I agree with you, there are so many other aspects to this issue that should be discussed. I particularly agree with your comments about the possible impact of a future Tory government – in fact, there’s probably a whole separate article looking at the potential impacts on women of different electoral outcomes.
I also agree that it’s very unlikely that women will leave the workforce entirely, but I do think there’s a risk that in a time of fewer jobs and tightening belts, women may be under even more pressure to adopt traditional parenting roles to allow men to continue to be the “breadwinner”. Undoubtedly these are interesting times and I do hope the mainstream media will start to do some proper analysis, beyond the “how can women still buy foxy clothes” approach they’ve taken so far.
I think it is worth going to talk to any age group about science. I go back to my old college once a year to speak to the A level science students, both male and female, about doing a science degree. But equally I talk to my step-dad, a London black cab driver, about science books and news articles he has read. I take your point that once students have got to a certain point in their education going to talk to them about doing a science degree isn’t particularly useful. However I believe strongly that you can inspire an interest in science at any stage in someone’s life, and that is just as important as inspiring a 16-year-old to take A level sciences. So I disagree with your friend, you should take every opportunity to spark people’s interest in science, maybe they won’t all go off to do a science degree, but they might take a bit of understanding which will help inform their opinions on scientific issues in future.
I realise that there would be other medical reasons that someone would need to use a water dispenser.
However, during my meeting with the head nurse, she did say that there is already a water tap in the clinical room – and that the water tap dispenses drinking water. she has promised me that she will now always give patients the option to use this tap instead of the water dispenser outside.
I do not know if a water dispenser in the clinical room would be against health and safety – but you seem to know what you are talking about so I am happy to concede this point. However, the nurse did not indicate to me that a water dispenser would contravene these regulations and she did say she would consider it. Again, if I am wrong about that, I am happy to concede the point. Just thought I should explain. And yes, that guy was a prat!
Karen James, author of the article, replies
Thank you for the comments and support on the article! I fully agree that condfidentiality does seem to be quite a misnomer as far as I and many other NHS patients are concerned. And I am sure there people of both sexes who go through such experiences. But I do think (and judging from the responses I have been getting) that there is still a special kind of bias reserved purely for women who are sexual and need access to either the contraceptive pill (in my case) and also the STI clinics.
For example: a few years ago, a female friend of mine relayed a story of when she had to go to the local clinic to have tests to see if she had any STI’s. She said that the male doctor first asked her whether the sex had been forced (ie: rape). When she said “no” he replied that she should have been married then and proceeded to grunt with disgust after every question he asked her. This was not isolated either. Many other women had said he was exactly this way with them. I do hope they took action against him.
It is significant because her then boyfriend then told me that he had had to get the same tests a year before (prior to meeting my friend) and he had seen the very same doctor. He reported no such questions or dissaproving attitudes. In fact, the doctor was very jovial with him. I have heard about (and been through) many such cases recently.
This is certauinly not to disagree with you that men’s privacy can also be flouted in an appalling manner (and please – if you have any stories about this, feel free to share them with me). I just think that the ridiculous stereotypes of “sexual women=slut” and “sexual man=stud” are still, very much alive and well today in society and in the NHS. thanks again, for the support. I appreciate it.
Feminism is, yes, about advocating for women; that’s because our culture and society is male-dominated. Men lose out from living under patriarchy in numerous ways – you’ll find plenty of feminist writing about how men and boys are expected to conform to a particular idea of ‘masculinity’, and the consequences if they don’t, for example.
However, men in general also benefit from living in a patriarchial society – you might want to check out Barry Deutch’s male privilege checklist, before really arguing that feminism should be called ‘equalism’.