Do Doctors Ignore Women?

Do Doctors Ignore Women?


Oh hey everybody. This week on Ask Cristen
I’m going to share a secret—ooooooh–about Professor Fiance that I don’t know that he
would want me telling the internet about. I mean it’s not like a huge deal so I feel
like it’s okay that I tell you but maybe just like don’t tell him I told you, okay? So this week’s Ask Cristen question is about
doctors just being bad doctors. I have been really fortunate I feel like with my medical
care in life thus far. I only had one hilariously horrible gynecologist. But about Professor
Fiance’s secret-ish thing, he doesn’t trust doctors. He tends to think that a lot of doctors
are just a copay hungry racket. But onto the Ask Cristen question. It comes from Maka who
in the YouTube comment on last week’s Ask Cristen video linked to an article in the
Atlantic Magazine titled ‘How Doctor’s Take Women’s Pain Less Seriously’. And Maka requested,
‘Please talk about this!’ Quickly I want to note that when it comes to this unhealthy
relationship between patients and doctors it’s not just a woman thing. Studies show
patterns of medical neglect or mistreatment correlated not only with patient gender but
also patient income, ethnicity and weight. But if we do focus in on a female patient
population things get consistently bad when it comes to pain treatment. It could be anything
from oh I went running and I twisted my ankle. Ouch. Things start to get a bit more complicated
when we’re dealing with these invisible kinds of issues like migraines, irritable bowel
syndrome, vulvodynia, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome. There’s a landmark study
about this that came out in 2001 called, ‘The Girl Who Cried Pain’ and the study authors
concluded quote, ‘Women are more likely to be treated less aggressively in their initial
encounters with the healthcare system until they prove they are as sick as male patients.’
And the complexity of female pain management at the doctor’s office stems partially from
the fact that yes women and men do experience pain differently. Studies have found that
across our lifetimes women tend to report more pain. I mean, hello, insert period cramps
joke here people. But I wrote an entire article about this, ‘Do Men and Women Experience Pain
Differently?’ over at HowStuffWorks.com and I researched and explored how male and female
brains process pain through different neural networks. Women’s pupils even dilate faster
in response to painful stimuli compared to men’s pupils which is notable because our
pupil dilation is controlled by our autonomic nervous system which means that that pain
response is not necessarily under our conscious control so [pained laughter] women simply
live more painful existences and could you say that this is proof that women are the
weaker sex? No. Let us not mix up pain sensitivity with weakness because yeah those are two different
things. So a host of research has confirmed that women experience more chronic and severe
pain compared to men but get a load of this statistic. If a man and a woman walk into
an emergency room both complaining of acute abominable pain, across the United States
the dude is going to wait an average of 49 minutes before he is administered some kind
of analgesic whereas a woman is going to wait 65 minutes. Anyone who is experienced any
kind of severe pain, 16 minutes feels like a long time. Why are so many doctors and nurses
doubting female patients? The primary answer that I’ve seen to this has to do with socialization
where on the pro side of things, women and girls are culturally allowed to be more emotional
but because we are considered to be the more emotional and even yes weaker sex, that leads
some doctors who are often very pressed for time, to assume that maybe the women’s pain
isn’t such a big deal because oh well she’s just being emotive. As a not a doctor, I don’t
really have a solution that I can immediately implement within the medical community at
large but I think this is an opportunity to encourage all of us to take women and girls
more seriously and disentangle this general myth that emotion and logic cannot coexist.
Sometimes crying is okay, sometimes yelling is okay, sometimes saying things in a very
dramatic way is okay. Now I really want to hear from all of you, have you ever experienced
or know someone who has experienced the doubting doctor? Clearly this is a conversation that
we need to be having because a lot of people are suffering and in pain and not getting
the treatment that they need and really deserve because we, all of us, don’t believe them.
And I’m not talking like hypochondria situation here, that’s another video for another time.
Let me know in the comments below. Thanks to everybody who watched and commented on
last week’s Ask Cristen video ‘Am I OCD?’ Chelsea Gaylord commented, ‘Whenever I tell
someone I have OCD they get really excited and ask things like, “What do you do?!” as
if I have some sort of fun quirk. Obsessing over something that you know isn’t reasonable
to the point where it causes panic and sometimes physical distress is hard to explain to someone.
I really appreciate you taking the time to make this video and raise some awareness about
this disorder!’ And Jessy Pinkle said, ‘You cannot be OCD, you can HAVE it. The term “I’m
a little OCD” is so false and so frustrating as people make lightheartedness of the illness
and stereotype it to being simply extra tidy or clean when in reality the severe form is
a life debilitating illness which claims lives. P.S. that was not aimed at you Cristen – you’re
fab.’ And you know what Jessy Pinkle, you’re fab too! And so are you whatever your username
is who’s watching this video right now. As always be sure to ask me your questions so
I can give you some answers. And I’ll believe you. Unless you’re obviously a troll and trying
to bait me. You know who you are.

100 comments

  1. I have severe nut allergies and many times in the ER the doctor doubted that it could be that bad and suggested i just had anxiety…

  2. I've had quite a few terrible doctors. Hopefully, the doctors I have now are good doctors. An example of a terrible doctor I had was when I was a teenager; I kept having panic attacks and was severely depressed. My parents took me to my primary care physician at that time. I spoke to him about what I was going through. He brought my parents in the room and proceeded to say "she is making all of this up. She just wants attention." I became very angry told my parents I wasn't lying and called him a sh*ty doctor in front of my parents and him. Then he took me seriously and suggested I go to a psychiatrist. That was the last time I ever seen that primary physician.

  3. After college, I had issues with a period that did not quit for a month (literally). and I had to go back to the doctor or go to a different doctor before I finally got a resolution. What was really frustrating was I had a nurse practitioner treating me and she kept writing me off, basically saying "wait, it will get better." I had to keep coming back just to get her to take me seriously. So it's not just male doctors or healthcare practitioners, it's female ones too. In college, I had a terrible pain in my abdomen that wouldn't go away. I went to the student health center and the nurse practitioner wrote me off and basically said it was just gas. It was when I had to go to the ER a few days later that I was diagnosed as having an ovarian cyst after a pelvic exam and an MRI. I guess in short, I've had more female doctors and health care givers write me off than male ones.

  4. I've never gotten doubted by a doctor because I'm necessarily a female. But I have gotten doubted because I am 30 pounds overweight. When I complain about something like asthma, acne, or my flat feet the doctor assumes it's because I'm "fat".

