Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Law #116

San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1944

It's necessary, they said.
You'll sleep right through it and you won't feel a thing, they said.
We know what's best, they said
It's for your own good, they said.

A boardroom on the U.S. Mainland 

It's necessary, they said.
These women are simple, they said.
They don't know what's best for them, they said.
It's for their own good, they said.
There are already too many of them, they said.

San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1944

I'm not sick, she said.
But, you're a doctor, she said.
You must know what I need, she said.
I trust you, she said.

She slept through it, just as they said she would, but it did hurt. The next day it hurt. And for many days after. It hurt more and for a longer time than giving birth to her son had hurt. And it left a scar. And she stopped bleeding every month. She was 34, and she'd stopped bleeding. But, then, so did the other women she knew: her sister, her cousins. They'd all stopped bleeding. She, at least, had her son.

A Gynecologist's Office, New York City, 1963

When did you have a hysterectomy? the gynecologist asked.
I don't know what that is, she said.
You have no uterus, the gynecologist said.
I don't know what that is, she said. 
When did you stop having periods? the gynecologist asked.
After la operacion, she said.
Who performed the operation? the gynecologist asked.
The American doctor, she said. 
Why did the American doctor do this? the gynecologist asked.
Because, she said.
Because? the gynecologist asked.
Because it was for my own good, she said.



12 comments:

MyOwnChampion said...

This is horrifying! I can't even imagine!

Erica M said...

Oh my God.

caroll said...

Thanks for further exploring the issue. I'm glad I sent you the video.

Peace,
c.

Stacie Dalrymple said...

That's horrible. I can't even.

innatejames said...

Hey Snapper, just making sure you know to fill out the entry form http://yeahwrite.me/yeah-write-november-writing-contest-entry-form/

if you want your post in the writing contest and participate in the crowd fave vote. Thanks!

Snapper said...

Oops...I forgot the entry form. Thanks!

Snapper said...

Carroll - thanks so much for sending me that dvd...as you know from my previous writing about this topic, it's one that is important to me on a very personal level.

Robbie K said...

shocking and horrifying and heartbreaking. So damn sorry.

Asha Rajan said...

Oh dear Lord. Thank you for shining a light in dark corners. It's rather too easy to forget how dehumanising so many "standard" practices were (and are).

Jacqueline Bryant Campbell said...

How truly awful! And telegraphed so well in so few words.

www.icescreammama.com said...

UGH! Speechless!

Jen Brunett said...

Truly terrifying!! wow!