To be surprised to have a male health visitor?

(272 Posts)
PeriodFeatures Sat 05-Oct-13 19:10:54

Just that really! I wondered what other people think?

hettienne Sat 05-Oct-13 19:12:31

I suppose not unreasonable to be surprised as it is uncommon, but no reason really for health visitors not to be male anymore than nurses.

ReallyTired Sat 05-Oct-13 19:12:58

I can't see the problem. Provided the person can do the job then it doesn't matter what sex they are.

There are male midwives as well. Infact men can do any job these days!

gordyslovesheep Sat 05-Oct-13 19:13:08

shocking - why women will want to be plumbers next - what is the world coming to? 1976 isn't what I thought it would be...

It is 2013 still isn't it??!

DameDeepRedBetty Sat 05-Oct-13 19:14:42

The only surprise to me is that any man would put up with the shitty pay, hours etc...

I'd be surprised too, but in a good way.
I think it's great that men can be, HV, Midwives, primary school teachers.

PeriodFeatures Sat 05-Oct-13 19:15:18

I don't have an issue with it. Was just surprised to have a nice and quite hot bloke rock up and talk to me about breast feeding.

UniS Sat 05-Oct-13 19:24:52

I really liked our male health visitor, he was friendly, chatty, considerate and knowledge able, he was a parent too.

Pollywallywinkles Sat 05-Oct-13 19:31:10

It's still unusual to have a male health visitor, but he will be as qualified as a female.

The pay and hours for health visitors are not that bad in nursing terms.

marzipananimal Sat 05-Oct-13 19:35:46

I think some women might not be keen on a man helping them with bfing, but then HVs aren't generally known for their bf expertise I suppose!

Mrsdavidcaruso Sat 05-Oct-13 19:36:33

As long as there are measures put into place where women who have a cultural issue or women who are shy or scared of men can refuse then I see no problem.

Last month I was birth partner for a dear friend who had suffered very brutal domestic violence by her partner.

I handheld her through out her pregnancy and we had a very comprehensive birth plan in place that unless during the birth there was immediate danger or severe problems during labour that needed the input of the male obs she would be managed by female midwives only, as she is terrified of men.

Had she opened the door to a male HV it would have caused her severe trauma so there HAS to something in place to protect vulnerable women like her.

HandMini Sat 05-Oct-13 19:57:54

I had a male HV, but only for the post-natal bit (ie after you we're discharged from midwife care at about 10 days post birth).

So by then I'd had quite a lot of help from hospital and community MWs with my stitches and breastfeeding.

He was good, and like a breath of fresh air to my DP who I think thought he would never get a male perspective on the new baby world, but I would have been uncomfortable sharing all my immediate post partum issues with him.

Bit of a shame really as he was lovely and great with his advice. I don't have any religious, cultural or social reasons to have felt uncomfortable, but I would have done.

I also had a male midwife looking after me post partum with DD2. He was very experienced and I felt fine with him helping me to BF.

hardboiledpossum Sat 05-Oct-13 20:02:57

I had a male midwife who did internals, it was fine.

DrCoconut Sat 05-Oct-13 20:05:57

I had a male midwife for much of my pre and post natal care. It was different but I never had an issue with it. I would have been ok with him at the birth if it had worked out that way. He got me some treatment for my monster haemorrhoids so I am for ever in his debt for that!

notnowbernard Sat 05-Oct-13 20:06:38

I had a delightful male hv with dc1

turkeyboots Sat 05-Oct-13 20:07:03

I loved my male HV. He had no baggage about childbirth and breastfeeding which was very refreshing.

ReallyTired Sat 05-Oct-13 20:08:00

In most cases, I think that allowing women to refuse care from a man because of "cultrual or religous sensitivites" is condoning sexism. Either we have equal opportunities for people in the work place or we don't! I don't think that someone should be allowed to refuse a health visitor becuase he is male!

However if some has been a rape victim then it is different. I also think its reasonable if some wants a woman for internal examinations.

Floggingmolly Sat 05-Oct-13 20:15:31

I had one for ds1 (2nd child), who was truly a breath of fresh air. He was the only one who would answer my questions properly - all the others (different one at every visit, unfortunately) parried every single one with "oh, you'll have to ask your gp about that". angry
After waiting approx 90 minutes to see them in the first place, I used to all but spontaneously combust.
He really was special.
Sadly by the time ds2 came along, he'd moved on. Back to "see your gp about that"...

ihearsounds Sat 05-Oct-13 20:35:47

With my youngest, we were assinged a hv, but could see any of them, on of which was male.

Anyway. He was easier to talk to. answered my questions. Didn't brush me off with some crappy answer. When I had concerns listened and helped me a lot. When I was having problems bf'ing and wanted to stop, he helped me through it, without be patronising, and basically telling me I was a failure. Unlike his bitch collegue. When I had health problems, my actual bitch of a hv didn't contact me, instead she put in a referel to ss, whereas he, came to my home to see if I was ok, let me know what she had done, and to see if there was anything he could do, other than cancel ss. Was gutted when he left.

Opalite Sat 05-Oct-13 20:40:00

ReallyTired, you don't think a woman should be allowed to refuse a male health visitor? hmm You would rather they felt uncomfortable? I can honestly say I would find it very difficult to speak to a male health visitor about a lot of things. Its very common to ask for a female doctor when you visit the doctors, this isn't unfair at all ffs! The women who don't feel ccomfortable aren't the problem, the problem is the issues in society which have made women feel uncomfortable...

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 05-Oct-13 20:42:37

That's like being shocked at a male nurse. Essentially what hvs are really.

My hv had a good old look at my bloody second degree tear on the sofa, and I found that uncomfortable with a woman. Wouldn't have shown a bloke probably!

jonicomelately Sat 05-Oct-13 20:43:44

DP had a male district nurse. He was ex army, very good and very nice.

I had a male HV with all 3 of mine, my eldest is 11. HV was lovely and it never bothered me talking about BF etc with him.

CoconutRing Sat 05-Oct-13 20:45:35

I do not feel comfortable with any male medical professional.

I only see female nurses, doctors etc and I would certainly refuse to see a male HV.

I say this because I work within the health care community and I do not trust any of my male colleagues after witnessing some very unprofessional behaviour. The only way to protect myself from possible abuse is to avoid their care.

Our local male hv is wonderful. He is a very calming, sensitive and kind chap. Brilliant at bfing support too, much more so than my named female hv.

ReallyTired Sat 05-Oct-13 20:47:36

"ReallyTired, you don't think a woman should be allowed to refuse a male health visitor?"

Do you think that someone should be allowed to refuse a woman doctor or a black doctor? What about someone who thinks that homosexuals should not be employed? Should mindless prejudices against either sex be tolerated in the 21st century? At my GP's surgery you are not allowed to request a woman doctor unless its a gynological issue.

A health visitor does not do imimate examinations and breastfeeding support is a tiny part of the job.

Floggingmolly Sat 05-Oct-13 20:49:53

That sounds bad, Coconut? Would you seriously tar all male medical professionals with the same brush?

ReallyTired Sat 05-Oct-13 20:51:55

CoconutRing

I hope you reported your male collegues. I think its very sad that you think that all men cannot be trusted. It is naivety to think that female health professionals are not capable of abuse.

All the male health professionals I have met have been fab. This idea that all men are potential rapist is appauling.

Opalite Sat 05-Oct-13 20:52:20

I can assure you they are not 'mindless prejudices'! I'm glad thatt you have no reason to believe a woman may feel uncomfortable or intimidated to let a male health visitor into their home but unfortunately there are endless reasons why this is the reality for many women. At my GP I always request not to be seen by a certain female GP for my own personal reasons, I also request to only be seen by a female GP.

Yonionekanobe Sat 05-Oct-13 20:52:47

I had a male MW. His name was Angel (Spaniard). It was fitting.

No problem at all with a male HV, and tend to agree with Reality - unless there are extenuating circumstances no one should be prevented from doing their job on the basis of sex.

