Their Bad Mother

Their Bad Mother

Canadian Women: Do You Know Who’s Been Lurking Around Your Pelvis?

I don’t get outraged about a lot of things. It takes a lot of energy to get outraged, and I don’t have a whole lot of energy to spare, what with wrangling two manically spirited children and training for half-marathons and what-not. A few things are more or less guaranteed to provoke me to ranting – breastfeeding mothers being shamed, the exploitation of women and girls, the defense of rapists, that kind of thing – but otherwise, I prefer to save my energy for constructively raising awareness about issues that I care about, rather than railing against things.

Today’s an exception. The issue – and you tell me if this doesn’t make you angry, regardless of whether or not you’re a woman, or Canadian – is this: if you’re a Canadian woman, and you’ve had surgery, you might have been
been given – while you were under anesthetic, without your knowledge,
without your consent – a pelvic exam by medical students in training. Without your knowledge or consent. This is illegal in the United States and Britain, for obvious reasons, but is, apparently, standard practice in Canada. I’m horrified. I’ve been ranting about it over at the Bad Mom’s Club, and I ranted myself into enough of a state that I needed to actually do something.


So I set up an open letter/petition, demanding that the relevant Canadian medical authorities – and lawmakers, if necessary – put a stop to this practice immediately, and make it a matter of policy and law that hospitals require women’s explicit consent for such training exams. I’d love it if you’d support it – regardless of whether or not you’re Canadian – and help me get the message out that our bodies – women’s and men’s – are our own and that our sovereignty over them is not to be taken lightly.

UPDATE on 100 Miles For Tanner: training for a half-marathon in the FREEZING sub-arctic Canadian winter is HARD.

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posted January 29, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Wow that is terrible. Thank you for linking to the petition, I signed it, and will also do what I can to let other people see it.

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