chapter  2
8 Pages

From What Her Body Thought: A Journey into the Shadows

In the first decade after CFIDS was identified, a prejudicial and nearly tautological reasoning was applied to the illness, as if its existence could be explained away. The medical establishment drew a profile of the person most likely to come down with the disease. A mature woman, professional, upper middle c1ass, white, and overly ambitious, she did not know how to rest, and this is why she was fatigued. The description recalls those tracts from nineteenth-century medicine warning that higher education could damage a woman's ovaries. Both theories have a subtext, the idea that women ought to stay at horne. And I can hear another suggestion in the thought, the subtle warning that feminism undermines the feminine body.