“History, despite its wrenching pain cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage need not be lived again”Maya Angelou
Hysterectomies run in my maternal line. My grandmother, mother and aunt have all had partial or full hysterectomies. And no one seems to think it’s a big deal. They appear to be just as insignificant as maybe having a tooth pulled. But it’s not just my family. The same is true for Black women across America. We are twice as likely to have our uterus removed via a hysterectomy than white women and one third of these occur during the ages of 18-44. Dr. Erica Marsh explains, “Despite minimally invasive options, Black women continue to dominate the percentages of women having hysterectomies for benign disease.”
Why are doctors removing our uteruses more than white women?
Point blank, because the white man believes that Black women aren’t worth saving, protecting, and caring for with dignity. The white man believes that the white woman has more value than the Black woman. The White man believes that the Black woman’s womb is his for the taking, the cutting, the marring, and the scarring. The white man believes that we don’t feel pain. The white man has convinced himself that the Black woman’s womb is his playground to cut open, hone his skills while getting paid to do it. Gynecology and obstetrics is the most racist discipline of the US healthcare system and it has been for hundreds of years. Linda Goler Blunt says the same thing I said, just more politically correct. She explains, “Extensive research shows that provider beliefs and biases about Black women are linked to racial disparities in health and health care. Often, these biases are unconscious, but they still affect the care and recommendations provided by the physician and the trust a woman has in the recommended treatment.”
The Racism in Gynecology
J Marion Sims, the so-called father of gynecology perfected his craft by experimenting on enslaved black women without any anesthesia. The widespread belief amongst white society at that time and even today is that Black people did not feel pain like whites. Sims experimented on 12 enslaved Black women. We know the names of three of those women; Lucy, Betsey and Anarcha. 18-year-old Lucy was the first woman he experimented on.
The women were completely naked, positioned on their knees, bending on their elbows as their heads rested in their hands. Sims experimented on 17-year-old Anarcha 30 times over a period of 4 years before he finally perfected the fistula surgeries. The US healthcare system is not a safe place for us to heal. There is a documented history of the black woman being deemed expendable and without inherent value. There is a documented history of experimentation and torture. Our wombs are not safe. We must become our own healers. We must love, respect, and trust ourselves enough to take complete control of our health and the health of our wombs.
The major cause of hysterectomies is due to fibroids which causes painful menstruation. I have written an e-book, The Black Girl’s Guide to Healing: 10 Ways to Have a Healthy, Pain Free Period that shows Black women 10 lifestyle practices that when implemented brings restoration and healing to the Black Woman’s Woman, click here to download your copy today.
The Black Girl’s Guide to Healing: 10 Ways to Achieve a Healthy, Pain Free Period
In this E-book download, I share the 10 tried and true ways to have a healthy and pain free period. This book offers guidance on how to address the four most problematic issues of menstruation. When it comes to menstruation, most women struggle with the following:
- Periods lasting longer than 4 days
- Heavy, excessive bleeding
- Blood clots
I am here to tell you three things. Number 1, this is NOT normal. Number 2, you can have normal, healthy periods. And Number 3, you have the power to heal yourself. Throughout the course of this book I will discuss my personal menstruation experience and how I was able to heal myself. I will discuss our painful history as black women in this country and delve into the inherent racism in gynecology. I will define what a normal period looks like and explain why we experience unhealthy periods. Lastly, I will provide the ten steps or rather ways of living, being and thinking (it’s a lifestyle) that will lead to a healthy and pain free period. The foundation to the Black Girl’s Guide to healing is to understand that you were destined to be your own healer.