  5. Shoutout to the asshole doctor who told me that my debilitating migraines that were causing me to miss at LEAST one day of school a month were a result of "stress" because I "didn't have a boyfriend" in highschool. Turns out they were hormonal migraines that were easily treatable with some good old fashioned birth control. -.-

  6. It took doctors forever to diagnose me with celiac because apparently being nauseated, very bloated, and exhausted all the time was normal. One GI lectured me about showing up in gym shorts and told me I was just anxious "whether or not I admitted it" and gave me fiber and probiotics without even touching my stomach or asking follow up questions. I continued to eat gluten and feel terrible for another month before I put it together.

  7. Also I'm an EMT and I once saw a nurse instruct a female patient panicking because her pacemaker was going off repeatedly and shocking her heart (she was in a life threatening emergency) that she would have to "calm down" and the paramedic had to go make her get a doctor.

  8. The doctor's office is the only time in my adult life I can say I've experienced overt discrimination. I was interrogated about my gluten sensitivity and my ability to work in spite of painful ulcerations on my body. I was in the seeing the doctor for urine retention.

    If I was seeing this doctor as part of filing for disability, I wouldn't expect this guy to just take my word for it that I couldn't work. If I was seeing this guy to discuss some GI issue, I wouldn't expect him to resist giving me his opinion about the legitimacy of a medical condition that's currently being contested. But I came in to talk about how it hurts to pee, and one glance at my chart later, I'm suddenly getting lectured about how I should "try harder" to be a productive member of society.

    Hi, doc? There's a difference between your medical opinion and your political opinion. And I didn't even really ask for the former either. It's very hard to be taken seriously when you're trying to discuss the problem of ablism from physicians, but it's a discussion we need to have.

  9. my doctor wouldn't listen to me about saying that I'm anxious and that anxiety was getting worse. I have adhd and started new meds so she said that was the problem, but the thing is I've always had anxiety even when I was little, but it's getting worse overtime. I was having panic attacks and feeling scared to talk to people which is not like me at all. I usually am really open and talk to people, but for some reason I was scared to. my doctor finally put me on anxiety meds and it got better. I've always been anxious and I can tell it's gotten worse

  10. So there's a bunch of people who are scared of the dentist because of pain. When I was eight I went to the dentist and he gave me the legal amount shots and my tooth still wasn't numb so he drilled anyway even with me crying and my mom pulled him off of me.

  11. men die younger and more often and they severely under report issues, only going to doctors when it's absolutely necessary.

    hm…can't imagine why

  12. I have chronic back pain thats been going on for most of my life. But every time I've gone to seek non medicated treatment….I just get kind of snubbed off by the physical therapy people because I'm barely in my 30's and single "theres no waaaay I could have the back pain of someone twice my age". By no means am I over weight in fact I'm under weight for my height (5'3) and pretty active most of the time. But I seem to just be in consent pain. I know not alot of Doctors don't understand when young (non athletic ) people have back pain to this level…..I just wish they would listen and give me a reasonable treatment that wont leave me upchucking my lunch by the end of the day or make me miss work because thats the only damn time the physical therapy person can see me…..=n=

  13. Omg try being a heavily tattooed woman in a hospital. I was actually told in the ER that they "couldn't" help me. I wasn't looking for any meds, I was extremely fatigued and had a below average temperature. I was dizzy for days. They sent me away. I had to find a specialist and pay out of pocket, even though I have insurance, to get help. I hate most doctors. Once a doctor again wouldn't help me with my thyroid problem, I have a huge goiter, he just stared at my breasts and told me he could help me with my "anxiety". -.- I am not hot btw, and my chest was fully covered.

  14. Yes! I have actually had a er Doctor talk down to me after going into the emergency room at 10 weeks pregnant, while experiencing severe abdominal pain. I was scared I was having a miscarriage. Turns out I just had a cyst on my ovary rupture! I've never been made to feel more stupid than on that night.

  15. I don't think I've ever had a doubting doctor but I have had a patronising doctor who didn't give me sufficient help when I was 17 with severe depression and anxiety. He made me feel embarrassed about my illness and only gave me a number to call for help, despite me saying one of the major problems caused by my anxiety was that I can't talk to people I don't know well on the phone. It sucked and ultimately lead to my illnesses getting worse and me having to drop out of college.

  16. I'm a girl and I've had migraines since I was two and we've been telling the neurologist that I need an MRI since I was two and we've only just gotten an MRI done last month a lot of the times they will put my pain off on the side saying that I'm on my period and that's why I have headaches and I'm nowhere near on my period at that time of the month

  17. It took me years to get diagnosed with and treated for PCOS. Every time I came reporting pain, terrible menstrual cycles, acne and hair growth, I was just told to lose weight. Sigh.

  18. So I was actually under the distinct impression that women had a much higher pain tolerance than men… It's mostly from anecdotal evidence though so I might just know particularly strong willed women, or particularly weak willed men.

  19. I've had plenty of doctors disregard my pain when I was a teen. To this day, I still don't know what I went through, I'm just glad it's gone. Long story short, a few months after having my first period, I went through one week every month where I would vomit everything I ate. I even had to drop out of school and be homeschool for a few years, because it was so bad. It definitely lasted more than 5 years. I think I've seen 3-4 doctors about this problem, and none of them really took me seriously. They mainly disregarded it as regular period pain. Even if it WAS regular period pain, one full week of not eating is definitely not healthy.

  20. So this is not exactly about doctors not taking a woman seriously but kind of the other way around. My mom had a brain tumor and went to the Mayo Clinic for treatment. Her neurologist is a very intelligent and accomplished woman, with not only the prestige of working at one of the most well respected medical institutions in the world. But with all of those things, my dad still does't believe half the things she says. She obviously worked very hard and earned her position at the Mayo Clinic. So how hard can it be to believe that she is not just pulling stuff out of her ass?

    PS I am not saying that the docs at the Mayo Clinic have never made a mistake or have the answer to every problem. I am just making a point that it is a very well respected medical institution and the docs who work there are well qualified.

  21. I had this super old gp that I pretty much only had because he was the closest dr to my house that my insurance covered. So I went to him with this chronic problem I have of flushing, and feeling feverish. He did one blood test, NEVER told me the results, and then just spent the entirety of every other visit telling me I needed to lose weight. My blood pressure was always perfect, and my blood sugar was always perfect, but no matter WHAT I went to him for, his answer was JUST 'lose weight'. One day I was sitting in a room waiting to be seen, and I hear him in the next room down talking to another patient, a male one, and they're chatting about how the patient just got remarried, and how his new wife is a good cook, and so he's gained weight. The dr told him that was perfectly fine and there was no harm in it… I then watched the patient walk past my door on the way out, and the man was so large, he made ME look skinny. The dr then comes to me, and tells me in response to my complaint about my chronic migraines, "Well, you need to lose weight." Are you KIDDING me?! I never went back to him, after that.

