Books Past

Dec 2019: For Her Own Good

For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts Advice to Women by Barbara Ehrenreich

Non-Fiction suggested by Janet

~from Amazon – This women’s history brilliantly exposes the constraints imposed on women in the name of science and the myths used to control them. Since the 19th century, professionals have been invoking scientific expertise to prescribe what women should do for their own good: menstruation an illness requiring seclusion; pregnancy a disabling condition; higher education a threat to long-term health of the uterus. From clitoridectomies to tame women’s behavior in the nineteenth century to the censure of a generation of mothers as castrators in the 1950s, doctors have not hesitated to intervene in women’s sexual, emotional, and maternal lives. Even domesticity, the most popular prescription for a safe environment for woman, spawned legions of “scientific” experts. Today women are entering the medical and scientific professions in greater numbers but experts continue to use pseudoscience to tell women how to live. For Her Own Good provides readers with an indispensable dose of informed skepticism.