Opalite Sat 05-Oct-13 20:56:18

I agree that nobody should be prevented from doing their job because of their sex. Surely nobody should be forced into something they find uncomfortable/intimidated though?

TwoAndTwoEqualsChaos Sat 05-Oct-13 20:56:49

I had a male mid-wife, who was lovely. I saw him for both ante-natal and post-natal care and, tbh, the most disconcerting thing was that he looked like Carlton out of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air! His hand hygiene was meticulous and I knew he had a wife and child, which, I think, made him more sympathetic. He never had to do anything more intimate than remove my post c-section stitches, though.

Opalite Sat 05-Oct-13 20:56:50

Intimidating

CoconutRing Sat 05-Oct-13 20:57:45

Yes. I do tar ALL male medical professionals with the same brush. It's the only way I know to avoid any abuse or inappropriate examinations such as TUBEing (totally unnecessary breast exam).

CoconutRing Sat 05-Oct-13 20:59:42

I did report them and I was a witness at the subsequent court case.

mrsjay Sat 05-Oct-13 21:01:01

I can see why you would be a bit surprised but I had a Male HV 20 years ago then I moved house and got somebody else he was the best health visitor i had he was great very proactive and dint sit in my house drinking tea like the others i had

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 05-Oct-13 21:06:10

I had a male MW. I felt more comfortable with him than other MWs I have had. I felt very comfortable talking about how I felt after being sterilised during third DC's birth. He was very empathetic.

IMO it is down to personality, both of the HCP and the parents. I'm much more comfortable talking to men I dont really know well than women.

ReallyTired Sat 05-Oct-13 21:10:14

I think wanting to avoid all men is a pychological problem and needs pychological support. I except that rape victims have particular needs, no one should be able to reufse health care from a man or a woman on a whim.

As WorrySighWorrySigh say it's personality of the person that is important.

Opalite Sat 05-Oct-13 21:17:41

its not about wanting to avoid all men. If I'm walking down a dark alleyway and a man walks towards me I feel very different than if a woman is walking toward me, I don't think I'm alone in thinking that. It isntt the fault of the women but the fault of the way society is at the moment.

BoffinMum Sat 05-Oct-13 21:20:47

Gosh, do people mind about this stuff? It wouldn't have occurred to me that it was an issue.

MisForMumNotMaid Sat 05-Oct-13 21:23:14

I would be happy with a male health visitor at a clinic, a male nurse/ doctor/ midwife at hospital but I don't allow men into my home when I'm on my own.

I wouldn't mind internals etc, I'm not prudeish but I have been put in compromised vulnerable positions in my life and I just wouldn't be comfortable with a male 'insert role here' in my bome unless DH or another person was also present.

Viviennemary Sat 05-Oct-13 21:23:36

It's not unreasonable to be surprised as that's quite unusual. However, at one time there wasn't such a thing as a female bus driver or female tax driver. Now of course there is. I expect the same will happen eventually with Health Visitors. But I could see why people wouldn't be as comfortable discussing things like problems with breast feeding.

bananananacoconuts Sat 05-Oct-13 21:24:44

My male health visitor was beyond amazing. If you live in Hull, he's so fantastic

TheHouseCleaner Sat 05-Oct-13 21:25:27

I've never met a male HV nor have I ever known anyone who has AFAIK. Yes, I'd have been surprised because it's quite unusual, no I wouldn't have been in the least bothered. In fact I'd probably have been very pleased, both to see a bit of breaking of the mould and because I often find that I have more in common with men than women. I can't see why the majority would care provided he was good at his job (religious/cultural differences aside).

ReallyTired Sat 05-Oct-13 21:25:35

MisForMumNotMaid
What the difference between a male health visitor coming to your home andthe plumber coming to fix the tap. Does your husband have the day off if you need the boiler fixed?

misdee Sat 05-Oct-13 21:27:15

I had a male trainee midwife when I was having dd3. he helped deliver her, and he was lovely.

also had a male hv when we moved to this area, apparently a lot of people were sad when he left. he is still spoken highly of, as he was just so easy to talk to, and non-judgmental. I rate him up there with my favourite female HV who helped me through bad PND when ds was tiny.

SunshineMMum Sat 05-Oct-13 21:32:14

I'd have been really uncomfortable with a male health visitor or midwife. I always ask to see a female GP, if it is for anything personal or intimate. I was at my most vulnerable after a horrendous birth and was definitely pleased to see a mature female midwife who could empathise.

MisForMumNotMaid Sat 05-Oct-13 21:48:56

reallytired I'm a mechanical engineer so don't often have trades in. But yes, I do have someone in the house with me if someone is visiting I don't know well.

quoteunquote Sat 05-Oct-13 22:18:59

Did he have long hair? grin

Good for him, I can't see any problem with a male health visitor.

Mrsdavidcaruso Sat 05-Oct-13 23:58:32

Really tired its not mindless prejudice actually.

I remember being shocked when my Aunt told me that in 1971 on a routine gynea visit to her GP she mentioned she had just got married and was told that she now needed her Husbands permission to get the pill.

And here we are 40 odd years later and nothing seems to have changed
We are expected to just put up and shut up and have no control over our own bodies, who we allow to see them, who we allow to touch them, in case its seen as discrimination or hurts someones feelings all in the name of someones idea of equality.

Any man wanting to be a midwife or HV has to deal with the fact that his services are going to be refused by some patients, they need the training to ensure they don't take it as a personal slight but a patients right to privacy and dignity, if they cant understand that then they are in the wrong profession.

Otherwise we may just as well go back to the 70s when women knew their place, didn't make waves and looked on medical professionals as Gods who told us what to do.

I personally am not going back to those days.

cjdamoo Sun 06-Oct-13 00:05:15

Its funny but of my five births my best experiance was a lovely male midwife called Dave. I only got him because 3 other women refused. Im also over the moon my sons Kindy teacher is a young man.

CoconutRing Sun 06-Oct-13 00:23:09

Great post Mrsdavidcaruso.

HavantGuard Sun 06-Oct-13 00:27:40

Yes, it's a psychological problem. The locum GP who had an 18 year old girl on my corridor in halls strip naked from the waist up to listen to her chest with a stethoscope must have liked a clear work area hmm

CoconutRing Sun 06-Oct-13 00:30:37

TUBE

FreudiansSlipper Sun 06-Oct-13 00:34:26

i have never heard of anyone having a male hv

i am sure i would have been ok with it, but for those who are not of course i think the choice should be there

when i go to my doctors they always ask would i prefer to see a male doctor or female, sometimes i would just rather speak to a female doctor and i am sure there are times when many men would rather see a male doctor

that is not the same as discriminating against someone because they are gay or asian it often comes from awkwardness about talking about health issues and your body

FreudiansSlipper Sun 06-Oct-13 00:37:33

and would should a woman (or a man) have to disclose they have been a victim of physical or sexual abuse to be given the right to see a doctor/hv of their own sex

pigsDOfly Sun 06-Oct-13 00:43:13

Wouldn't have minded a male HV when I was having my children. But several years ago I turned up for an appointment for a mammogram and was rather surprised to find the person performing it was a young man.

I have no issue with male midwives and doctors but for some reason having a man manhandling my breast felt a little inappropriate.

Never happened to me since, but I noticed when I received a letter recently offering me my latest appointment for a mammogram (a different part of the country) they made a point of telling you that all their staff are female.

I don't think it's got anything to do with equal opportunities but everything to do with people feeling comfortable in what can be uncomfortable situations and it's not unreasonable to expect that for certain medical procedures women should be cared for by other women.

Madratlady Sun 06-Oct-13 00:48:23

I'm sorry to hear that you've worked with some bad male health care professionals Coconut but I think to tar them all with the same brush is completely wrong and I wonder if there are other things colouring your opinion as well?

I have worked with some wonderful male nurses and doctors who would never behave in an inappropriate or unprofessional manner. My current line manager (nurse) is male and he's great. So kind and caring.

