he only looked at what was necessary when it was necessary. He made sure I knew what to look for and what was normal in a pelvic exam and to always trust my instincts with doctors, because I’ll have to have yearly exams for the rest of my life, even after a hysterectomy. He taught me that it was MY body and had final say, even to doctors, if I’m not comfortable with something, even if it’s a doctor, to say so, and always request a female nurse is present with a male doctor. He was one of those doctors that made you feel more like a human being than a body on an exam table, and I’ll always be grateful for the things he taught me and also for saving my life. I just wanted to share my story, because Dr. Townsend is what doctors should be, and he deserves the respect and kindness he showed me.

    • @ Anonymous,,, I am so glad to hear you found a great doctor. There are not enough doctors like that. I hope you get to keep that one. 🙂

    • That’s good news. But personally I don’t like the idea of a nurse present as a spectator. It would only make me feel more uncomfortable having even more people in the room than is necessary. I don’t know how this is supposed to protect anybody from a doctor having improper thoughts. I also wonder if that Dr Nikita Levi who filmed all these women having pelvic exams with a pen camera around his neck had a nurse present. Also let’s remember the nurse is there to protect the doctor against any false accusations, not the patient from the doctor.

    • why do you need yearly exams still for the rest of your life?
      It’s obvious he wasn’t able to cure you, but that’s not surprising since allopathic doctors can’t cure, they only treat symptoms and like the other commentator I do not see the use of a female nurse present either. If male doctors require female nurses, doesn’t that confirm the idea they are inherently untrustworthy?
      And I’m sorry but if that doctor was that kind he would have never entered this business in the first place. I have read too many times of women loving their ‘gentle’ doctor, not having a clue of what real respect is, treating them like children and thinking they were saved. How so, by cutting out your organ(s)? This business in itself is disrespectful of women and you have to be truly paternalistic to think that it is justified as a man to be in this business.

  65. Also, it’s really gross and disturbing to see people post about how they “forbid” their wives from doing things. Fuck outta here with that.

  66. Women should respect their husbands by not going to male doctors. Women are more easily deceived than men so it is wise for women to take their husbands advice. Male doctors are untrustworthy.

    • Wait…so in order to make sure they are not taken advantage of by untrustworthy male doctors, women should trust their husbands to make medical-related decisions for them? Their husbands. Who are men. Just like the doctors.

      Sound logic there.

    • I do not like my wife going to male doctors. My wife is attractive and the doctors that worked at the hospital out patient clinic where she worked at would try to hit on her. Not all but enough. Unfortunately, she had an affair with one of them. We reconciled after tons of counseling but I abhor her being touched by any male doctor for female exams. Am I being unreasonable?

      • I wouldn’t say so Greg. I wouldn’t be comfortable with that either in your position – especially not after reading all these stories. The important thing is to remember that she is her own person and you can’t make the decision for her*. It’s something you shoud discuss and decide together.

        (*I’m not trying to assume you would, it’s just earlier I read a comment saying they had ordered their wife to never see a male doctor for a pelvic/breast exam, and it was rather unsettling.)

      • I prefer my wife to see female doctors….after her affair with one. She had an affair with the same doctor twice….I suspected the first affair and we quit associating with the doctor and his wife….then ten years later they had another affair. When this affair was exposed she admitted the first affair. I told her I wouldn’t have stay with her those ten years if I had known for sure. I was going to divorce her and she begged me not to. It took three years of counseling to get through that mess. She had also gone to male plastic surgeons that she had worked with in the clinic at the hospital without consulting me. My wife is attractive and some of the residents hit on her while she worked there. I did not want her going to a male doctor she knew through work…That caused me a great deal of anxiety also. After that….I absolutely did not want her seeing male doctors unless there was not a woman doctor in that area of need. She had been seeing a female doctor but that doctor left for a practice in Hawaii 4 months ago. So…she got a little drunk at a party, fell, and bruised a rib. I wanted her to get it checked out with her doctor. Then she told me her doctor moved to Hawaii. She told me she could get into see a male doctor right away. She has breast implants. The bruise was under her left breast. I really aborred the idea of her seeing another male doctor. I called a minor emergency center and found our there were some female physcians working there and she went and saw one. I know my attitude may seem unreasonable but I absolutely do not want another man touching her again. This is because of the affairs, the resident examing her during her pregancy that knew her from the clinic…her failure to consult me before she went to plastic surgeons, and a few other incidents. Not all doctors are pigs but I have had enough bad experiences I am done with them. I told her two days ago that if she went again without telling me that we were done…

      • Your posts are very interesting, Greg…
        It makes me wonder how much of this exposure is really necessary and how much is sloppiness, couldn’t-care-less attitudes or even opportunistic viewing given legitimacy by the medical setting.
        I know some hospitals provide paper pants (some hide very little, others are opaque) and others (especially in the private sector) can provide all female surgical teams and/or a closed theater, others can prep you privately… (before a c-section) I know women who’ve requested these things in the private sector.
        In some cases husbands have been asked to leave the theater while their wife is prepped for a c-section, but assorted male onlookers have been allowed to hang around and view the woman being shaved and a urinary catheter being inserted…who is protecting the patients privacy in this setting? Why couldn’t a screen be used during prepping? Or at least ask the extras…orderlies etc to leave?

        I believe if it’s unacceptable when someone is awake, it’s unacceptable when they’re asleep. I know “difficult” people are often just knocked out so they can be prepped without “concern” about their modesty and dignity.
        I must say I fear ever needing surgery…I really wonder whether a medical advocate system should be in place, someone to watch over you when you’re compromised or unable to do so…

        There are some posts over at Dr Sherman’s medical privacy blog that show just how distressing these breaches of our privacy/dignity are and the impact they can have on people. Is it really a successful procedure if we walk out of hospital in one piece…but are left with permanent psychological damage? The medical profession needs to remember they’re treating a person, a human being, not just a body.

        I know greater effort is made in some private hospitals. I was impressed with the way patients were treated at a local private hospital; my mother had bowel surgery. Male nurses took care of bathing, shaving etc for male patients and female nurses for women. Of course, the public system would say it’s too difficult with staffing issues…not good enough.
        There was a concerning post over at Dr Bernstein’s patient privacy blog. A father angry and upset over the actions and attitudes at a public hospital. His 18 year old daughter was having her appendix removed and a male nurse was sent to shave her pubic area, she refused and the nurse challenged her, “my training is exactly the same, I’m a professional” etc…after becoming distressed and threatening to leave the hospital, her father arrived to take charge. The senior nurse “agreed” a female nurse should have been sent as well…what a ridiculous thing to say, you send a female nurse, why tie up two members of staff? I think it also shows a system in crisis or one that couldn’t care less…most people would understand that a young woman would not be happy with a male nurse doing something like that…and you wonder about the people who didn’t feel they could object or who gave in to pressure. Of course, when we’re asleep, a male/female nurse might shave us etc and we can’t object, anything goes…it shouldn’t.

      • Elizabeth, I agree. The excuse “it’s the OR” should not be an excuse to suddenly start treating people as if they have no modesty or dignity. I have heard horror stories of women having their pictures taken while they were anesthetized and naked – some with their legs up in stirrups. One woman was wheeled out from the OR still completely naked into a public hallway, no one had bothered to cover her up. People should be treated the same when they are under sedation as when they are awake.

        Here is an interesting link to a site . . . a survey revealed that sexual abuse and predation in hospitals and other medical establishments is similar to levels found in the church, and is covered up in similar fashion: http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.ca/2012/03/medic-sex-abuse-worse-than-church.html

      • FWEO, Exactly, predators are cunning and will find a way to get what they want so a sloppy hospital is a great place for them, or anywhere else where people are vulnerable, compromised…childbirth is an area of concern. The Birth Trauma sites are the stuff of nightmares.
        http://birthtraumacanada.org/

  67. Quite a lot of hatred on here, mostly from the women. Look, stay clear of male doctors. It’s not rocket science. Get your brains in gear. Do you seriously think male doctors are morally above everyone else? Stop being so hateful and start using common sense.

    • Thank you for your straight forward and obvious response. Well, at least I thought it was an obvious answer to the problems being brought up. Some obviously do not agree. It’s really easy to just say “I want a woman doctor”. In fact, every gyno office I’ve ever called has asked if I have an issue with having a male doctor if they have one on staff. It’s the same concept as if you don’t like butter, don’t buy it. It’s really that easy. No hate needed, no anger needed, just a little common sense.

    • It’s not always that easy. If you’re choosing a doctor for yourself you can look for female practitioners. What if there aren’t any in your area? What if none of them are covered by your insurance? Etc.? Do you have $200 extra dollars to see a doctor off your network? If you’re in the hospital, unless you’ve been admitted by a specific surgeon for a procedure s/he will be performing, you don’t have a say about who treats you. You’re seen by whoever is on duty in the ER or the hospital that night. The same is true with the nursing staff. If you’re there for an urgent or emergency matter the hospital isn’t going to say “sure, hang on, we’ll scour the hospital for a female doctor for you,” they’re going to treat you on the spot.

