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Ep102: Pain and Prejudice: A Call to Arms for Women and Their Bodies

Pain and Prejudice: A Call to Arms for Women and Their Bodies

Women are in pain, all through their bodies; they’re in pain with their periods, and while having sex… And many are so, so tired … But women’s pain is all too often dismissed, their illnesses misdiagnosed or ignored.

‘In medicine, man is the default human being. Any deviation is atypical, abnormal, deficient.’

Fourteen years after being diagnosed with endometriosis, Gabrielle Jackson couldn’t believe how little had changed in the treatment and knowledge of the disease. In 2015, her personal story kick-started a worldwide investigation into the disease by The Guardian; thousands of women got in touch to tell their own stories and many more read and shared the material. What began as one issue led Jackson to explore how women – historically and through to the present day – are under-served by the systems that should keep them happy, healthy and informed about their bodies.

Gabrielle talks to us about how social taboos and medical ignorance keep women sick and in anguish.

The stark reality is that women’s pain is not taken as seriously as men’s. Women are more likely to be disbelieved and denied treatment than men, even though women are far more likely to be suffering from chronic pain.

About Today’s Guest Gabrielle Jackson

Associate Editor at Guardian Australia, journalist, author, activist

Gabrielle Jackson is the associate editor for audio and visual at Guardian Australia and has lived and worked in the USA, UK and Australia as a journalist and copywriter. She is the author of Pain and Prejudice, which has been published in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, USA and Canada, and has been optioned for a documentary.

Gabrielle was first diagnosed with endometriosis in 2001. In 2015 she was also diagnosed with adenomyosis. After writing about endometriosis for the Guardian 2015, she became interested in how women’s pain is treated in modern healthcare systems and has been researching and writing about the topic since then. Gabrielle loves cooking and is a kebab connoisseur. In 2011-2012, she spent eight months travelling from Europe through the Middle East to Asia sampling and researching the history of the kebabs and their journey to the western world. She returned to Australia after being run over by a train in India.

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