  22. Have I ever been mistreated because I was a woman? yes. Absolutely. When I was younger(and thinner) I went to the doctor for my yearly flu shot and check up. I was 15, had just lost a ton of weight(I was around a size 12, which is my perfect weight and size for my body type, broad and tall). My dad brought me, and came in with me because my PAs assistant was a guy, and apparently doctors can't be alone with a patient of the opposite sex. So I'm getting a check up, and the guy asks me if I was sexually active. I said no. He asked me if I was sure, I answered that I would probably know if I was sexually active(15 year old me was a smart ass) and he asked me again. And again. And again. And then asked my dad to leave so that he could explain Doctor-patient confidentiality to me and asked me again. This hasn't just happened to me, it has happened to all of my friends because if we haven't had sex in high school, and are moderately attractive, the doctors just don't trust us.

  23. I sprained my ankle I was in pain for 4 weeks because he didn't believe me. I was anaemic from birth I was diagnosed age 20 when my hair was falling out and I couldn't stay awake for more than 12 – 13 hours

  24. "Male and female brains" I assuming you mean the pain sections. Most brains are jigsaws of both sexs. These also have no correlations with feminine or masculine expression. There is a correlation with homo- and herto- sexuality though.

  25. My doctors have never compared my pain to men's pain before but there was this one time I had to go to the hospital because I was having breathing problems and my back and chest was in serious pain and the doctor took a few hours to come see me and I found out it was because the nurse had just written down it was only menstrual pains

  26. A friend once told me she told her doctor, "my leg hurts," and they said, "no it doesn't."my response to stuff like this is (in my mind) "Oh, I'm sorry. I was unaware of the fact that your brain is connected to my nervous system. If that is the case we need to find the person whose nervous system my brain is connected to because they are in a lot of pain."

  27. Even customers being ignored based on gender and social/economic standing has been seen in other industries. I work at a hardware store, big chain but I'm not going to mention I'm here. Last week wehad a man come in they had been over to the bigger store in my town who is flat out refused because the designer thought it was not worth the effort to do a kitchen design for him because he probably couldn't forward it anyway or it wasn't up to their par because it wouldn't bring in enough money for the store. He comes over to my store and were like oh sure whatever. And from what I understand we had him taken care of within one appointment. People are like oh small sale, when is just a few screws are a few pipe parts for plumbing. I'm like no it's a sale. Long as you don't come in screaming in my face or being very uppity I'll take care of you.

  28. I experienced this recently. I ended up cutting my own stitches in order to avoid having to go back to that doctor, even if the appointment was only supposed to last 10 minutes for him cutting the stitches from my healed surgical incision.

  29. The only time I had a doctor that doubted I had a problem was when I was visiting my neurologist. I mean, I definitely have epilepsy. How can you doubt that when I have evidence of that? I changed doctors very quickly.

  30. my friend got sent home with motrin for what they told her was probably just cramps and then she found out she had an ulcer 😑

  31. as a baby it took 3 doctors and 3 visits before the doctor said my fall caused more than sore ankles. Turns out when my bother fucked up the stroller tossing me more than 5 ft it did more than just give me sore ankles. It fractured them. Because of those doctors my parents did even more damage as they were told to try to get me standing again after a day or two. Yah, even as babies doctors still believe women's pain is hysterics. I wish that were the only time my pain was not taken seriously.

  32. I (female) have certainly had doctors dismiss my problems (for instance when I said I felt tired all the time I was told it's the summer heat. later they found out my medication needed adjustment) but the worst were experiences of two of my family members who both repeatedly went to the doctor with problems that wouldnt go away but they were assured it was just age or stress. even when blood tests pointed to larger problems and family history as well as lifestyle should have warranted a closer look . They only later found out that my family members had cancer, it was already stage 4 and they died a couple of months after diagnosis. (to clarify I am talking about two male family members who are from different sides of my family and went to different doctors).

  33. I have a history of heart problems, and I pass out quite easily because of this. I was in welding class once (yes, welding) and I started to feel my heart acting up and vision failing. I went to the urgent care and described my symptoms along with my medical history to the doctor, only to have him actually roll his eyes at me, tell me my fast, irregular heartbeat doesn't mean anything serious and that I'm "only nervous about having to take this type of test" (which I explained was impossible because after 11 years of problems and tests I'm definitely used to them by now), and he completely dismissed my EKG graph, which clearly displayed the very same heart problems I had just described to him. He told me to go home with no treatment.

  34. When I was 13 years old I had a lot of problems with my lady parts. The doc asked me sooo many times if I was pregnant. Never even kissed a guy. Later found out that I had a yeastinfection for 2 years. A year later they sent me to a mental hospital. Told me I was sick, that I should take pills, and yelled at me for not wanting the pills that made me feel even worse. After 9 years in mental care they found out that I have Ehlers Danlos. It triggers high levels of adrenalin. Looks like a panic attack, but is caused by pain. For 6 years they told me that I was bipolar.

  35. My mom was given medication for things like depression and thought to be a hypochondriac instead of being treated for her fibromaialgia (I cannot spell, oh well). It took years for doctors to finally believe that she wasn't making up the pain

  36. yes, but after trying many drs, i found a good team that listens (oddly enough, one of the bad ones was a female herself and the good ones are men)

  37. My friend felt pain in her lower body during class and had to go to the nurse. The nurse told her it was just her period. She told her parents and they brushed it off saying she ate something weird. Then it got so bad, she had to go to the doctor's where he just gave her a bunch of Tylenol painkillers. A while later after revisiting, we found out she had appendicitis.

  38. My dad has insomnia- really bad- the thing is, he has researched the living day lights out of his condition and when he finally went to the doctor it seemed like the doctor ignored him aside from getting enough info. to perscribe something and move on. Needless to say the med didn't work and my dad knew it wouldn't but took it anyway so the doctor would take him seriously. This cycle continued until my dad just gave up. Today he is still suffering and won't get help because he knows the same thing will just happen again. I find it interesting that doctors don't take you seriously unless you have the same piece of paper they do. No, my dad doesn't want to treat anyone but I would think his doctor would be more apt to listening to someone who has at least tried to learn about their personal condition.