      The onus should be on physicians of both genders to treat their patients respectfully and not to coerce them into unnecessary testing.

    • Such a simple solution but it doesn’t work for everyone. I have been without a family Doctor for 3 years now because I can not find a female one. I’m going to have to bite the bullet and take any man I can get.

      • A, I have been without a family doctor for years and have discovered that there really is no need for me to have one. Years ago I made an informed decision to decline a pap test and my former family dr refused to keep me on as a patient as a result of my refusal. Since that time I avoid drs whenever possible, and my cervix and reproductive organs are healthy and intact – in my opinion because I don’t have paps. Drs are able to charge extra fees for every screening test they order, and some are very motivated to perform pap tests for other reasons as well . . . as this post and comments have revealed.

  68. There is a book written by a doctor who explains how doctors manipulate women. Many male doctors think women are stupid. Well, I do believe that men are smarter than women and are more skillful, but that is no excuse for doctors to take advantage. Women should oppose these barbaric exams and start standing up to these male perverts.

    • You might believe that men are smarter but the science does not agree with you. Why would a person be smarter because they have a penis? Many men only think with the penile brain, not the one in their head.

    • Thanks, didn’t know about the book. I wouldn’t say it’s stacked that way, though. Men aren’t necessarily smarter or more skillful- a lot of things men do don’t work as intended or they do half-asked. There’s a lot of “not actually functional, but using it as a means of doing something”- some of it has to do with ego (or just not taking things seriously, but sometimes they act like that’s an effeminante trait).

  69. JudyC, men naturally think with their penis because of the level of testosterone. However, even though men think with their penis, they are still smarter than women. Look at the things men have created. Women could not survive without men, even though the feminist media tries to convince women otherwise.

    • Give me a break!
      Men have for ages shunned women from schools, they still shun them from getting the highest positions in society so they couldn’t even show you what they can do and you think it’s a sign of men’s superiority? Lol
      BTW if men are going to continue with their lovely inventions, soon the world will be destroyed. Thanks men, we really couldn’t survive without you!

    • Where is your science for that? You can’t say that men are smarter because of what they have invented when they have been actively preventing and subverting women throughout the ages. Women used to have to assume a male name as an author to be published is one example.

    • Yeah, Joe, what a shock that forbidding women from getting an education or a job for centuries and centuries would result in fewer women inventors? What are the odds?

      Dumbass.

    • I think Joe might need to read up on History. Since the beginning of time Women weren’t ALLOWED to do things like read, go to school (and when that changed they weren’t allowed to be taught anything besides how to fold napkins or sew etc) they weren’t allowed to tend university etc. No wonder history is filled with Men and their inventions. It has only improved or women int he last hundred years and even that was slow moving. It’s really been mostly in the last 60.

    • That’s a fallacy actually. Many matriarchal societies thrived before the current Westernized one. All societies have their rises and falls, but by no means does that make the current male-dominated one any better or even more advanced. On the contrary, some of the most advanced cultures were pre-Greco, and very much so women-led.

    • Oh no, did I hurt your feelings Joe? 😦 Maybe you shouldn’t reply to my posts until you’ve stopped acting so emotional. Because dude, you are totally overreacting. I’m not insulting men, I’m insulting *Stephen*. Although if your feelings are hurt by what I said, perhaps it’s because it struck too close to home. I’m not going to argue.

      Gosh, I really hate when men get too emotional to have a rational discussion. You can never get a word in edgewise, you just have to listen to them go on and on….

  70. Yazz, even today men are the ones who create most of the technology and create businesses. If it wasn’t for men creating all this wonderful technology, millions of women wouldn’t have a job. Most women have lazy jobs, working on a computer or a machine that men have created. I would like to see a woman invent and build an airplane or a space ship lol. Never gonna happen.

    • You refuse to take into account that women only recently have gained more rights in the western world and we still live in a patriarchy, so it’s totally unfair to make a comparision between the genders without looking at the context. It’s a weak attempt to try to ‘prove’ supposed male superior intelligence. Besides there are different forms of intelligence, some that aren’t even acknowledged as intelligence by those ‘smart nerds’ who create the type of machinery you mention and who will due to their narrow mindedness be helping us into destruction because they lack holistic thinking just like them lovely allopathic doctors who can’t cure or heal any disease with their high tech equipment.

Speak your mind

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.