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This is definitely an academic essay. I was impressed by the amount of research Skinner did for this book. The research is both comprehensive and exhaustive. Skinner exams women’s medical text and speeches from the 19th century from “a range of genres appropriate to the women’s status as physicians,” and is most interested in their strategic uses of ethos in their efforts to influence popular and medical discourse.
The genres were divided into chapters with the first chapter covering the debate of the time about the character of women physicians. Skinner covers questions such as could women physicians not only be competent but maintain their femininity. Other chapters were on education of women and children on anatomy, sex and hygiene.
I was most impressed that the author also included American Indian women and African American professionals and their special difficulties to be accepted.
Skinners claims in each chapter are based on solid textual analysis with her support anchored in the choices.
This is an excellent analysis and review of the problems women faced to be educated and accepted in their profession of choice. It is only recently that we are seeing more and more women physicians and in the most part they are not only accepted as competent physicians by fellow physicians but also by the public.
Caroline Miller narrated the book.
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