Witches, Midwives & Nurses
A History of Women Healers
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: The Feminist Press
Series: Contemporary Classics
Title Page, Copyright Page
Introduction to the Second Edition: The Backstory
Witches, Midwives & Nurses (WMN) is a document from the second wave of feminism in the United States. Rereading it forty years later, we find it startling in its assertiveness and sweep and, for the most part, surprisingly accurate, given the paucity of materials we originally had to work with. At the same...
Introduction to the First Edition
Women have always been healers. They were the unlicensed doctors and anatomists of Western history. They were abortionists, nurses, and counselors. They were pharmacists, cultivating healing herbs and exchanging secrets of their uses. They were midwives, travelling from home to home and village to...
Witchcraft and Medicine in the Middle Ages
Witches lived and were burned long before the development of modern medical technology. The great majority of them were lay healers serving the peasant population, and their suppression marks one of the opening struggles in the history of man’s suppression of women...
Women and the Rise of the American Medical Profession
In the US the male takeover of healing roles started later than in England or France, but ultimately went much further. There is probably no industrialized country with a lower percentage of women doctors than the US today: England has 24 percent; Russia has 75 percent; the US has only 7 percent. And while...
We have not been passive bystanders in the history of medicine. The present system was born in and shaped by the competition between male and female healers. The medical profession in particular is not just another institution which happens to discriminate against us: it is a fortress designed and erected to exclude us. This means to us that...