Abby Norman connects her own diagnosis of endometriosis, ignored for years by doctors as a psychological problem, with a much longer history of women's pain being overlooked or misinterpreted as mental illness.
She builds a convincing case that women describing discomfort are more likely than men to be dismissed by physicians, but along the way tells a story that will resonate with anyone (man or woman) who has ever experienced pain ... Norman is a terrific storyteller with a gift for weaving memorable anecdotes, some drawn from medical history, others from recent scientific debates and most plucked from her own travails ... Ask Me About My Uterus is an important addition to a long tradition of pain memoirs.
Norman, now a science writer, articulates her own struggles with clarity and calmness. She weaves in historical context about the diagnosis, treatment and perception of women in medicine, from the myth of 'hysteria' to cultural perceptions about women’s pain tolerance and propensity for 'female troubles' ...
Ask Me About My Uterus is ... a torrent of disconcerting information about the continued struggle to understand and value women’s bodies. Norman hopes to use that information to destroy misconceptions and pave the road for change.
Too often, a woman’s pain is not merely met with doubt, but suspicion, both within the medical community and outside of it. Author and activist Abby Norman, has put decades of labor—including careful, independent medical study—into studying this phenomenon ... As Norman communicates so powerfully, a woman’s relationship to her pain is a snarled coil of memory and socialization. The pangs of Norman’s endometriosis intersect with barbed memories of childhood—and with the legacy of a mother who subsists on the pain of hunger ... perhaps as Norman and others keep speaking—keep articulating the essential pain of being a woman in this world—the time-tested strategy of doubt will shatter.