I would have no issues with a male hv or midwife although for anything involving an examination 'down there' then I think I might feel more comfortable with a woman.

ayahushca Sun 06-Oct-13 01:05:34

As a bloke working in a female dominant healthcare related profession, it hurts incredibly badly when I'm refused, or see that mistrust in the eyes. I don't blame the woman, cos I don't know what they've been through or why they feel this way, but it just makes me feel so dirty, and so bitter, cos why why why do I have to feel this way, when I'm never been part of anything wrong.

Dobbiesmum Sun 06-Oct-13 01:28:17

I have dealt with some bloody awful midwives and health visitors, all women btw over the years, never any male ones but it wouldn't have bothered me in the slightest. When I had a colposcopy some years ago I allowed some students into the room, one was male. What mattered to me most was the treatment I received, not the genitalia of the people present.

When DH had to have several examinations of his testicles the HCP doing the scan, and the one doing the initial examination were both female. Would he have the same right to refuse as some are advocating here?

sweetestcup Sun 06-Oct-13 01:33:21

To tar 50% of the population as abusers etc based on the actions of some of their gender is just plain wrong, no matter what your personal experience.

Dobbiesmum Sun 06-Oct-13 01:44:05

I thought male HCP's had to have someone else present during intimate exams to avoid anything like the experiences described or is that a fairly recent thing?

Opalite Sun 06-Oct-13 01:58:58

Dobbiesmum, his body- his choice. Of course he should have the right to refuse a woman to examine his testicles.

Opalite Sun 06-Oct-13 01:59:49

I can't get my head around the fact that some people on this thread would rather a woman felt uncomfortable or intimidated than a male health visitor get refused...

Opalite Sun 06-Oct-13 02:10:06

The women who feel uncomfortable letting a male into their home or being seen by a male GP ARE NOT TO BLAME society, the massive rape culture, the fact that over 1 in 5 women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 16, the way women are regularly and routinely treated inappropriately by men ETC. ETC. ETC. ETC. ETC.... Do you fucking blame some women for feeling a bit uncomfortable?

missingmumxox Sun 06-Oct-13 03:59:36

last night we had a small electrical fire under the stairs we where trapped upstairs, the fire brigade came and got DS1 out, down the ladder another fire fighter started to come up, to get Ds2 down but I had seen before the helmet went on that it was a woman coming up so I refused her saving my son, even though I then saw that the first fire fighter took off their BA after saving Ds1 and was a woman. when I am in a fire I WANT A MAN TO DO IT! oh! no actually thinking on in my bed in East Grinstead I should just have left the people trained to do their job just get on with it...what do you think?

GET A FUCKING GRIP especially rape quote Opalite,

missingmumxox Sun 06-Oct-13 04:09:22

PS I am a trained nurse and I bloody hate the differences made between male and female nurses and I am the first to offer to chaperone male nurses/doctors/radiographers/physios because of shit that is thrown at them on a daily basis, I also now insist in on a male being present when I examine a man, after a man objected me feeling his testicles....I didn't even examine them...no need...he had a hernia..so blame you waiting lists on time wasters who after a bit of money, so 2 nurses need to be present instead of them both doing a clinic and then the hours they are unavailable while they wait in court to be called...that can take days...enjoy.

missingmumxox Sun 06-Oct-13 04:19:16

pps i do know that sexual abuse has happened in the health service but it is extremely rare, but both men and women are allowed to ask or a chaperone, and it's never been a big request it is just now we feel we need to do it for whole clinics rather than a quick 2 minutes when the patient is vulnerable.

HicDraconis Sun 06-Oct-13 04:45:19

I strip patients when examining them. To listen to the heart and lungs you need clothes not to be in the way. To listen to the heart properly you need (often) to lift the left breast out of the way in female patients, less often with male. Medical students are taught to expose patients to the waist for full heart / lung examination, nipples to knees for abdominal.

If I'm female that's ok - but if a male colleague does the same it isn't? hmm What do all the man-haters do in an emergency when there are only male doctors on? Bleed to death?

HicDraconis Sun 06-Oct-13 04:52:26

Actually some opinions on here have made me really angry. Yes there are going to be some evil people out there who happen to be doctors, but that doesn't make every male doctor someone to be feared and avoided. I work with some truly brilliant, caring, gentle men.

In the same way not all nursery workers are paedophiles because there have been press reports about one or two. Not all GPs are serial killers just because one serial killer happened to be a GP. Not all teachers are lecherous idiots just because one ran off with a pupil. Not all people on benefits are workshy scroungers having their lifestyles funded by the taxpayer in spite of what the DM would have us believe.

Narrow minded bigotry.

Morloth Sun 06-Oct-13 06:13:58

I think the person being examined/treated should have the final say on who they allow to do that.

Me? I don't give a shit either way, just get the job done.

If it means they have to wait a little longer or some feelings get hurt, well that is an uunfortunate consequence.

But no way no how should people have to put up with anyone touching them I they do not wish it.

Their reasons are irrelevant.

hoarseoldfrog Sun 06-Oct-13 06:16:10

I don't think its about bigotry though, its about people's own past experiences and who they feel comfortable with. In the same way I would always try and ask for the sympathetic male doctor I know than the female who is quite dismissive and I feel more anxious around.
The firefighter example is about competency.no one is saying that men are not as competent in these roles as women, just that some peoples personal experiences will make them uncomfortable being examined by someone of a certain gender. People put off seeing their healthcare professionals about em arrassing illnesses anyway, without this additional pressure. I'm sure there are male patients who feel more comfortable seeing a male Dr, and if it means they get necessary treatment quickly, that's for the best.

chrome100 Sun 06-Oct-13 06:29:03

I am writing this as a victim of rape. I think it's appalling to be so suspicious of all men - it's downright sexist and prejudice. Men have just as much right to pursue a career in midwifery as women.

I also disagree that women should be able to refuse treatment from men on "cultural grounds". As a poster above said, either we have equal opps or we don't - it works both ways. In 21st century Britain I completely disagree that people are permitted to refuse care from someone based in their gender.

I was treated for cervical cancer recently which was very traumatic for me because of my past. It was performed by a male. A doctor who happened to be male and one who'd no doubt worked very hard in his chosen career. Not a pervert, not a rapist, a doctor.

Afritutu Sun 06-Oct-13 06:29:13

Male midwife delivered dd2. I couldn't have cared less. It was 4 in the morning and I only just made it in hospital in time. He was fantastic, and stitched up my second degree tear. Unless you are a domestic anuse victim or are of some religion or culture where it is an issue, in the 21at century this Really doesn't matter.

MidniteScribbler Sun 06-Oct-13 06:30:42

Everyone should have the right to not be treated by anyone, for whatever reason. We aren't talking about being served at the grocery store. It's deeply personal situation and every person has the right to feel comfortable and safe when being treated.

Mrsdavidcaruso Sun 06-Oct-13 07:49:00

chrome read my other post about my Aunt is the 70s I for one am very pleased that in the 21st century women are able to take more control over their bodies and their medical environment, can you imagine the storm it would cause on here if today someone posted that their GP had told them that even though they had been on the pill for a while that now they have Mrs before their name and a ring on their finger they are now 2nd class citizens who needs a mans permission for the pill as it would deprive him of his rights to have a child if his wife took contraception without his knowledge, I think MN would crash.

There is no difference no difference at all in a woman being told she HAS to comply with something she hates or disagrees with or that takes away her rights and someone made to feel guilty or difficult if she objects, because someones feelings are going to be hurt or as a medical poster says, it costs more and takes up more time or it does not comply with someones idea of equality.

Its not discrimination, its not sexist, its a woman's right and on the 21st century I celebrate that we have the right to chose, the right to object and the right to complain.

sparklekitty Sun 06-Oct-13 07:53:49

I'd be surprised in the same way I'd be surprised at having a male MW.

That would be it though, a brief 'oh he's a man,ok' then on with whatever he was there to do.

HicDraconis Sun 06-Oct-13 07:54:16

What would everyone have done back when women weren't allowed to be doctors?

