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Women’s Health

First, do no harm? Medicine’s unbelievable, sometimes horrific treatment of women



Hippocrates, the founder of modern medicine, believed that women were controlled by their uterus. The father of modern gynecology, James Marion Sims, experimented with enslaved black women without anesthesia in the mid-19th century and believed they felt less pain than white women. (His statue stood in New York’s Central Park for more than a century before it was removed in 2018.) Doctors claimed that women’s suffrage would harm the fragile bodies and diminished minds of women. Such examples cast a hideous shadow on “first, do no harm”.

The history of medicine is as social and cultural as it is scientific, and male dominance is firmly anchored in its foundations. But even the author Elinor Cleghorn, who last year dealt with the history of women’s relationships with medicine, was surprised “how deliberate and insidious it was,” she says. “Biological theories about female bodies have been used to strengthen and perpetuate restrictive societal ideas about women.”

Doctors could tell me what was happening in my body, but they couldn’t tell why I got systemic lupus or why I am more prone to it as a woman

Cleghorn’s new book, Unwell Women, enumerates a litany of ways in which women’s minds and bodies have been misunderstood and misdiagnosed throughout history. From the wandering uterus of ancient Greece (the idea that a displaced uterus caused a lot of women’s diseases) and the witch trials of medieval Europe, to the onset of hysteria to modern myths about menstruation, she lays out the incredible and sometimes terrible treatment of women for millennia in the name of medicine.

A former Oxford researcher with a background in feminist culture and history, Cleghorn meticulously constructs an often terrifying framework to show how and why the patriarchal medical world is so harmful to women, especially underserved women and women of color. And Unwell Women shows how the legacy of disenfranchisement and discrimination continues today, resulting in women being underrepresented in medical studies, women’s pain being psychological or emotional, and an inadequate, sometimes hostile system that women tend to be Offers antidepressants and sedatives as a referral for further diagnosis and more targeted care.

Cleghorn was inspired to write the book after years of being discharged from doctors before she was finally diagnosed with systemic lupus, a difficult-to-diagnose disease that is nine times more common in women than men. (Pop star Selena Gomez has spoken openly about her struggles with the complex, incurable disease.)

“I was trying to understand why none of my doctors could really explain much about it. They could tell me what was happening in my body, but they couldn’t tell why I got it or why I am more prone to it as a woman. I started digging through the history of medicine and finding women who really felt like me in case studies. ”(Cleghorn began writing the book during the lockdown, relying on online medical archives and the extensive ones Wellcome Library digital collections. “Fortunately for me, the men who wrote about women’s bodies love to write a lot about them,” she chuckles.)

There is a quiet radicalism in using women’s knowledge of themselves to transform the culture of medical inequality

These “related women” brought Cleghorn to learn about other chronic, incurable diseases that affect more women than men. One of these diseases is endometriosis, which affects an estimated one in ten women worldwide and whose diagnosis takes an average of seven to nine years. Although it was named in the 1920s, all of its diagnostic secrets remain to this day, notes Cleghorn. “Endometriosis was described by a doctor in the 1920s as the enigma of etiology, and we still don’t know what causes it. Tracking this lack of progress over 100 years has been a real example of how little progress we have made. I wanted to go back and find out why these conditions are still surrounded by so many question marks and where these gaps, injustices and discrimination actually come from. “

Today’s booming wellness industry, which, according to Cleghorn, benefits most from women and whose popularity is related to the prevalence of such confusing diseases, has fallen into the breach. “The industry knows that women with these health problems are being let down by traditional medicine, so it adapts to being caring, listening, and seeing you as an individual. A lot of language in the wellness industry strikes me as frightening the 19th century with its conditions and syndromes. “

Throughout the book, Cleghorn highlights the increasing effects of race, access, and privilege on gender. “In the UK, we have faced our health failures in black, Asian and ethnically diverse women, who have far greater health disparities than white women, especially in reproductive health,” she notes. But she is dismayed by the “very reassuring” response from the British government. “It’s annoying and shocking that there is no more money, strategy, funding, research, and urgent prioritization of issues like the maternal mortality of black women.”

It is probably the first time in history that women’s subjective experiences and voices are used. This is an important start because women are not a monolith

Parallel to this story of frustrations and injustices, there is an empowering alternate story of resistance and beneficial contributions from women. She quotes the pioneering American doctor Mary Putnam Jacobi, who in the 1870s denied the idea that women need rest during menstruation. “At that time, men doctors only used anecdotes and guesses, but Putnam Jacobi used the subjective knowledge of women to conclusively refute them. There is a quiet radicalism in using women’s knowledge of themselves to change the culture of medical inequality. “

Cleghorn relies on this with a final chapter entitled Believe Us. For a long time women were considered to be unreliable narrators of their own bodies. Although modern medicine today enables women to educate themselves about their bodies (a luxury that has been banned for centuries) and offers women the opportunity to enter the medical community, Cleghorn believes that understanding women’s health continues to be a problem remains.

But getting started with a solution is easy, she says. “It’s really important to prioritize women’s voices. I don’t think all of this is a grand patriarchal conspiracy – implicit, unconscious bias is so ingrained, even in the very establishment of doctor-patient interaction. When I have the opportunity to speak freely without feeling rushed or judged, I feel better cared for. “

The UK government’s recent women’s health strategy, in which they seek evidence from women about their treatment by the health system, is groundbreaking, she notes. “It is probably the first time in history that the subjective experiences and voices of women are used. This is an important start because women are not a monolith. “

Cleghorn hopes her book will help anyone who has had a difficult or painful health experience “feel validated and valued because it can be so isolating, so demoralizing, and dehumanizing. But having a disease also makes sense insofar as you are part of that production of very important knowledge. I hope readers can relate to this story, which we hope we can change now. ”- Wächter

Unwell Women, by Elinor Cleghorn, is published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson

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Women’s Health

Exactly What Simone Biles Eats in a Day to Stay Fit, Fueled, and Olympics-Ready



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As a gold medalist at the Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles pretty much lives in the gym, so she needs to energize her body. In addition, she eats a diet rich in protein and fiber, as well as plenty of fruit and vegetables. However, it is important that she does not limit herself or count calories.

“I’m not following anything,” she recently told Women’s Health. “I eat what is good for me and try not to overeat or stuff myself because I am always in the gym.” The 24-year-old gymnastics master has seen how restrictive eating has some of her peers under control, which is why she gave her Doing best to take care of it.

“Especially for gymnasts [tracking] can lead to health and eating problems, so I just eat what I can and should, ”she explained.

This often includes take-out because she loves to try new restaurants (hence her recent partnership with Uber Eats) and of course, some high-protein staples for breakfast and lunch. Read on for a glimpse into daily diet.

She doesn’t always have breakfast.

But when she does, it’s usually something quick and simple like oatmeal or fruit. “I wake up so early before a workout, at seven, so sometimes I have a quick bite and sometimes I don’t,” she told Women’s Health.

Fortunately, she doesn’t mind getting up so early. “I’ve always been a morning person,” she explained. She doesn’t even reach for coffee to start the day (which alone deserves a gold medal). Instead, she keeps water close by all morning.

When hunger inevitably strikes, it’s protein shake time. “I love having a Core Power Protein Shake after a workout,” she says. “I usually drink half after the first workout and half after the second workout. One of my favorite flavors right now is vanilla. It’s always changing, but it’s vanilla right now. “

The weekends, however, are a whole different story. “On the weekends, I eat protein waffles with chocolate chips, eggs, or even bake cinnamon rolls,” she said. “Because I may not have to be in the gym, I can actually take the time to make breakfast.”

The story goes on

Lunch is all about protein and fiber.

After all, she needs to supplement all those morning calories burned. If she makes lunch at home, she will eat pasta, chicken, or salmon and vegetables. She told Women’s Health that she loves asparagus, broccoli, carrots, corn, green beans, and peas, but potatoes are her all-time favorite. “I love potatoes in all shapes and sizes,” she says.

Because she is so busy, she often orders takeout before going back to the gym. “I feel like it’s easier to use because I can come home, take a shower, and use the app to order what I want with one click,” she said.

She has a variety of favorite snacks.

She doesn’t go for her often simply because she’s too busy to remember. But when she feels like an extra bite, bile usually has fruit; Grapes, strawberries and bananas are the go-tos.

She also likes the occasional banana bread muffins, popcorn, or pretzels dipped in Nutella. “It all depends on how I feel,” she said. She told Well + Good that she also loves plantain chips because they are tasty and easy to use.

There is one food she doesn’t like.

Bile really isn’t a picky eater, she’ll have pretty much anything – unless it contains coconuts. “For some reason, I don’t particularly like this taste,” she told Women’s Health. “But everything else, I’m pretty good.”

Nothing is off the table at dinner.

“When I feel like a slightly less healthy meal, I eat pizza or fettuccine alfredo with chicken,” she says. “I really like home restaurants in the area because I feel closer to them. I am not picky. I will try every new restaurant. “

But pizza is her all-time favorite. Her Instagram bio calls her a “pizza connoisseur,” and in 2016 she told ABC News that no matter how a contest goes, she always indulges in a slice afterwards. “It doesn’t matter if I don’t win self-gold, I eat pizza after every meeting,” she said. “Pepperoni Pizza.”

She rarely has a sweet tooth and enjoys cocktails on the weekend.

“I need to be in the dessert mood and that usually happens more often when I’m out of town,” Biles told Women’s Health. “I’m looking for biscuits or ice cream or both on Uber Eats.”

When cravings arise at home, she either eats strawberries with whipped cream or bakes what she calls S’mores cookies. “I put a graham cracker on the bottom, marshmallows and chocolate on top, and then I wrap it in cookie dough and bake it,” she explained.

She also has an occasional alcoholic drink on the weekends and often chooses a glass of wine or margarita. But even then, she keeps a constant bedtime. “My target time is as early as 10.30pm,” she said. “I’m usually in bed by 9:30 pm, so I sleep first.”

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Women’s Health

Nonprofit Impact Fund’s Next Move: A For-Profit Spinoff



In 2009, Eva Yazhari co-founded the Beyond Capital Fund, a not-for-profit impact fund designed to help companies serving clients at the bottom of the pyramid in emerging markets. But this charitable status limited the fund’s ability to expand. With this in mind, she founded a for-profit spin-off called Beyond Capital Ventures last year, which also focuses on India and Africa. It is about to make its first investments.

Eva Yazhari

Kori dyer

Like the first fund, the new one invests in companies where, according to Yazahari, “the impact is embedded in the business model, with the ability to scale”. It focuses on health care, financial inclusion, and agriculture.


Yazhari worked on Wall Street for about five years. But after the financial crisis, she decided to do something more meaningful that matched her passion for social justice. She already had deep family ties to Africa; her grandfather had moved with his family and opened a clinic in rural Tanzania in the 1960s. In 2009 she co-founded the Beyond Capital Fund with a focus on India and Eastern Arica, particularly Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. She set it up as what she calls an evergreen non-profit fund that invests early in startups with financial and social impact; when profits from investments were paid back, they were reinvested in new business.

Since then the fund has made 14 investments; To date, there have been three exits from ophthalmology, hygiene and agriculture companies, with what Yazhari describes as “strong top quartile venture returns and impacts.”

Seed and Series A

Then, in early 2020, just before the pandemic broke out, she decided to create a for-profit fund. That’s because, according to Yazhari, the nonprofit model stifled growth. That said, the original fund couldn’t grow past the single digit million with a pilot portfolio of about $ 1 million. “Philanthropy has limits, donors often have very specific sectors or geographic focus, others are not willing to get involved with grants under a million US dollars,” she says. With that in mind, she worked for 19 months to raise a second fund with the goal of reaching $ 30 million.