  39. This reminds me of one time when I went to the doctor and he had the audacity to ask whether or not I was pregnant (my arm was hurting, how does that relate to being pregnant?) I did tell him repeatedly that I was the furthest thing from pregnant (I.E. virgin, tho he might have misinterpreted that) but I thought that was quite strange and it does seem quite strange he did say that girls often come in complaining of random things and then turning out it was just pregnancy….

  40. I have a hard time trusting doctors. I have lupus and fibromyalgia. My first rheumatologist made me feel crazy! He refused to give me any of the routine treatments for lupus and fibromyalgia, despite he himself diagnosing me with lupus. The final straw was when he told me to "just deal with the pain", take some extra Tylenol and wear UGG boots. I try my very best to treat my symptom with as little pain medications as possible. I eat a gluten free diet, exercise, and do meditation for stress reduction. I was furious. Needless to say, I found a more compassionate rheumatologist and am now progressing in treatment for both diseases.

  41. Well, that one time I was in so incedibly much pain because of cysts on my ovaries…
    I just curled up on the kitchen floor because everything turned black and I didn't want to hit my head fainting…
    About 10 minutes later as it got a bit better, but I still was in a lot of pain… a … fucking buttload of pain…. I could barely stand so much fucking pain OMFG THE PAIN!!!

    Anyway… I called the emergency hotline because… well I WAS IN PAIN and I wanted to get to the hospital NOW before fainting again please!
    But…oh of course, the women with abdominal pain. "Well it doesn't sound like you're dying so… maybe just visit your doctor…?"

    Okay, you know… I understand it. I'm not in danger of actually dying. I'm not having a heart attack or a stroke or whatever… I COULD possibly drag myself to the hospital and collaps in front of their doors without dying.
    But god damn was I angry at that moment. I was still laying on the floor, in pain, crying… I was so fucking angry at that man on the phone.

    This happened in the morning… I DID go to my doctor, but he didn't have time, I should come tomorrow for an ultrasound scan (if that's what it's called.).
    I spent the whole day like this… in the evening I couldn't do it anymore. I haven't eaten the whole day, what I ate came right back up. I called again… and then they finally came and got me. Next day I got cut open and those cyst-bastards got removed ^__^

    Happy End.

  42. I alway feel the dentist doesn't take my pain seriously, and cuz of that the trips are alway actually like torture. It wasn't till I went to this one female dentist and Believe me and numbed the crap out of me

  43. It is especially an issue for those of us who have chronic illnesses. Twice I walked into a new doctor's office and told them I had fibromyalgia and they either ignored my constant pain or barely managed it [I did not return to either].

  44. Thank goodness my town hospital doesn't do this, I went into the hospital with acute abdominal pain (it turned out I had a very serious bladder infection). They had me in the back in about 30 minutes, and treated me within another (about) 20 minutes.

  45. not "all together", but "altogether". On the topic – maybe doctors are way more jaded of women complaining about their pain because they do so much more often than men, who are taught to be manly and grin and bear it and stuff. I mean, I work at a pharmacy and I have those elderly female clients who come every day and just go on and on about their pain trying to coerce me into giving them prescription drugs without a prescription, which ofc is illegal. Which leads me to think that maybe their GPs just don't care enough to prescribe them the right meds. I don't know, I hope there will come a new generation of doctors who are better educated about such "modern" topics.

  46. Over 6 hours in a hospital waiting room having severe abdominal cramps from what turned out to be a miscarriage. After 6 hours of waiting, I was told to stop being a wussypants and go take a panadol, BY ANOTHER WOMAN. So not evern WOMEN in the medical profession take women's pain seriously, even when it is a serious medical emergency.

  47. I have a doubting mother. I complained about getting really dizzy and not being able to breath for like 3 years before she finally took me to a doctor and guess what? I have asthma. I also complained that my back hurt for around 3-4 years and she said it was all in my head. Guess what? I have severe scoliosis. And so, many things that could have been prevented weren't because my mother firmly believes that as long as you eat meat every day and drink 2 cups of juice, it is impossible for you to be unhealthy. I suppose I have proved her wrong.

  48. only then also the fact that if a man is a little ill. he needs to be taken care of. and is really ill.
    where as women just go on.

  49. In my experience Drs don't take women's descriptions of their children's pain as seriously either. No stats on this sorry, but plenty of very contradictory responses from individual Drs about my children's chronic conditions. The most common response being "babies always cry", when I had Drs about literal hours of screaming; my kids often had perforated ear drums and one had very painful reflux to the point where my neighbours thought we were hurting him. My mother also lost a child to meningitis in the 1970s due to several Drs not taking her seriously, one called her a "breeder". After speaking to other Mums this is a common feature of being a woman, raising a child and dealing with Drs. No fathers/male partners of all the Mums I have spoken to ever came back without a script or the feeling they were being labeled as over protective when taking their child to the dr, all the Mums had this experience at some point. Sorry not scientific, just frustrating.

  50. I am studiyng nursing and I see doctors to do this fucking thing all time .. When you go on doctors office and you dont have something they say you panicked with everything and this fucking smirk on their face.BUT if you go and you have something serious they do a fucking lecture because you dont treat yourself right and you dont pay attention to the symptoms .. Iam not english speaker sorry if this is a little bit confusing while you reading

  51. It took them 2 days to figure out my pain was a kidney stone (big enough to discuss surgery as an option) …. in that time they kept giving me ultrasounds to check my bladder and wondering why one of my tubes wasn't flowing. Finally they gave me a x-ray and CT scan. Doctors…

  52. I have Fibromyalgia, IBS, and a whole lot of other symptoms that who knows what I could have. I have spent the last 5 years trying a find a doctor since I graduated high school. I have been through so many and have been disrespected by all of them. Even when I was in middle school, I wasn't always taken seriously, even by my own parents. I would like to have a disability form filled out saying I can't work, since it's been 2 years…but I cant get a conversation going without them literally laughing at me. I'm a 23 year old female, I look "fine", and my attitude is always full of positivity with a hint of curiosity. I wish I was taken seriously.

  53. I am currently trying to change doctors as everything I say to my doctor gets brushed aside and she will make some excuse and give me no real solution. I have a broken pelvis and hips. yet my brother who had a broken leg is on more pain meds then me. he will be off his crutchers soon. I am in a wheel chair and struggle to do normal activities every day.

  54. I feel this so much. I went into hospital when my gall bladder was going to explode and it took 15 hours and several doctors telling me that it was just period pain and then failing that, a UTI… you know… areas of the body nowhere near the gall bladder… before I was actually given just pain killers by mouth and then treated.

