The Woman in the Surgeon's Body by Joan Cassell

By Joan Cassell

Anthropologist Joan Cassell enters the heavily guarded surgeon's enviornment to discover the paintings and lives of ladies practising their craft in what's principally a man's international. Cassell the day-by-day lives of 5 girls surgeons over the process 3 years. the result's an insightful account of the way being girl impacts the best way the medical professional is perceived by way of colleagues, nurses, sufferers, superiors--and even by way of herself.

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1984:474-475) The term "sexism" is too abstract, too disembodied, to describe such a visceral rejection of the wrong body in the wrong place; perhaps "misogyny" is more accurate. S. Navy's first female fighter pilots died in a plane crash (New York Times, October 30, 1994: A33), several news organizations in southern California received faxes-apparently from what the Times described as "disgruntled" male aviators-suggesting that she crashed because she was incompetent. If indeed these were sent by male pilots, the term "disgruntled" does not adequately represent the emotions of such ferocious exemplars of "the right stuff": their visceral, murderous horror, their absolute disgust, their metaphysical fury on seeing a woman's body at the controls of a fighter plane.

The older woman, however, cannot be characterized as particularly gentle, feminine, or cooperative: in many ways, she was a pretty tough cookie. I cannot picture this surgeon ever having allowed herself to be relegated to the cave with the women and children, while the men brandished clubs and hurled challenges at one another. One day, I observed her settle a wager with a young male surgeon, as to who could crouch longer with knees bent, back against the wall; this sixty-sixyear-old woman" sat" against the wall for thirty-five seconds, with the nurses and residents timing her.

Either you're not a woman-you're a bear, a dog, or a lesbian. " Her analysis illuminated the stories of two other women: each stated that, during her surgical training, a senior man had advised her to always wear lipstick so that no one would assume she was a lesbian. " The other woman, the first female admitted to an elite surgical training program, always kept some handy so that she could wear it when she was in her scrub suit-a fact whose significance was underscored by her chief of surgery, who wanted to know if she'd shown the lipstick to me.

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