I appreciate that some people have been deeply traumatised by others (of both genders!) but rather than avoiding half the population we should be making sure that help is available for people to work through past experiences. Proper, qualified, free-on-the-NHS, help.

I do think the firefighter analogy is relevant. It's not a question of competence - both genders are equally competent in medicine, tho I think orthopaedic surgery is easier for males, it seems to involve more brute strength.

HandMini Sun 06-Oct-13 08:01:36

Hic

What would everyone have done back when women weren't allowed to be doctors? well, thankfully we now have a choice so I don't think any of us can really know. Refused medical help? Probably not.

I appreciate that some people have been deeply traumatised by others (of both genders!) but rather than avoiding half the population we should be making sure that help is available for people to work through past experiences. Proper, qualified, free-on-the-NHS, help. yes, this would be absolutely great. Until that time comes, and I expect on NHS budget it'll be a while, could we just take these simple steps of medical practitioner choice to allow hundreds of abused women less traumatic access to childcare?

I appreciate that may feel defensive as a medic, but surely you can appreciate how crucial this is to some women accessing healthcare at all?

HandMini Sun 06-Oct-13 08:02:22

Sorry "childcare" should have read "healthcare" (researching nurseries at the same time!).

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 08:33:13

Mrsdavidcaruso and opalite. Do you think it is acceptable for someone to refuse to be seen by someone JUST because they are a man? There will always be people who have real issues, but if you don't like it simply because they are male than it is not acceptable.

And I am sure when you book you HV visit they tell you who is coming. If you have a serious issue you can discuss it and stop someone " just turning up"

Yes it is going back to the 70's by refusing a healthcare professional based on sex alone. I though sexual discrimination had dealt with in the work place.

And coconut ring. I feel very sorry for you that you base the entire male medical profession on the case of male colleagues you had to go to court about. Perhaps we should not trust any female healthcare workers because of the atrocious things Beverly Allitt did.

So women have to give reasons of why they do not want a male HCP to treat them? Does the HCP then have to judge if that reason is then acceptable to them? What if it isn't? What if that HCP judges that DV, Rape or Child abuse is not a good enough reason to refuse treatment by a male HCP? Do they then force the woman to go through with the examination?

Why should I have to tell of my experiences everytime to ensure that I can be treated by someone who I feel safe and comfortable with?

MidniteScribbler Sun 06-Oct-13 08:50:38

Do you think it is acceptable for someone to refuse to be seen by someone JUST because they are a man? There will always be people who have real issues, but if you don't like it simply because they are male than it is not acceptable

Yes it is. This is not about a bus driver or someone who sells you your morning newspaper. EVERYONE has the right to say who can and can't touch their bodies and they should never have to justify themselves for their choices. It terrifies me that a vulnerable woman would refuse access to medical care, or may not being willing to talk openly with her medical professionals just because some people think that women with personal reasons for choosing who can and can't touch her should 'just get over it'.

pinkr Sun 06-Oct-13 08:51:09

I had a male student midwife during my recent delivery...he was fantastic and I loved how calm and supportive he was, it also helped dh as they talked about fishing and cooking etc although only after I'd had the epidural! He examined me vaginally after the midwife to see if he could tell how dilated etc and I was asked if it was ok and I didn't mind in the least.
Strangely another girl in my group had him too and she hated him which shows its all about personality not gender.
oh...and I didn't expect a male which is why when I was introduced I remember thinking God that's one ugly woman...in my defence he had long dreadlocks and I was off my tits on pethidine.

I was examined internally when being investigated for pre-eclampsia and the (female) SHO had to go and find someone to chaperone her. I wasn't bothered but it appeared to be policy.

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 08:57:33

Of course you should have a choice about been seen by a male or female HV. In an emergency it is different. You need to accept who you are given. But a HV vsiiting is not an emergency.

At my GP surgery there are things that I will see any GP for, things I will see only a female GP for, and things that I will see only the very sympathetic male GP for. For example, I hate cervical smears, and get very tense beforehand. If I had to see a male, I simply would never have one.

And I am shocked at the poster who says they make patients strip to the waist for heart and lung stethescope examinations. I have a health problem which means I am regularly examined. I have never been asked to strip to the waist, even when being examined by heart consultants. Totally unnecessary. No it can't be done through clothes, but there are more dignified ways of doing these examinations.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 08:59:22

Binky. I understand your view , but why should anyone be barred from doing their job on grounds of sex. If you do want to see a female healthcare professional why shouldn't you have to give a reason - if it is for a reason like rape of course it is acceptable.

But your point of what if the hcp thinks the reason isn't good enough just makes me think you want to argue. Of course there would be specific rules, and of a hcp thought that rape or abuse wasn't a good enough reason they should be invest aged immeadiately.

I have had to see hcp about some very personal issues but I didn't base who I saw on the grounds of sex - I let the person that I could see at the time deal with it. I may have preferred a male ( well actually it didn't bother me either way - but for the sake of example) but a woman was more than capable of doing the job so I let her.

Bust protection needs to be in place for vulnerable people, but a decision based purely on the grounds of sex with no outside factors is discrimination.

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 08:59:31

Also the proportion of women who have been raped is very high. Getting any intimate medical examination can then be very difficult. Getting one from a man can be worse.

I think all women and men should have the right to see a GP or nurse of the same sex if they choose.

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 09:01:01

myself - Nobody should ever have to disclose they were raped. I have never come across health professionals who don't accept that patients have the right to request female or males GPs or nurses.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 09:02:30

Midnitescribbler. I am not just talking women. This thread is about a male hcp visiting a woman but it works both ways.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 06-Oct-13 09:03:56

I think that nobody should be made to feel uncomfortable in personal situations and if a woman wants to see a female professional then she is well within her right.

I recently had my Mirena Coil removed and had to go to a specialist centre due to complications and although I had a female nurse in the room with me and my husband was allowed in too, I still felt very uncomfortable that it was a male doctor performing the removal. I recently had to visit a GP about bleeding in pregnancy and even though I knew I wouldn't need an examination and it was just for a chat, I still said I wanted to see a female GP. I'm a nurse and hat never come across unprofessional behaviour from male professionals but I would still always prefer to see a female over a male when dealing with 'personal matters' smile

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 09:03:58

And many men want to see a male GP about intimate physical stuff. I know my FIL is one. And that is fine. I think he should have that right.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 09:05:31

Grennie. Why don't we just have a segregated healthcare system then? Men only see men and women only see women. And in the case of healthcare that is sex specific only allow people of that sex to do that job?

HandMini Sun 06-Oct-13 09:07:24

* I am shocked at the poster who says they make patients strip to the waist for heart and lung stethescope examinations.* Me too. Other medics - is this standard?

Writerwannabe83 Sun 06-Oct-13 09:07:46

I had to have an ECG done a few months ago and the technician was male. I felt very uncomfortable lying there with my breasts out and couldn't wait for it to be over! I felt the same when I had an ECHO done of my heart, it was a male doing it and feeling his hands on my body and resting against my breasts just felt so wrong. I wish at the time I had asked to have it done by someone else but it isn't always easy to do that when you are put on the spot.

It was a male police surgeon that screwed my head up. I should not have to disclose that everytime a male HCP wants to examine me.

A simple 'please can I have a female doctor/nurse' is far easier as it prevents the meltdown.

I have the right to say who is allowed to touch my body.

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 09:10:39

Mini - It isn't standard. I have had stethescope examinations in hospital and from many GPs. Never been asked to strip to the waist. Male Dr's who have done it tend to be pretty sensitive to privacy, and if they need to listen under my breast, ask me to lift my breast up myself.

MidniteScribbler Sun 06-Oct-13 09:11:45

Your comments really are terrifying Ilovemyself. There is never a time someone should have to justify why they want a person treating them at all. If the patient is prepared to wait to see a different HCP, then what is the problem? And it can be because of gender, because they look like their ex, because they have cold hands, or simply because they just don't click with that person.

