Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

On doctors and lady parts

Oh oh oh, it's TMI-time, travellers! This post has been brewing and stewing in my brain for a few months now, ever since a fateful day at the walk-in clinic proved to be the third strike against dudely doctors and dudes-who-aspire-to-be-doctors-but-instead-practice-what-is-largely-recognized-as-quacktacular-medicine.

Strike one occurred back in the 1980s when my mom's then-chiropractor responded to her not unreasonable request to examine her 8-year-old daughter's seemingly curved back with "She just has a large behind." Which a) I should be so lucky, b) is creepy and c) is a lazy, gross, patronizing excuse for medical treatment. (For the record, it is not so much the size of behind as the fact that it is constantly parked on the couch that accounts for my still lousy posture. Hey, do I get a pretend medical degree now?)

Strike two was back in the undergrad years, at the university's walk-in clinic:

Me: I'd like to get my pill prescription renewed, please.

Doc: When was your last physical?

Me: I'm a virgin.

Doc: Good for you!

"Good for you!", as if I'd spent the last eight or so years since menstruation fighting off an army of sweaty, shirtless James Masters-lookalikes, instead of being a gangly and self-conscious homebody who spent her spare time reading Stephen King novels and writing terrible poetry about not wanting to be a virgin anymore. "Good for you!" as if virginity was some sort of grand accomplishment and not the inevitable by-product of my particular blend of self-esteem issues, shyness and tendency to dork out to the extreme in front of any boy I liked. "Good for you!" as if 'virginity' is a medical term requiring no follow-up questions and not some sexist and heteronormative social abstract which means different things to different people and exists only in their minds, anyway.

Now that's a rant and a half, but I have saved the rantiest for last! Strike three happened just this summer when I, a grown lady who had spent a good half her life with (to the best of my knowledge) working lady bits, and had yet to cause some sort of international incident or natural disaster with them, went to get my pill prescription renewed yet again. In my mind, I was qualified  to a)make requests as to my reproductive needs, and b)receive medical advice in a professional, objective, and non-douchetastic manner.

BZZZZTTT!!!! WRONG!!! At least according to the douchiest of all dudely doctors, with whom I had an unfortunate encounter at the walk-in clinic I was frequenting while trying to find a family doctor in my new town. (Which I totally have now, and she is also a lady, and she is pretty swell).

This guy was such a douche, he earned his own three strikes within our five-minute appointment, for:

1) Telling me that once every two years wasn't enough for women with multiple partners, after I had just told him that I was in a long-term, monogamous relationship ("Whatever, slut!");

2) Looking so pointedly at my (wedding ring-less) hand the whole time that I finally snapped a "I'm married; we don't wear rings", which I hate because a)marriage is a legal relationship and NOT a medical one and therefore NOT RELEVANT to this particular conversation, dipstick, and b)when I have to pull the marriage card it reminds me just how patriarchal and sucktastic a lot of people want marriage to be and means that I am in the presence of someone who is probably against things like same-sex marriage, women's equality, and kittens. Because he is an asshole.

3) After the marriage admission, writes me a six-month prescription, "Since [you've] been such a good girl."

If ever you needed proof that Angry Floyd still has self-control - I am currently blogging about this instead of serving time for "aggravated assault with various medical implements". So there.

Ladies, gents and every in-between? Any douchestactic doctor experiences?