How to not do skepticism

Sounds like the attendants of the Women in Secularism 2 conference over in the US are having lots of fun, from what I can gather from what’s being tweeted about it. I have to say I’m slightly jealous that I’m not there!

But what’s this:

Daniel Samuelson Daniel Samuelson ‏@Luarien

“We need to empower women to stand up to doctors” so they’ll listen, run tests, get proper care. #wiscfi

This is a quote I note, presumably from a speaker there, but I don’t know from who exactly. In any case, it made my jaw drop a little. In the first instance, because it seems to suggest that doctors as a whole have a tendency to treat women worse than men. When did this happen? Who found that out? There’s surely hard evidence for such a claim? And is it “doctors” in general, or just the males, or just the misogynist males, the sexist males, white males, black males? Bisexual female doctors? Homosexual doctors? African-American doctors? And who do they discriminate against by means of lapses in their work ethics? White females? Large females? Black females? Unemployed females? Transsexual Chinese females? We are not told.

So now I am being bombarded with tweets from undoubdetly well-meaning #wiscfi attendees who are sending me links and comments. It’s not helping:

Julia Larson Julia Larson ‏@EIAtheism

@clinteas @SpokesGay Look up what women have to go through to have a vaginal birth when their doctors want c-sections for convenience.

Their male doctors? Their female doctors? Because over here, a majority of Ob&Gyns are probably female. And as to “C-sections for convenience”, is that the convenience of needing an anaesthetist, obstetrician, paediatrician and 2 theatre nurses, an anaesthetic and cutting open the abdomen compared to needing, you know, a midwife and a bowl of water? I would have thought if a Caesarian was for anyone’s convenience, it would be for the pregnant woman’s. But what do I know.


From what I see and read, there was indeed bullshit had at WiS2. Here’s the full statement quoted from one of the panelists:

  • Sarah: It also has to do with the fact that modern medicine does not treat men and women equally. For instnace, women are more likely to die of heart attacks because doctors don’t take women’s reports of pain seriously. When I had a Crohn’s flareup at 15, doctors were like, “Oh, you’re just being hysterical.” It can get frustrating after seeing doctor after doctor and you might end up going to a naturopath instead, because they spend much more time with each patient than real doctors do. We need to empower women to speak up and tell doctors that they can’t ignore them, and that they need healthcare.
  • Anemia is a good example. Women often get it and it’s often attributed to women’s periods. But actually, it can be due to a gastrointestinal bleed, which is really serious. Women should be able to speak up and say that no, it’s not just because of their periods.

I think I’m the one who’s going to have the heart attack here. Let’s yell it together: [CITATION NEEDED] !!!

Women are more likely to die of heart attacks because doctors don’t treat their reports of pain seriously? Where, Saturn? Anaemia can be due to GI bleed? Sure, and due to cancer, bone marrow failure, lack of sunlight, genetics, and among many other things, heavy periods. And yes, anaemia is “often attributed” to women’s heavy periods, in particular when women report heavy periods.

Come on folks. This is ridiculous and unworthy. Do better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *