My mom, Dr. Norah Gutrecht, is in the front row, 3rd from left, 1959
“Ungentlemanly behavior” has a long and colorful past.
The “Jeering Incident” occurred in 1869, a few years after the first woman was admitted to an American medical school by accident (more on this in a moment). A group of female medical students arrived at an all-male medical school to observe a clinical demonstration. The women were greeted with “yells, hisses, caterwauling, mock applause, offensive remarks on personal appearance, etc.”(1)
Most of the press coverage condemned this “ungentlemanly behavior”, but not all – one local newspaper published a letter to the editor, which asked, “Who is this shameless herd of sexless beings who dishonor the garb of ladies?”
In honor of Women’s History Month, I would like to share with you some learning about my professional foremothers in the U.S. and in my own family.
Healthy sexuality is not just a good idea; it’s actually good for your health.
In America alone, 40 million women experience sexual dysfunction. Problems can range from a low sexual desire to problems with arousal, to problems achieving orgasm. These problems can begin or worsen during and after perimenopause and menopause.
Medical illnesses, lack of sleep, and stress may be part of the problem. If sexual dysfunction is due to psychological issues then counseling can be very helpful. Also, treating underlying physical conditions – such as lack of vaginal estrogen – can often help. While depression can cause or worsen these symptoms, medications that treat depression can also cause or worsen this dysfunction (a classic case of the treatment making the situation worse!)
Now, besides the fact that sex perpetuates the species, good sex has quite a few health benefits, for both women and men:
There is a lot happening in our world today that makes me regularly shake my head in dismay. Today I write to you about a very emotional topic.
It is almost every day now that we hear about another prominent person fired or resigning from their job due to accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior.
(On a personal political note, I continue to be shocked and amazed how Trump himself remains untouched by this process. When will he “step down amid allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior”? But I digress.)
During our stay in Cape Town, we did a guided bicycle tour of a township called Masiphumelele (I pronounce it for you in the video!). Check out my Justice Doll, made by some of the women there to raise awareness of injustice against women and children.
I have shared a few photos of my trip (Masiphumelele and a couple from Table Mountain) below.
I have just returned from my second magical trip to Africa.
This trip was special for many reasons, chief among them is that it was my honeymoon!
I got married in August to a wonderful man who is originally from Cape Town, South Africa.
On our 2-week trip to Cape Town, in addition to meeting his family and attending Jewish holiday services, we hiked Table Mountain (twice), toured the Robben Island prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years (before being imprisoned for another 9 years), took a helicopter ride (my first!), saw penguins on the beach, and visited the Cape of Good Hope.