Unlike the first fund, this one will target more broadly defined, low-income and underserved markets, in areas such as lack of access to health care for women or creating ways for smallholders to get their produce off the farm to market and better prices to achieve, emphasize. “We found these areas to be enormous in terms of the opportunities they offer investors,” says Yazhari. Investments will be made in the same countries as before, with the exception of Tanzania, as government regulations there make equity investments more costly and difficult, according to Yazhari.

Another difference: the new fund will include both seed and Series A rounds, so Beyond Capital can follow with later money. That means bigger check sizes – the investment was around $ 50,000 and will now be $ 250,000 to $ 700,000 for seed funding and $ 400,000 to $ 1.1 million for Series A – and the ability to become a major investor being. Financing is planned for 21 companies, 15 of which are in the seed phase. About 70% of this is likely to receive Series A funding as well. Companies are selected from over 100 venues such as accelerator and business plan competitions.

A share for founders

The overall approach should be cooperative. “It’s not that, we give you money and you have to do what we say,” she says. One important element: Founders will receive a 5% to 10% stake in fund profits when they reach the Series A stage, which Yazhari calls “just endeavors”. Because the profit-oriented status offers a larger pool of capital that can be allocated to the founders.

Most importantly, investing in founders that Yazhari calls “conscious leaders,” that is, those who focus on the full range of stakeholders. “You are the key to impact investing,” she says.

The first investments will be announced shortly. Also, some companies from the first fund could get extra money from the second.

As a possible example, Yazhari cites women’s health startup Kasha, based in Kenya and Rwanda, which provides access to products ranging from contraceptives to soaps and lotions. Kasha also employs local women to sell their products and make a sustainable living. The charitable fund contributed $ 60,000 in a seed round in 2018; Kasha raised what Yazhari calls the “appropriate” Series A.

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Women’s Health

Who Is Megan Rapinoe’s Future Wife? Meet Olympian Sue Bird



If you’re not privy to the life of U.S. women’s national team soccer star Megan Rapinoe and her fiancé and future wife, professional basketball player Sue Bird, listen. After more than four years together, you are, so to speak, the * it * couple in the sports world.

Fans can finally see them both shine on the international court and on the field at the Tokyo Olympics. Sue, 40, has one of the standard-bearer roles, wearing the Stars and Stripes for Team USA at the Parade of Nations at the opening ceremony.

“I don’t even know if I’ve digested it completely,” Sue told the Washington Post. “It was pretty shocking when I heard that. The thought that other athletes are the ones who choose the flag bearers, the ones who picked themselves and Eddy, makes the honor even more special – but also that we have the entire US delegation in the opening ceremony. It’s really special and I know it firsthand because I was right behind Dawn when she did it in 2004. “

Better still, they could both bring more gold medals to add to their already loaded trophy case. Megan and Sue trained hard together to achieve just that. (Talk about #workoutbuddygoals.)

Now that you are all informed about the power pairing of Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird, it is time to get into more detail. Here’s all about Megan Rapinoe’s future wife Sue and how they are connected to each other.

Sue has been a strong player in the WNBA’s Seattle Storm for two decades.

She was the first overall selection in the first round and started in 2002 as point guard for the team. She has overcome injuries over the years and led the Storm to four league titles.

Julio AguilarGetty Images

Sue grew up in New York.

The Israeli-American played basketball in high school and caught the attention of the University of Connecticut. There she won two NCAA National Championships, three Nancy Lieberman Awards, a Naismith Award, a Big East Player of the Year Award and the AP College Player of the Year.

lament bird u conn basketball

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Megan and Sue met at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Talk about an epic meet-cute.

The two met briefly at a press conference on the games. It was their first interaction, despite living in Seattle and playing for teams the couple mentioned at an ESPN Women and Sports Summit.