  55. weak my foot i am a girl and i have really bad pain in my stomach my mom thinks is IBS it got to the point i couldn't eat because it hurt so bad imagine this being punched in the stomach 3 times at full strength in the middle of PE at school and still have to run laps,pacers,and do sit up and i will tell it is not a nice feeling

  56. I hate doctors. I have three strikes against me; I'm female, overweight, and I smoke. With that in mind, any time I try to see a doctor about anything, it's tied back to one of those three factors.

    One of the most memorable was my 26th birthday. I'd been having severe abdominal pain for several days. It was bad enough I couldn't sleep. Hell, I could barely breathe, it hurt so badly. My mom wound up taking me to the ER (all sneakily, too – she didn't give me a choice). It took about 30 minutes to be seen, and then I got an eyeroll from the admit nurse when I rated my pain at 36 on their 10-scale. The staff kept asking me, "are you sure you're not pregnant?" like I was lying to them. After the fourth time in less than ten minutes I was asked that question, I snapped. Cussing like a sailor, I managed to get two nurses to blush, and received applause from a drill sergeant (there for stitches). I did manage to convey the fact that, no, I was definitely not pregnant, as I hadn't been laid in well over two years at that point. It was almost four hours later, after an ultrasound, before they gave me a dose of something that made the walls melt. (Don't recall exactly what it was.) The problem was confirmed by the ultrasound to be gall stones. They admitted me and removed my gall bladder that day. Lemme repeat it, just in case you missed the pertinent bit: because they thought I was lying about my sexual history, they waited FOUR HOURS before doing anything at all about the crippling agony I was in.

    It's to the point now that I don't bother seeing doctors (save for my medical card renewal physical – a requirement to keep a commercial driver's license) unless absolutely necessary. If I can treat it myself, I will. No doctors need apply.

  57. Don't forget ageism! As a 20 year old woman suffering 5 plus years with migraines and TMJ issues.
    My doctor only gives me very little Tylenol 3 and a prescription strength anti inflammatory.
    And he only gave me the Tylenol 3 recently.
    Meanwhile my dad complains once about foot pain and he gets 100 Tylenol 3. A month. Which he rarely uses but gets all the time anyway CAUSE HE IS NOT IN PAIN.

  58. In the birthing room…during birth! yeah the nurse did not believe that I felt pain. I had to tell them when the needle was stuck in my flesh, when the needle was through and when the thread was pulled…the (male) doctor told the nurse to administer more pain-blocking medicine! But even I had never heard that females with red hair (like I have) feel more pain and can be quite resistant to medicine…

  59. It didn't happen to me, but my mother's doctor who is also my doctor does treat both of us differently and in a way which almost killed my mother. See, our same doctor, we've come to notice is more inclined to listen to me and my problems, than to my mother who has a lot of pre-medatative conditions. My mom is required to have a Vitamin B12 shots monthly and for a while, our doctor refused to give them to her. Come 6 months later, she was in the hospital with phnomnia, a fever of a 105 and an enlarged spleen with a large amount of blood loss. The blood loss was due to my mom not getting her B12 shots, and thus being unable to Make New Blood Cells. Thus her immune system crashed. Lets just say that doctor no longer refuses her shots.

  60. My mom used to be a secretary to the local doctor and she for over a year was in massive pain in her ears and the doctor told her it was all in her head she finally found the issue cancer in the salvia gland that had invaded the nerves. If her doctor had just believed her they might have caught it early enough to save her tongue but instead he told her it was all in her head for months

  61. Very big issue in the medical community. My (male) friend and I started getting migraines in late 2014 I went to two neurologists and both of them said it was just a headache when in reality, I could barely get out of bed. I went back to the doctor's office and they said it was caused by hormones. they sent me home with medication (that didn't work) so I went back again and they labeled me a drug seeker at the age of 16. I ended up going to another doctor who put me on a real pain medication and said " there are many people who have migraines and can deal with them, there's no reason why you can't." My friend on the other hand went to the doctor twice and got a CT scan, medication, and a note for his school. totally opposite experiences at the same hospital

  62. Yes, I had a male neurologist tell me my pain was in my mind and I was just depressed. Fast forward to a few weeks later and emergency brain surgery. A female optometrist diagnosed by brain condition by what it was doing to my optic nerves. I had a nurse also leave me alone in a room strapped on a backboard with a neck brace on after getting smashed into my drivers side door, being cut out of my car, and hitting my head and hurting my neck with no pain medicine and no call button. Some asshole ran a red light on the off ramp and hit me go 50mph. I screamed trying to get anyone's attention for over 10 minutes before a janitor came in and then ran for the doctor. It was terrifying and excruciatingly painful. My car was totaled but because I came in via ambulance crying the nurse said I needed to get myself under control before she was willing to deal with me. Even though I have a brain condition that I informed the EMT about knowing I needed a scan to make sure I didn't have brain swelling.

  63. Yep.  I complained of back and leg pain and weakness, but was dismissed because I was "too young" to have such problems. Even my family told me I was just being dramatic, everyone gets pain, etc.  It wasn't until things got to the point of no return, a fall that left me permanently paralyzed in one limb and now in chronic pain and with two artificial hips and my entire lower spine fused and reconstructed needing a leg brace to walk.  This could have been prevented if my complaints were listened to, believed, investigated and treated.  Now I'm left picking up the pieces and permanently disabled.

  64. I don't trust dentists/orthodontists in the states because they don't help you or get rid of your concerns by doing their JOB,following medical procedure, explaining to you if something is normal and if you need a procedure done like getting your wisdom teeth removed they'll lie to you and say you don't need to get them removed. I've experienced years of pain that would last for 3 days and the worst lasted 5, crowding teeth because of said wisdom teeth trying to grow in, and on days of said pain fear of eating with the occasional bit of bloodshed, and tell you you're fine let the wisdom teeth grow. Over the summer I went to visit relatives in Mexico with my Mom and she took me to a family owned dentist/orthodontist office where they took radio graphs of my jaw told me in great detail why I was in so much pain while using my radio graphs to further emphasize the point and strongly advised me to go through surgery. I went through with it and I would go back if I needed any further dental work they were so great at providing me with all the info I needed to know about the procedure, the medications, after surgery care, any concerns I had were answered honestly, and they provided me with a pair of syringes at no extra cost.

  65. It seems to me like this is a pretty reasonable response from doctors. Since women report more pain, the probability that the pain is serious given a man reports it is higher then the probability a women is.

    Let me give an example. Suppose that there are two students in a school, one attends tutoring regularly, the other doesn't. When the other student comes in he is given higher priority under the assumption he is struggling more because he rarely resorts to help. I think that this heuristic is reasonable, but I need more data points then just pain for this.

