Witches, Midwives, and Nurses - Introduction to the First Edition Summary & Analysis

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Summary

The original introduction to Witches, Midwives, and Nurses asserts that "women have always been healers" (25). They were "abortionists, nurses, counsellors [...] pharmacists [and] midwives" who passed on shared knowledge, experience, and treatment methods "from neighbor to neighbor and mother to daughter" (25). However, at the time of this book's original publication in the 1970s, 93% of American doctors are men and though women make up the majority of healthcare workers, they are denied positions of authority and decision-making in the industry. Women are told that their subservience is biologically ordained but "history belies these theories" and shows how women in the past "have been autonomous healers" (27). This prompts the authors to ask: "How did we arrive at our present positions of subservience from our former position of leadership?" (28).

Ehrenreich and English argue that the suppression of female health workers and the "rise to...

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This section contains 603 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Witches, Midwives, and Nurses Study Guide
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