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The rest, as they say, was history. Back home in the northwest, Megan was a fan of some of Sue’s games and they eventually reconnected via Instagram DM. “We have a lot in common and just clicked,” Megan said in a 2017 interview with ESPNW. “I joke that she is my first port of call. She’s just so level-headed. “(Very pretty.)

Sue didn’t speak publicly about her sexuality until 2017.

In an interview with ESPNW in 2017, she clarified what was going on in her love life.

“I’m gay. Megan’s my girlfriend. … These are no secrets for people who know me,” Sue told ESPNW. “I don’t feel like I haven’t lived my life. I think people are leaving assume that you have to hide it if you don’t talk about it as if it were this secret. That was never the case with me. “

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“Nobody ever talked about it when I was in high school or college,” Sue told the publication. “Of course I have a whole journey behind me – everyone does it in life. I think the hard part is getting public about it. I don’t like being ‘clapped’, not necessarily about the topic of conversation. ”

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Sue has been a strong advocate for marginalized groups.

This is another passion Sue and Megan share. They are both supporters of LGBTQ issues, wage equity in women’s sports and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Sue also defended Megan in a viral comment following former President Trump’s tweets. She wrote in The Player’s Tribune:

“You just can’t shake this girl. She’s going to do her thing, at her own fucking pace, at her own fucking rhythm, and she’s not going to apologize to ANYONE for it … It’s not an act with her. A distraction. For me, it’s more like this: Megan is at the boss level in the video game when she knows herself. She was always confident … but that doesn’t mean she was always immune. She is as sensitive as anyone else – maybe more! She’s just figured out how to use that sensitivity. And I think Megan’s sensitivity is what makes her fight for others. “

She wasn’t always that frank. Sue says of her younger days, “I never challenged,” Sue said in an interview with GQ. “I’ve never pushed my limits that much. This is what the younger generations are doing now. It’s part of our legacy of getting to the point where the younger generations expect these things. I can only imagine the next 20 years -[they’re] becomes even more intrusive. “

Sue posed naked with Megan on the cover of ESPN The Magazine Body expenditure in 2018.

In another step steeped in history, both Sue and Megan posed together for the Body Issue of ESPN The Magazine. They were the first openly gay couple to pose for the shoot. Her strong action shots were impressive.

“I can be calm and a little shy,” Sue told ESPN. “I usually just dip my toe in the water until the extroverted part of me can come out.”

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“Megan feels really passionate about things,” Sue continued. “I just never felt that calling, if that’s the right word. I lived my life, but I didn’t necessarily lead the charge. But I never had the feeling that that made me any less real. ”

Megan and Sue got engaged in 2020.

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In an October 2020 Instagram post with no caption, the couple revealed their engagement. The photo showed Megan on one knee with a ring on Sue’s finger. (And a beautiful sea view as a background.) Where were they exactly? The couple had taken a trip to Antigua to celebrate Sue’s 40th birthday.

After the post, the Seattle Storm Support tweeted.

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The couple have since appeared as cover stars for the GQ Modern Lovers Issue, where they discussed their relationship on a deeper level and shared what the future might hold for them. “We would like to have a kind of life where we can just go on vacation on a whim or do some of the things that sport has prevented us,” Sue said in an interview.

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Sue is fighting for a record-breaking fifth gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

Sue Bird opening ceremony

Sue Bird carries the flag and goes to Tokyo with Team USA.

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Both women in this power couple qualified for the Tokyo Olympics and represented Team USA in their respective sports. This will be Sue’s fifth appearance at the Olympics, battling for a record-breaking * fifth * gold medal in basketball. This is Megan’s third appearance as a member of the 18-man squad for the women’s soccer team.

However, her time in Japan is all about competition. “I don’t think we can see each other,” Megan told Instyle. “I think every team gets bubbled pretty tightly. It won’t be such a pleasant experience for us, but we have to keep going” everyone is safe, including Japanese citizens and all organizers and volunteers. ”

Sue Bird Basketball

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Madeline Howard is an editorial assistant at Women’s Health.

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