Who treat's me is MY choice. Not the government's choice over who they think I should see, not the choice of a hcp who gets offended if someone doesn't want them to treat them, not the choice of posters on an internet forum who think that deciding who can and can't treat you is discrimination. Ridiculous. My body, my choice. Ironically, if we bring up abortion on here, people will turn themselves in knots saying that it is the woman's choice only and she has every right to decide what happens to her body. I guess that just doesn't apply to who gets to do very personal medical examinations.

Patients (male or female) refusing treatment or not being prepared to open up to their doctor about things because they cannot choose who sees them is dangerous. Patients need to be able to feel comfortable and confident in who is treating them, and be willing to discuss all important issues. You cannot dictate who a patient chooses to have treat them.

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 09:12:39

myself - Because for the majority of health procedures, I like most people, don't care if it is a woman or a man.

I did hate having my breasts felt by a male Dr though at the breast clinic, when I had a suspected lump. Sitting stripped to the waist and having a man I had never met before feeling my breasts, felt horrible. But I had no choice. There was no female Dr.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 09:13:01

I think people should just chill out and be relaxed about their bodies. And they are professionals who are looking at you as a patient - not a sex object.

Yes there are people who have had horrific experiences in life, but being uncomfortable with a member of the opposite sex all sounds a bit Victorian to me m

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 09:14:34

Midnite. What do you do if there is no option?

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 09:16:33

I agree scribbler. There is actually 1 female GP in my practice I would not talk to about intimate things as she is so brusque. So I would never book an appointment with her to talk about these - as I know I would probably end up not going. I have the right not to see her as well.

And we already have the situation were many people do not mention "embarassing" things to their GP or nurse like incontinence, painful penetrative sex, etc. Why would we want to make it harder for people to get the healthcare they need?

I have always found the best Drs and nurses understand this.

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 09:17:35

myself - I know you have no issue being treated by a woman or man. But I am kind of shocked at your total lack of empathy

I do hope that you are not a HCP myself.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 09:21:00

Sorry midnite. What I suppose I am rather clumsily saying is why should it bother a person other than previous experience or good old Victorian values about ones body.

I am not saying that you need to disclose a full detailed reason why you have refused them but your reason of just because you don't like them or don't click is ludicrous.

There is a GP at my surgery who I would rather not see because I dont like his manner. But if it is an appointment with that doctor or wait I will see them.

BoffinMum Sun 06-Oct-13 09:21:10

If you don't like male HVs and midwives, etc, what would you do if you developed a rare condition and needed an internationally excellent specialist surgeon for the condition, who statistically speaking would be highly likely to be male? Would you object or would you think 'It's life or death time, let's do this'?

Morloth Sun 06-Oct-13 09:22:06

We don't need segregated healthcare. Just a little respect will do.

The vast majority of people won't mind either way.

For the minority who do, it isn't such a big ask.

Assuming there are both genders available then what is the point of forcing someone to be touched against their will?

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 09:23:50

Mum - I think we all accept there are times when we have to see a male Dr. But when it is cervical smears, internals, breastfeeding support, etc - these are all important but routine procedures. So no, it is not comparable.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 09:24:11

Grennie. I have empathy for those that have a valid reason. Abuse of any sort is the obvious one. But just because you don't want the opposite sex see your body is so Victorian. They are professionals doing a professional job

MidniteScribbler Sun 06-Oct-13 09:24:24

Midnite. What do you do if there is no option?

It wouldn't bother me. I don't actually care whether I'm treated by a male or female. But I respect the rights of other women to choose who treats them.

I think people should just chill out and be relaxed about their bodies

Are you kidding me? People should just get over it? What about a women of a certain faith who are not permitted to be seen by a male? Should they just get over it or not be treated? Do you know how many patients (male or female) would rather die than be treated by a person of the opposite sex? There are women who would be not permitted to seek medical treatment by their husbands if they were to be treated by a male. So many illnesses or even abuse could be missed if they were not permitted to choose their own doctor.

Your total lack of empathy astounds me. I really hope you are not working in the health field. It really scares me.

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 09:24:50

You are taking it upon yourself to decide what is a valid reason then?

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 09:27:09

Morloth. I agree. But it seems the vast majority of people here do want to be able to see a doctor based on their sex so I don't think the vast majority do not mind either way

Writerwannabe83 Sun 06-Oct-13 09:28:08

I think there is a difference between having your body looked at by a male and having your body touched by a male.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 09:31:34

Midnite. If someone's husband does not let them speak to a male doctor that's a whole different issue. An personally I disagree with any faith that makes a female a second class system. And therefore says who should and shouldn't see them.

But yes, I do think it is sad that people can't behave rationally about a hcp dping their job purely based on the grounds that they don't want a man seeing their womanly bits ( or vice versa)

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 09:32:31

Rationally??

Have you actually noticed the society we live in?

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 09:32:32

Writerwannabe. I see your point, but they are still just a person doing a job.

BoffinMum Sun 06-Oct-13 09:34:07

This stuff is awkward but people need to fret less.

An aside -

When I last saw my male gynae, he was checking how my ladygarden repair was healing, and a female nurse was asked to step forward and hold my flaps back so he could get a good view of his repair work.

The nurse did this very professionally until I said, 'Blimey, and we haven't even had dinner yet!' at which point we both cackled with laughter.

The Very Proper male gynae was vair disapproving, because he was being all professional and proper.

grin

ethelb Sun 06-Oct-13 09:35:02

Gosh attitudes on MN are strange. Dont worry if your partner who you thought was a woman used to be a boy, but god forbid if you have a male health visitor shock

I do agree that some women have serious issues with male health professionals. But a lot of women on here seem intent to let their own bigotry influence their behaviour towards drs. It is not ok.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 09:36:31

Ethelb. Exactly.

MidniteScribbler Sun 06-Oct-13 09:36:51

An personally I disagree with any faith that makes a female a second class system.

Whether YOU agree with it or not is completely irrelevant. What is relevant is that vulnerable women may miss out on vital medical care if your "just get over it" were actually a valid reason for denying any patient the choice in who treats them.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 06-Oct-13 09:45:37

During my nurse training and since qualifying I have on many occasions been but in a position of carrying out a potentially embarrassing procedure for a male and I always ask them if they are happy for me to do it or would they prefer a male? It works both ways and I would never feel offended if a male felt uncomfortable about me doing it.

How do you know it is their own bigotry without asking them?

When you ask someone why, you tend to want an explanation for an answer. Many people do not want to give that explanation.

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 09:55:52

I hate having cervical smears. Triuthfully if I was asked why I wanted a female nurse to do it, I would just walk away. I want to be treated like an individual by someone who has some empathy. Not someone who just thinks everyone should think as they do.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 09:56:42

Yes midnite. I am saying they should be refused care! Read what you want into it. I have said vunerable people need to be protected. But those who make a decision based on their Victorian attitude to their body are rather sad.

My children will be taught to have respect for their bodies and to understand that when it comes to things like healthcare the person looking after them is fine, regardless of sex. The trouble is, how many people reinforce the attitude of females shouldn't see male medics for female problems ( or vice versa) buy their own prejudices.

ethelb Sun 06-Oct-13 09:59:30

Binky the problem is that people who have just allowed a v victorian attitude to their body to develop pretend their needs are as serious as someone with a history of abuse.

However it is naive to assume that avoiding men in a medical setting will minimise the chances of being abused. It is a very narrow view. And actually the numbers on here suggest it is an acceptable bigotry.

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 09:59:53

myself - do you work in healthcare?

CaptainUndercrackers Sun 06-Oct-13 10:00:43

Meh, I couldn't care less about whether a doctor/nurse performing physical exams is male or female. But to me the health visitor + midwife roles are different. A lot of the job is about talking to women about their experience, developing a rapport, ensuring they feel supported and safe so they will be open and honest. And that requires the patient to feel comfortable from the outset - it's not really about whether men are capable so much as will they be effective in that role. I wouldn't have felt comfortable with a male HV or MW. I wouldn't have refused their care, I just wouldn't have talked to them as openly about e.g.feeling low after the birth, or problems establishing BF. I think this might be the case for some women - you don't feel you can say no, but you don't feel entirely comfortable, so you just clam up and say everything's fine.

ethelb Sun 06-Oct-13 10:02:17

Grennie why can't they empathise? They have genitals themselves, and nerve endings?

Morloth Sun 06-Oct-13 10:02:27

MN is not representative of society IMO/E.

It doesn't actually matter what someone's reason is.

They have a preference as to who does/does not touch them - where it is possible to cater to that preference it should be done.

Forcing a woman to disclose rape and abuse is a cruel and stupid way to enforce equality.

A bit of kindness, a bit of respect and there is no problem.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 06-Oct-13 10:03:02

What happens in the future ilove if your young or teenage daughter tells you that despite the way she has been bought up by you and your beliefs, she would still prefer to see a female professional when having something intimate done? Are you going to tell her to just stop being silly and get on with it and make her do something she doesn't want to do, regardless of how much emotional damage it could do?

Definitely bring your children up to respect their bodies but this includes them knowing that who touches their bodies is 100% their choice and they should NEVER have to do something or let someone touch them if they don't feel comfortable with it.

The police surgeon that examined me was just doing his job, he wasn't looking at me as a sexual object, he also wasn't looking at me as a child. He looked at me as a piece of evidence, no care, no respect, nothing, I was there purely to provide evidence.

I was forced to undergo an examination that was degrading by someone that was just doing his job. That examination sadly has damaged me, it is not something that I will chill out over.

A HCP would not know about the above unless I told them, it is not written on any medical notes, and if it were I am sure they would not read it as it would be buried.

I am not likely to tell them, if I state that I want to see a female hcp, then I expect the HCP to understand that I might have difficulties, to respect that and to ask no further questions of me.

Don't see a problem, maybe the intial surprise factor having not seen one before but other than that i would be perfectly happy with a male Hv.

I actually had a male midwife when birthing my dd2, and he was excellent, the best by far compared to my other 3 births. Was very gentle with examining and i felt totally at ease.

weirdbird Sun 06-Oct-13 10:07:57

I had a male midwife with Ds the only time I had an issue was when I was meant to be having a sweep and it was meant to be with another female midwife and they swapped them, I was a little shocked but mainly because he was a massive guy and his hands were huge!
He was about 6ft4 and I did refuse.

Oldandcobwebby Sun 06-Oct-13 10:08:46

My wife had a male midwife attending her. He was so much more caring and professional than his female colleagues. She can't sing his praises enough.

BoffinMum Sun 06-Oct-13 10:15:02

Massive hands is a good reason for declining a sweep, I think. wink

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 10:15:09

ethel - I was talking about the lack of empathy of some of the posters here

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 10:16:20

Writer. I would be very disappointed that I had not managed to pass a sensible, mature, balanced attitude about her body and the medical profession. I don't know what I would do. I guess I will have to cross that bridge if it ever happens.

The point is, why is this attitude so prevalent. If you would see a male doctor about a veruca why not about something more "intimate". It doesn't make sense.

Grennie. No I don't. Does that matter. As it happens I have a lot of contact through friends And family. Either way I think people should be able to differentiate between a hcp doing their job and intimate situations outside of that environment.

TheBuskersDog Sun 06-Oct-13 10:20:29

Could you imagine if all the men in hospitals requested only to be looked after by male nurses? Back in the 80s when I was a student nurse a significant amount of time was spent helping men old enough to be my grandfather to perform self care, if they'd all wanted a male nurse to help them they'd never have got cleaned/toiletted etc.

I do find it rather odd that women are so put off about seeing a male medical person tbh, but i can see why some women refuse do to religious, past violence etc.

TheBuskersDog Sun 06-Oct-13 10:27:22

Binky, the way your examination was handled was wrong, but it was the police surgeon's manner that was wrong not his sex.

Mrsdavidcaruso Sun 06-Oct-13 10:28:32

Ilovemyself I dont see the posts you have made on here as sensible, mature or balanced just post after post about Victorian attitudes.

In my first post about this I told the tale of a friend so badly abused and hurt by her partner that she could not bear a man to touch her infact she decided at one point to abort her baby rather then go through the birth process and be touched by another man. In fact she had already contacted a clinic to find out if their staff were all women

A number of fantastic female medical professionals helped her through this and I was also there to support her and when she was too upset to speak I was her voice.

If I had come across someone with an attitude like yours in any of the professionals treating her I would have decked them

FreudiansSlipper Sun 06-Oct-13 10:29:47

If a woman has been raped/abused or a man is it not understandable why they would feel they should have that choice and why should they have to disclose that everytime when it could bring up very painful memories. Some people can not talk about or even say I have been raped it is to painful and often shameful for them to

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 10:30:28

Binky. Thank you for telling us that. It can't be easy to revisit. Of course your option to see a female should never be removed. I can't even imagine what it must have been like.

The people I am getting at are those who think that the attitude of not wanting a hcp to deal with them just because they are the opposite sex. We have a long way to go, but without reason like yours why should people be concerned who looks at them from a medical point of view

but you listening to me saying I do not want to see a male HCP would not know of the background to why. You would have to ask me and I would not want to tell you.

Yes men and women might use bigotry for a reason but you can not know that unless you ask. You can not ask them because you run the risk of running into someone like me.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 10:35:56

Mrsdavid. As per my last post, people like your friend are the example of who should be able to chose. She was lucky to have you as her voice. It is awful your friend considered abortion rather than have a man touch her.

Actually it IS a mature pov to think that you are not bothered by what sex looks after you, so the point stands. As does he fact that most people have no other reason than some outdated values system

FreudiansSlipper Sun 06-Oct-13 10:38:48

How do you know that Ilovemyself how do you know it is down to some as you call it outdated value system

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 10:40:01

I don't agree it is a mature point of view. We are brought up in a world where men treat women a certain way. That is not automatically discarded because they work in a certain job.

And if you think male healthcare staff never judge a woman's body, you have obviously never read any blogs by male Drs where they say this is common.

I also read a really interesting piece of research which showed that women who are conventionally very attractive, get more breast exams than other women. Coincidence?

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 10:40:17

Binky. Her has to be an easy way. Something that flags you should only be treated by females except in a life or death situation. It doesn't have to say why - just be a tick box for your GP. Then when you are referred it is noted as a flag.

I just believe we can't have true equality until people can't base decisions on reasons of sex alone.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 10:42:51

Freudian. Because it puts women in a secondary place and it treats our bodies like they are something to be ashamed of.

Our bodies are just our bodies.

Grennie. I guess female drs treat male patients as meat as well then.........

Why would I want another label attaching to my records for anyone who has access to them to see, why can't I just say 'I want to see a female' and for that to be respected no matter what my reasons are.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 06-Oct-13 10:48:44

That is exactly what you should expect Binky.

FWIW - I have worked in healthcare for 10 years and have never heard any professional complain that they had been 'refused' (for want of a better word). We accept that in our role we are dealing with people's privates bodies and feelings and that we respect everyone's right to request to be seen by males or females. I have never ever refused such a request and nor have any colleague that I have ever come across. Any professional that does ignore a patients wishes or feelings, or takes offence to it, is in the wrong job!

CailinDana Sun 06-Oct-13 10:48:57

I don't normally mind whether I see a man or a woman but two recent experiences have sort of changed my mind. I'm bfing and found a lump, which was biopsied. I then had some complications which meant I ended up seeing a few different doctors. The female doctors/nurses were very matter of fact but also sensitive to any discomfort I might feel by covering me up, not making me wait too long while undressed etc.
I also saw two males. The first, a GP, got really flustered when I said the word "breast" and said "I'll have to look at it," with great dismay in his voice. You swear I'd asked him to sniff my poo! He got a nurse in to chaperone (I didn't request it) and literally stood a metre away from me while examining me. The nurse was not impressed and had a good look herself. Overall he acted like an embarrassed schoolboy having to examine his mum. Totally unprofessional.
Second guy was a very experienced breast surgeon. He had me take off my bra, did his examination and then proceeded to have a long discussion with me sitting there naked to the waist and boobs leaking all over my trousers. I sort of gestured in embarrassment expecting him to hand me my clothes (which were behind him) but he didn't and I actually had to shout over him to get him to hand me my stuff. It was bizarre

FreudiansSlipper Sun 06-Oct-13 10:51:22

I am not sure why you think a woman who is religious is ashamed of her body

do you really think that women are ashamed of their bodies who are religious?

and do people have to disclose their reason

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 10:54:29

Binky. You have me there. I agree.

I just don't think it acceptable for anyone to disagree just because of sex. I know it will take a long time but it is an attitude that should be changed.

Can anyone justify why it should be accepatble to be uncomfortable with the opposite sex just on the grounds of sex alone ( no outside factors )

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 10:55:47

Freudian. That comment was based on those whose partner will not allow them to see a male doctor because of religious grounds.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 06-Oct-13 11:03:53

I just feel uncomfortable with men I don't know looking at or touching my naked body, especially my sexual organs. That's a good enough reason in my eyes smile As I said earlier in the thread I have never refused a man to carry out such procedures, but the 3 times where I had to allow a male to touch me (breasts and genitals) I really didn't like it. I know they are professionals and I kept repeating that to myself in my head whilst the procedures were going on, but I felt very uncomfortable.

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 11:09:41

Because we live in a male dominated society where men are taught to look at and treat women in a certain way.

I know you won't agree - myself.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 11:10:12

Writer. I am interested in why you feel that way. It can't be just because. There has to be a reason- maybe the way you were brought up ( not knocking your parents)

I am not judging you - just asking as it may help me explain my self better

FreudiansSlipper Sun 06-Oct-13 11:13:58

but why do you think religious women (not sure which religion) are ashamed of their body

not wishing to show your body and being ashamed of your body are not the same thing

Writerwannabe83 Sun 06-Oct-13 11:14:16

I agree with you Grennie. It's sad but true. After centuries of women being seen as sex objects for men to leer over it will take a long time before that view point disappears. When I had my ECG and ECHO done in which my breasts were exposed I did think, "I wonder if the man doing this procedure is looking at them and thinking about them sexually? Will he go go home tonight and tell his friends that he saw a great pair today..." It does go through some women's heads.

It certainly isn't right that we feel like that but it happens.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 11:16:07

Freudian. It was an example given to me that women of some religions are not allowed to show their body to the opposite sex.

And what reason is their if you have not suffered abuse is there. Just because it is a man ( or woman ) has no justification.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 11:17:24

Writer. As I said it will take a long time to fix those attitudes but at the moment there is no desire to do so if you look at what is said on here.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 06-Oct-13 11:19:30

ilove - I actually grew up in quite a sexually open environment. My mum was/is a very attractive woman, had an amazing figure, huge boobs and men loved her. She enjoyed the attention she got off men and would openly flirt with them around me and my sister etc. I think we were bought up in an environment where being attractive to men was considered important. Me and my sister have also been quite fortunate in our looks, inheriting our mothers figure and features and our mom used to pass comment on our looks/bodies, showing off about us and it just further reinforced our beliefs that to have men look at us was a very good thing and that we should see ourselves as attractive and sexual.

After being bought up around that since I was about 7 it is ingrained in me now that men look at women from a sexual angle - especially me. And I don't say that because I have a big opinion of myself or anything like that, but because I was raised to think that is how men look at me, as just something sexual and attractive.

FreudiansSlipper Sun 06-Oct-13 11:28:29

it is not about being ashamed of their body it is about a belief that prefably a women of the same religion sould treat them but it is the preference not the rule

and why if that is your beliefs should that not be respected unless you feel religion and peoples personal beliefs do not matter when treating people medically. In that case for all other reasons it should not matter because these feeling run very deep

SunshineMMum Sun 06-Oct-13 11:30:12

I am shocked that women are having to justify discomfort. I think it is far more Victorian to expect women to put up and shut up with experiences they feel uncomfortable with.

FreudiansSlipper Sun 06-Oct-13 11:31:49

writer my upbringing is similar it is not healthy

Writerwannabe83 Sun 06-Oct-13 11:33:32

I know it's not Freudian - even now I look back on some aspects of my childhood and teenage years and realise how destructive my upbringing had been. I cringe when I recall some of the things my mum said or did or ways in which she embarrassed me or my sister.

MrsDeVere Sun 06-Oct-13 11:45:42

Why on earth should a woman or a man have to justify why want to be seen by a HCP of their own gender?

When this issue came up a while ago and I said that women who objected were accused of thinking that male HCPs fancied them
I was called liar.

Yet here we are again.

I would not object to a male HV.
I would not want a male MW.

I will see male nurses and doctors for lots of things but not others.

I am not a prude nor do I think I am so irresistible that a man would lust after me. I do not doubt that male HCPs are as good as female ones.

As long as I have a choice I will continue to express my preference.
I see it as part of the long fight toward equality not against it.

There used to be no choice for women. You did as you were told and put up with all manner of indignities because that is what the patriarchal medical system said you must do.

I am glad that has changed. No woman should ever be forced to examined by a man and they should not have to justify their choice not to be.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 11:56:38

It's not destructive to bring someone up to respect their body and know when it is appropriate for someone to see it.

And it's funny that at a time when the general opinion of some religions is that they need to be more equal to women this site in particular is supporting it.

Sunshine - it is not about put up or shut up. It is about having a sensible healthy attitude about those looking after your health.

Morloth Sun 06-Oct-13 12:44:12

It doesn't matter why someone doesn't want to be touched by someone else.

It is their body and they get final say.

JustGettingOnWithIt Sun 06-Oct-13 12:50:56

I turned away the male nurse or hcp half my age who came to automatically bed bath me when I was lying partially paralysed and drooling on the admissions ward. I was polite and apologetic, but sorry I wasn’t ok with it. I was later told at my age (then mid 40’s) I was being ridiculous!

He didn’t then make it better by miming curvaceous slow stokes with his sponge whilst telling me grinning from ear to ear in broken English that all the old ladies loved him doing it and so would I.
Before anyone calls me racist I’m not, I’m trying to paint for you the whole picture and mannerisms that suddenly appeared at the end of the bed while I was reeling from what had just happened to me.

I’ve previously had a male nurse tending post-surgery abdominal wound, without problem, but no thanks for a full bed bath.

I was punished for it by a washing bowl then being placed at the end of the bed daily and a refusal to put it near my good arm by female nurses and hcp’s, (as was food, as I’d rendered myself self-care only, and no male hcp’s near me, by saying no thanks to being bed bathed by a male) removed untouched each day, and left to lie in my own filth and blood and unchanged bed for several days until I was moved to another ward. (Very good, then onto long term and horrendous)

Fine, the message is received: nursing is about meeting nurse’s and hcp’s needs, I have no rights or autonomy over my own body, I am the wrong age and sex to have any rights or dignity respected, better to not seek medical help if you don’t accept that position. (I now don’t generally)

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 12:58:05

justgetting - That is terrible. And I know many elderly people refuse to complain about anything or "make a fuss" in case they too are punished - my mum for one.

Yes it is about the patients needs. Not the healthcare staff's.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 06-Oct-13 13:04:32

That is awful justgetting - really really shocking!

And on the flip side - when I was training to be a nurse I spent a few weeks on a male ward and the men would be begging us all for bed baths and then making very inappropriate comments during it. It just goes to show how different genders perceive various procedures and how the roles of men and women are viewed in society. I used to hate giving the men their bed baths, listening to their comments of "If I were 20 years younger..." and seeing their salacious grins out the corners of my eyes - just vile!!