    And as a side note, pain medication is controlled for a reason. Drug addiction noticeably damages quality of life, so we should give it only when it has a high probability of improving quality of life, when pain is severe.

  66. I had a really bad case of mono for about a year. The only thing was… I wasn't running a fever. All of the other symptoms were there. My parents, doctors, teachers even specialist told me it was in my head. They said I needed to get mental help. I only learned the truth at the end of the school year, when my mom got me tested for mono on a whim. Doctors said had it for about 10 months, and it was practically out of my system. Thanks for nothing.

  67. I decided it was time to change doctors when I went to ask my doctor for help with my depression and anxiety and all I got was a lecture about controlling emotions and time management. I immediately left and cried the whole drive back to my house. Upon getting a psychiatrist's evaluation, I was diagnosed with ADHD (as I had as a child), Major Depression, Generalized AND Recurring Anxiety. Thanks doc.

  68. An acquaintance died during labor because doctors waited too long for cesarean. They didn't believed she was in pain. Her baby girl has cerebral damage. The government support her.

  69. I remember being 13 and almost completely ignored in the ER when I had appendicitis. I was just a stupid teenage girl, obviously I was exaggerating and just had the flu and needed to get over it.

  70. My mother's doctor was so horrible, he ignored her complaints until she collapsed from the pain she was experiencing. She had endometriosis. It was causing her some serious pain and he thought when she was being overly dramatic.

  71. I'd add that it's not just pain that doctors dismiss. (enter the single anecdote as proof…) my late second cousin had brain cancer. for years, she presented to different doctors with dizziness, migranes, fainting spells, and pain. For almost that many years her doctors dismissed her, even going so far as to suggest that her symptoms were psychosomatic, and sent her to a psychologist (nothing against psychologists, except they are arguably not as good at diagnosing or treating cancer as oncologists). she was diagnosed about six months before she died in the early 2010s. I was never fortunate enough to know her well, but her story (really, the story of her mistreatment) is now circulated as a kind of cautionary tale among the women in my family. if you believe something is wrong in your body, do not stop until you find a doctor who takes you seriously.

  72. I had to switch optometrists cause my old one didn't take the headaches caused buy my glasses seriously, the new one informed me the headaches are inevitable but at least he told me what's up instead of brushing it under the rug like it didn't matter, like the other guy did

  73. Might want to read this. Things have changed dramatically since that 2001 article you read. The newest recommendations as of 2016 are to not give opioids for pain relief at all in the ER anymore.

    https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/PrescriptionPainkillerOverdoses/index.html

  74. My psychologist and naturopath are amazing. Every other doctor I have had is dismissive. Just by listening to me for an hour my naturopath treated my IBS flawlessly. I had been to four other doctors who dismissed me.

  75. I've experienced more of the doubting parents. When I was about 6-8 years old I would try to get out of school all the time, for mostly stress related reasons. Now I didn't understand that at the time and my parents saw it as attempted hooky. And as I got older they still saw my actual medical problems as me faking. So as a teenager I had several medical scares ranging from a horrible sinus infection, a nightmare of a bladder infection and worst of all a near fatal reaction to antibiotics. Yet even now at nearly twenty years old my parents openly admit that they just don't listen to me when I say I have a medical issue.

    I can't tell if it's just them holding my past behavior as my norm or if it's something deeper about me being their daughter.

  76. This has happened on me. Once a female nurse practitioner assumed I was trying to get opioid drugs, or some other prescription drugs, because I had joint pain almost to the point of inability to use a computer (which is 100% of my job). When I told her OTC meds didn't help she said I should consider a new job – as though being in chronic pain is something I should just tolerate. I finally convinced her to refer me to a physical therapist who discovered that, yes, I did have a joint problem and yes it is treatable without drugs (which I didn't want to begin with). My husband was appalled by the NP but also confused as to why this happens to me so much when it never happens to him. I'm a very stoic person and so he knows that if I complain it means something is seriously wrong.

  77. i know this is an old video but i would love for you to talk about how it takes so much time and many doctors to diagnose such a common thing in women simply because of this specific topic right here!!! http://www.health.com/infertility/pcos-diagnosis-delay?xid=socialflow_facebook_health

  78. another point: many men are afraid of admitting to feeling pain/weakness/etc and therefore are probably less likely to report it.

    doesn't explain the "man cold" phenomenon though 😂

  79. I have a history of having had two spinal surgeries. I'm going to the doctor and trying to get an MRI to see if I have the same problem again. Since I've experienced it before, I know hat it's like and suspect it's the same. The doctor asked me if everything was okay at home.

  80. I experienced KIDNEY STONES, and it took my doctor an entire WEEK to properly diagnose me. I went to the clinic every single day with pains and he told me my problem was I "probably had pulled a muscle in my back" ……….are you freaking kidding me?????

  81. Oh, yeah! My fiance is in such horrible pain when she has her period. Midol and other pain pills don't even touch it. (Seriously, 2 hours after extra strength Midol and she is still whimpering) She has yet to have a doctor (female docs including!) Who ACTUALLY show concern about the pain she is in monthly. It is pathetic.

  82. I was having intermittent, severe abdominal pain for two years, and every time I went to the hospital, they told me it was period cramps. Until, after lots of screaming and a huge bulge in my abdomen, they gave me a CT scan and found out my large intestine was twisted two places. I ended up being ambulance between two hospitals, and then helicoptered  to a third, half consious, for an operation that took two days. They had to remove a third of my large intestine, and 13 centimetres of small. It was all black with gangrene when they cut me open, and grossly oversized.

