Few situations rival the awkwardness of visiting the gynecologist. Dr. Silva and I have a good relationship–as good of a relationship as you can have with the woman who inspects your lady parts annually and asks whether or not you have a boyfriend yet. Clad in a pink paper gown that I’m convinced isn’t helping to cover anything, I answer Dr. Silva’s routine questions about where I work, where my parents live and what’s my current form of birth control. I haven’t ever thought much about those visits every October, but digging through piles of research for Part 4 The Battle for Reform: Healthcare has forced me to consider them a bit more.
What if I didn’t have insurance and couldn’t visit Dr. Silva? What if I went and Dr. Silva found something that required further inspection? There are many hypotheticals I could propose, but unfortunately good health is one of those gifts we often take for granted until it deteriorates. Researching and writing this part of the series opened me up to my own ignorance, ignorance fostered by the fortune of remaining healthy up until this point and the privilege of having the means to remain insured. Researching and writing this part of the series also reminded me of a quote from Roxane Gay in Bad Feminist:
“You don’t necessarily have to do anything once you acknowledge your privilege. You don’t have to apologize for it. You need to understand the extent of your privilege, the consequences of your privilege, and remain aware that people who are different from you move through and experience the world in ways you might never know anything about.”
Healthcare is something we talk about in lofty terms–plans, organizations and policies. But, I want to do my best to dissect the lofty terms and give voice to some of the narratives behind the healthcare industry, those on the patient side as well as the clinician side. Part 4 of the series will focus on reproductive health and justice and revisit the importance of sexual health first presented in Part 2 The Battle for Reawakening: Sexuality and Sexual Assault. I’ll also tackle the ins and outs of access to healthcare for those who are insured, uninsured and underinsured as well as lift the veil on the Affordable Care Act. Finally, I will discuss the overall state of health for black women and provide a few resources for us each to get just a bit more informed when it comes to our health.
Next page: The Twisted Legislation on Bodies: Reproductive Rights, Health and Justice