OCTOBER 17-20, 2019

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Doing Harm - Maya Dusenbery - <span class="date-display-single">10/17/2019 - 7:00pm</span>

Doing Harm

10/17/2019 - 7:00pm

Central Library - Community Room 301 & 302

Former editor of the award-winning site Feministing.com, Maya Dusenbery brings together scientific and sociological research, interviews with doctors and researchers, and personal stories from women across the country to provide the first comprehensive, accessible look at how sexism in medicine harms women today. A New York Times Editors’ Choice pick, Doing Harm was named one of the best books of 2018 by NPR and Library Journal. It was the winner of the 2019 Minnesota Book Award for general nonfiction.

 

In Doing Harm, Dusenbery explores the deep, systemic problems that underlie women’s experiences of feeling dismissed by the medical system. Women have been discharged from the emergency room mid-heart attack with a prescription for anti-anxiety meds, while others with autoimmune diseases have been labeled “chronic complainers” for years before being properly diagnosed. Women with endometriosis have been told they are just overreacting to “normal” menstrual cramps, while still others have “contested” illnesses like chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia that, dogged by psychosomatic suspicions, have yet to be fully accepted as “real” diseases by the whole of the profession.

 

An eye-opening read for patients and health care providers alike, Doing Harm shows how women suffer because the medical community knows relatively less about their diseases and bodies and too often doesn’t trust their reports of their symptoms. The research community has neglected conditions that disproportionately affect women and paid little attention to biological differences between the sexes in everything from drug metabolism to the disease factors—even the symptoms of a heart attack. Meanwhile, a long history of viewing women as especially prone to “hysteria” reverberates to the present day, leaving women battling against a stereotype that they’re hypochondriacs whose ailments are likely to be “all in their heads.” 

 

Offering a clear-eyed explanation of the root causes of this insidious and entrenched bias and laying out its sometimes catastrophic consequences, Doing Harm is a rallying wake-up call that will change the way we look at health care for women.

 

 

Presented in partnership with the Wisconsin Science Festival.

Maya Dusenbery

About Presenter Maya Dusenbery

 

Maya Dusenbery is a journalist, editor, and author Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick. Between 2013 and 2018, she was editorial director of the trailblazing site Feministing.com. Formerly a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard, she has written for outlets including Scientific American, Slate, Cosmopolitan, HuffPost, The Atlantic, and Teen Vogue, among others. A Minnesota native, she is currently based in Portland, Oregon.

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