  83. Went to my doctor recently because I couldn't stand up straight, everything hurt, I couldn't eat or drink anything other than warm water or I would throw up, I got stars in my vision, was getting hot and cold flashes, and felt like my head was going to explode, somehow managed to drag myself to therapy after a solid week of this and was told by a mental health professional it was hayfever, went to my doctor the next day and was told the same thing.
    Amazing, I've had chronic back pain since I was 8 and I thought it could be a side effect of that but I was cut off before I even could bring up the pain.
    Had to take 3 – 4 500mg paracetamol tablets every few hours for a solid week before I started feeling better (can't take ibuprofen which works better for me because of my anxiety/depression medication I take)

  84. There's a petition online about this this problem: https://www.change.org/p/stop-power-hungry-doctors-from-bullying-gaslighting-and-blacklisting-their-patients
    Sometimes it's more than one woman being ignored by doctors, it's doctors ignoring entire diseases, simply because women get them far more often than men. Diseases like chronic lyme disease, endometriosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, some thyroid disorders interstitial cystitis, are diseases which fall into that category. I have interstitial cystitis, a bladder disease which mostly effects women. I saw several doctors over a seven years, . Not one did enough testing to determine what I was sick with. One of the doctors who missed it, went as far to imply it was psychological. Apparently, this behavior in doctors common:

    https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/gy899x/maya-dusenbery-how-doctors-gaslight-women-doubting-their-own-pain
    https://www.women.com/alisegel/lists/is-your-doctor-health-gas-lighting-you
    https://myheartsisters.org/2011/11/25/gaslighting/
    https://medium.com/thrive-global/doctors-stop-gaslighting-women-in-pain-3934a2fdc1b
    http://www.misstreated.org/blog/2015/11/19/four-out-of-five-doctorsare-wrong

    Then later I learned this is not just common, but the norm for doctors to think interestial cystitis and other women's diseases aren't real or that we are making a big deal about nothing..Though I survived that ordeal, it destroyed my self confidence. It's technically called "gaslighting," to suggest a person is imagining things, or overreacting to things when in reality, that person's sane. I lost friends because people believed the doctor instead of me. Then I finally got diagnosed. I was so glad to meet other people who'd been through the same thing. It's really shameful to get accused that way, of being something you're not, it makes you afraid you are crazy.

  85. YES. like 7 doctors i've seen in the past 10 months have all dismissed me, now things are chronic and got to the point of me breaking down. only then did they act on the issue at hand. not good enough in my opinion

  86. God complex and patriarchy in one. And imagine those cases in the coments wasn't among those cases where the doctor harassed them.

  87. Some delay in caring for young, pregnancy age female patients, comes from the need to exclude pregnancy in order to avoid birth defects. However, great video. It helps us to improve the CARE we provide. Copay, deductibles….are as headache provoking to us as you. Its not your doctors’, but a gift of your health insurance.

  88. When I was at my appointement with my gynaecologist and I told him I was still a virgin at 21, he asked me if I hated men.

  89. Oh my god over half my doctors have thought I was a hypochondriac until I was able to prove it or bugged them enough that they ordered the right test FINALLY to prove it, it took 5 doctors to refer 2 rheumatologists and insistence of the problem over a year to get an X-ray which finally convinced the 2nd rheumatologist it might be real and finally after 2 years and an MRI I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and by the way I have permanent joint damage and mobility issues I’ll suffer with forever because of how long I had to wait for treatment and then there’s the gluten issue I had, I went to approximately 15 doctors before one I figured out gluten was the problem so I told the doctor exactly that got sent to a gastroenterologist and the diagnosis was confirmed although we can never be certain if it is the celiac or non-celiac version because the time I spent waiting caused it to be medically necessary that I stop ingesting gluten which means the testing is only somewhat reliable 2 months later after a gluten challenge (my stomach needed time to heal) and until I figured out it was gluten I wasn’t in serious pain every day for weeks, it got to the point where I couldn’t eat more than a bit of applesauce a day and I couldn’t sleep even though I’m a deep sleeper because I had extreme hunger pains waking me up but I couldn’t eat to fix it because my stomach was so messed up, I gained 30lbs in a month I was extremely weak my blood sugar was all over the place I was seriously suffering for weeks and until I knew what it was 15 doctors didn’t believe me, fast forward to now I get dizzy and unbalanced and some other symptoms, first doctor dismissed it as viral, 2nd doctor told me they believed there was something going on but assumed already that I was a hypochondriac so she gave me a fake diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia and iron pills that I didn’t need, so I take these iron pills, for a day I feel better (could also be that my period ended) so I keep taking them but then I start to get much worse my appetite is gone I’m losing weight way too fast and in a lot of pai I go to the doctor she switched the type of iron I was on (assumed I wasn’t exaggerating so instead of giving me an easier to take one she gave me a harder to take one) after 3 days of this new and worse pill I couldn’t tolerate anymore I stopped taking it I went back to her she told me to just stop taking it cause I was “probably ok on my iron levels now” and that I should just wait and we will run a test or something in a few weeks, a few weeks later I’m still finding it extremely difficult to eat not just because of no appetite but because eating is physically difficult it’s like no matter what I ate it made a bomb go off in my stomach, and by the end of a total of 5 weeks since starting the iron pills I lost a total of 25lbs, this gave me a huge host of horrible symptoms, at one point I was living off of carrots desperate to eat, through my research online(doc still wasn’t helping actually at this point was when she referred me to a psychiatrist without my consent) I found something called iron pill gastritis, it made sense and I followed the recommended diet for at praise the lord I found a few more foods I could eat and my stomach started to recover, after a few weeks I was slowly able to eat normally again and no doctor helped me, and the whole time I was still experiencing another illness that was getting worse undiagnosed, in fact it’s still undiagnosed because no doctors will listen, it affects my brain my eyes my balance my muskoskeletal system, I actually went into respiratory failure in a hospital and was ignored because they decided it was an anxiety attack which has me fuming and thank god it resolved before it got even worse because it was extremely close to full respiratory arrest and keep in mind they ignored this even though they already knew I came in with a very abnormal ECG, anyway this other illness multisystemic getting worse no one is listening, in desperation I discontinue two of my regular medications because I can’t let it get any worse and maybe the medications started it even though 3 doctors told me it didn’t and therefore continuing the mediation was better for me, so I stopped the medication, the arrhythmia I developed calmed down, I could tolerate more exercise I wasn’t constantly on the edge of respiratory failure I got my balance back everything got better, I still have all these issues but now they are very toned down, and now that I can tell doctors that my medication was making it worse they’re suddenly listening, now I have a neurologist because I still have issues of reading and writing (like I said I had a million and one symptoms) and I have an eye doctor that’s going to check me out and a gastroenterologist and the list goes on and I just hope nothing bad will happen with any of them, and this isn’t even all the terrible things doctors have done to me, I want to trust doctors but I literally can’t, I have to keep going to doctor after doctor after doctor until one listens to me, I have autoimmune diseases so my illnesses are less likely to be the normal ones so the “when you hear hoofs think horses not zebras” doesn’t work with me, they sometimes run the tests for the horses and sometimes don’t and when they do it’s not a horse so they figure I’m fine, but extremely few doctors look for the zebras and my health conditions are made of zebras, I hate being the girl that thinks she has the worst things even though she’s a healthy looking 20-year old but what doctors don’t realize is those things actually need to be checked in me because I have preexisting conditions that’s significantly elevate my risk for them, like yes I’m concerned about cardiovascular disease when I get a bad arrhythmia out of nowhere and I have several significant risk factors (and a new doctor may be proving that with a test soon) I don’t want to be the girl who screams cancer, because doctors would dismiss me, but the fact is I am at high risk for certain cancers so I should scream cancer so that it’s considered and ruled out, I need doctors to take me seriously but I’m my life over and over doctors find millions of ways to ignore me and what I’m going through, it has worsened my health extremely significantly waiting for doctors to finally take me seriously, I could have had my psoriatic arthritis treated 2 years ago and I wouldn’t have possibly been able to avoid the seriousness biologic immunosuppressive treatment, I wouldn’t need several mobility aids and have to miss my university classes on bad days and plan my life around my mobility issues because I wouldn’t have had anywhere near this much permanent joint damage, if doctors listened to me I wouldn’t have taken iron pills that destroyed my stomach and weren’t even needed because my iron was fine, I would have had probably 5% of the suffering I’ve had, and I’m not exaggerating, I am in so much pain at the hands of my doctors ignorance, when will it end

  90. Well the doctors should stop ignoring women. One time when I was in the hospital, doctors and nurses gave me Compazine for my nausea and vomiting. When my parents came to visit, my head began dipping to one side and my jaw started spasming and locking. I even pressed the red nurse button and a pregnant nurse came in. And she said to Mommy, "she was all fine until you got here." And then a male nurse came in and he looked concerned. Then the doctor, who was a lady, said that I need to be out of the hospital and need to go back to my home environment. And when I went home, I was gonna take a bath and my jaw began shaking and spasming and locking and I got out of the bathtub all naked and I went to my bed and I had diarrhea and Mommy had to call the ambulance. Then the ambulance people came. I didn't feel right about going outside naked since it was freezing out. The ambulance people had to wrap me in many sheets and had to carry me down to the ambulance since I weigh about 80 something pounds. And then they took me back to the hospital and two nurses healed me. My lockjaw was gone. Another time something like this happened to me was when I was 20 years old and quit Depakote cold turkey. The doctors and nurses thought that I was crazy and only pretending to be sick. Seriously, I didn't even know what was making me sick. They thought that I was severely constipated, so they sent me home. At home, I kept on throwing up and I couldn't sleep and one morning, I was so sick that I could barely stand up due to quitting Depakote cold turkey. My skin was all pale and yellow and covered in goosebumps. I even had to wear my heavy winter coat in the middle of summer. And my little brother Jed, who was only 12 years old at the time, had to push me in Daddy's wheelchair. I kept on throwing up and I thought that I was gonna die. Just then, a doctor asked me what kind of drugs I took after I got my IV put in and I said, "Depakote." And then he said, "young lady, Depakote is highly illegal and dangerous. Who would ever think about giving those stupid drugs to a young girl?" And Mommy said, "the doctors that my sister-in-law Judy took Hannah to see." And then, I was gonna throw up and the doctor gave me a throw up bin. And when I felt better, I came out of the hospital and I lost lots and lots of weight. I went from 167 pounds to 112 pounds. I felt so good from losing all that weight. But then in October of 2016, I began getting ovarian cysts and constipation, which is another symptom of quitting Depakote cold turkey. So Mommy had to take me to the hospital again and I got an IV and the nurses in there, who were all ladies, helped me go to the bathroom to get the constipation out. I kept on pushing and sweating, but none of it would come out, so they had to get a maternity doctor in there. I even said, "I'm constipated. I'm not pregnant." And when I got my constipation out, I limped back to my hospital bed and I kept on throwing up. I even threw up blood. And the doctors and nurses had to give me painkillers for my ovarian cysts. The pain slowly started to go away. And then, Mommy got mad at Judy for taking me to the doctors far away from home so they could just put me on illegal drugs that made me gain weight. And then, Mommy called the doctors on my phone and left a voicemail for Lynn. Mommy said in the voicemail, "you shouldn't have put my daughter on Depakote. It made her gain lots of weight and ended her up in the hospital so many times. It made her fall asleep in school. She could have died. She could have committed suicide. She could have exploded and all you cared about was making sure she looks like a woman, which she didn't. In fact, she just looked like a young girl who got abused, raped, and pregnant."

  91. I live in the rural south and this has been happening to me for 2 years now. But this has happened all my life. Recently tho, I've finally made another doctor's appointment, over 2 hours away with MUSC, Charleston, SC. Im terrified my pain and symptoms will be dismissed again. However I have hope bc its a woman doctor and a specialist. Pray for me lol. Seriously tho, I have been suffering for years and its bc my "invisible" pain is dismissed and overlooked. I also have the added disadvantage of being a survivor of rape and it makes it so hard for me to go from one doctor to another. And every time they dismiss my symptoms and pain it discourages me from even trying another one. I literally have to fight panic attacks to go and I don't have a good support system so….. This is a major problem for me but I think this new doctor might be able to help me. More people need to be talking about this. Thanks for this video.

  92. The obliviousness of women is maddening but I am going to control myself and explain this as calmly as I can. Because I as a man do not have any other choice.

    Picture a man sitting down with you and saying this: he's been having abdominal pains and, between the sensations he feels and some research he's done, he is sure something is seriously wrong. (I'm assuming you yourself do not take him seriously as a medical authority, even though you probably would expect him to extend the same courtesy to you because women just innately possess the same expertise as licensed, practicing doctors OR nurses… but correct me if I'm wrong.) This man goes on to explain that he informed his stupid, ignorant, sexist doctor what was wrong with him but the doctor didn't just automatically agree with him and do what he commanded. The man is angry because doctors never take him seriously. He feels persecuted. Is it because he's dark-skinned? Gay? Jewish? Muslim? a man? Further, this man just takes it for granted that of course you sympathize and regard him as a victim. It never occurs to him that you might have a completely different view of him because no one has ever told him otherwise. If you were to disabuse him of his delusions, well, you just wouldn't make any headway. So you just keep your mouth shut and nod in agreement. It's easier that way.

    Here's another part: any man who complains the way women often do would be regarded as weak, whiny, inferior, wimpy, low-status, undesirable—- a loser. You yourself would find him sadly comical at best, disgusting at worst. How does it never enter your consciousness that maybe the reason men don't complain the way women do isn't because men live in some magical alternate reality where every road is paved in gold, but because they are not allowed to complain like you are?

    Ironically, the fact that women do complain so much more about this and literally everything else that has ever happened or could conceivably have happened in the history of the world is that you are the sex that is allowed to complain about everything. You construe your greater FREEDOM as your greater BURDEN. Wake up.

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