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 13:06:02

writer - sad

And some here want us to ignore the realities of the society we live in and act as if we live in a paradise instead.

pigsDOfly Sun 06-Oct-13 13:16:51

No one has the right to tell anyone that they are being silly, victorian, or precious for wanting to be treated by someone of their own gender.

I have never refused to be treated by a man and god knows I've had to have enough intimate examinations, and my daughters are the same.

Victorian woman wouldn't have refused to see a man for medical treatment Ilovemyself, they would have put up and shut up because they had no choice, they couldn't even vote.

Women have fought long and hard for the rights they have today. Surely one of the biggest rights we have is a say over who touches our bodies.

ethelb Sun 06-Oct-13 13:19:34

@sunshine I think that women doing very little to attempt to overcome their knee-jerk reactions (serious issues aside) is unacceptable though.

ethelb Sun 06-Oct-13 13:21:31

@pigs not without examining the reasons for not wanting to be touched medically by male health care professionals. I really fail to see the difference between an old person feeling uncomfortable with an ethnic minority health care professional and a woman who assumes that a male health care professional is more likely to behave inappropriatly.

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 13:30:39

A person not wanting to be touched by some who is black, is being sexist. Black people are in a position of having less power than white people in society.

A woman not wanting to be touched intimately by a man, is in a position where men in society have more power than women. It is totally different.

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 13:31:12

Sorry! First sentence should say, is being racist.

CoconutRing Sun 06-Oct-13 13:36:07

I assume that a male HCP is more likely to behave inappropriately because you cannot take the male out of the man.

When I was a nurse, I was with a group of male student doctors who were shadowing a gynae consultant. I was the chaperone. We were outside the ward and the consultant said to the students "you will be doing pelvic exams today, don't worry, you will probably only feel your own anatomy for the first 70 examinations".

Morloth Sun 06-Oct-13 13:39:35

I agree that it would be racist/sexist but as I said I don't think the reason matters.

There will be times where circumstances override consent (unconscious/emergency etc). There will be times where the request cannot be accommodated so refusing treatment by that HCP is refusing all treatment, it might result in a delay in treatment all of these outcomes should be communicated to the patient.

But right down at the base of it is that patient's bodily integrity.

If I don't want You to touch Me then don't fucking touch me.

Opalite Sun 06-Oct-13 13:42:59

I don't usually say things like this about posts on the internet but I am fucking sickened annd disgusted that I was told to get a grip when I quotes very real statistics. It doesn't make me a man hater, look around look at how society is and how it affects women ffs. Why would you wantt to deny a woman the right to feel safe. My body- my choice, my home- my choice why the fuck would you want to ake those choices away? Why should any woman have to explain her reasons for not wanting to see a male hcp?

pigsDOfly Sun 06-Oct-13 13:43:45

Exactly Morloth.

ethelb Sun 06-Oct-13 13:45:05

@grennie even a black doctor?

Opalite Sun 06-Oct-13 13:47:38

The thing is that I know I'm not alone in the fact that no, I don't hate men but when I'm walking down a dark alleyway, I feel very different when a man is walking towards or behind me than when a woman is... that is just one example. I wish society was different, I really wish it was and then there would be no need for any woman to feel scared or unsafe or intimidated when she is alone in her house with a strange man BUT society hasn't changed yet and doesn't look like it will change very soon. The least a woman should be allowed is to feel comfortable when she can while society is this way

Opalite Sun 06-Oct-13 13:49:02

No it isn't bigoted at all and I think you should really think about where your sympathies lie...

ubik Sun 06-Oct-13 13:49:14

I think most HCP would try to accommodate if you want a nurse of a particular gender.
But

I also know of a woman who went into early labour and was rushed to hospital by her husband who then insisted only female clinicians attended. Given this was an emergency situation the hospital could not accommodate his demand and he took his labouring wife, put her back in the car and took her to another hospital. At that hospital he was taken aside by the male doctor and strong words were had. In the end, a female clinician was found.

MrsDeVere Sun 06-Oct-13 13:50:20

The racist issue is entirely different.

It has nothing to do with this issue.

Women do not ask to see a female HCP because the hate men or think they are inferior or dirty or criminal.

DropYourSword Sun 06-Oct-13 13:52:58

Can I just point out I have worked with a number of male midwives (or as we call them...midwives). They were all excellent and I would definitely want them to care for me. They all understood perfectly that some women would choose to decline to be cared for by them because they were male. They never ever asked for or expected any explanation as to why they had been declined and understood it was part of their job.

Morloth Sun 06-Oct-13 14:00:23

Did no one think to ask the actual patient what she wanted in that scenario ubik?

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 14:00:38

Drop - there is a male HCP on this thread who has said he is hurt when women don't want to be cared for him. So not all feel like that. I think everyone just needs to remember they are there for the benefit of the patients.

DropYourSword Sun 06-Oct-13 14:05:19

I read that comment grennie and therefore wrote my comment to illustrate that not every make HCP felt like that.

I also think he had a right to feel hurt.

SunshineMMum Sun 06-Oct-13 14:07:07

I can only speak for myself, but there is nothing knee jerk about my reaction. What I am saying is, women should not have to justify their discomfort. If there is a choice during giving birth and after care for a child, when intimate details are being discussed I would plump for a female. This goes across the board with routine exams such as smears or the like. When male midwives were brought in there was a lot of opposition and as I understand it women can still refuse.

As it happens for me, this was taken out of my hands. They were major cock ups around DS's C section birth made by both male and female members of that operating theatre. At the end of the day, it isn't about competancy, fairness or even equality, these people are there to give women the best possible experience during birth and after. We are not cattle.

Moxiegirl Sun 06-Oct-13 14:10:03

My daughter is in a psych unit, she was raped just over a year ago. When she is very unwell she refuses to have men on her 'obs'. No one minds!
It's called being sensitive to people's experiences and feelings.

DropYourSword Sun 06-Oct-13 14:12:40

Unfortunately sunshinemum women pretty much are treated as cattle in maternity hospitals. It's why I left midwifery in the UK...so seriously underfunded and understaffed. It wasn't for a lack of care on midwives part, but there just wasn't enough of us and the stress gets too much. But I guess that's a WHOLE different thread!

SunshineMMum Sun 06-Oct-13 14:15:53

I can't argue with you there drop your sword, which makes it all the more important for women to have 'some' say over what happens.

JustGettingOnWithIt Sun 06-Oct-13 14:24:24

Grennie longer term ward was geriatric, and I witnessed the appalling treatment meted out to older women there, all of whom counselled me to be quiet about it as they could suffer if I said anything. I’d already learnt it was likely to be true.
The situation wasn’t great on male bays, but indignities such as being left without closed curtains when examined, using bed pans, commodes or washing, seemed to be reserved for older women with the oldest getting it worst, and dementia suffers having no right to any privacy.

On that ward although some very nasty unrelated things eventually happened to me, I was considered ‘young enough’ as a female, to be automatically allowed my curtains properly closed without fuss or objection, but I repeatedly heard older women told no one was interested in looking at them, mainly from female staff.

Writer I don’t doubt that for a minute, and assume it is a horrible potential pitfall for female nurses with male patients, just as having some women refuse male nurses perform all nursing functions is theirs.

I can see that life for nurses and hcp's of either sex and different races is complicated and often difficult and potentially demeaning, and as Grennie says “the realities of the society we live in.”

LeGavrOrf Sun 06-Oct-13 14:38:49

I agree with DavidcAruso.

Nobody should feel forced to be made to feel uncomfortable of they don't want to see a male or female doctor. My fil always requested to see a male doctor when he had prostate troubles. I would always request to see a female doctor for intimate issues, or t the very least have a female nurse present. I would not want a male midwife, health visitor or obstetrician. I do.not want to go into they reasons why every time I request this, and thankfully nobody hAs ever made me. I think that medical professionals of both genders should realise that these requests should be made.

To the male hcp who has posted here in hurt tones, you need to grow up pal. It's not about you. It is about a persons right to control over who gets to touch their body.

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 14:43:29

just getting - sad Those poor women. Yes my mum has talked about a total lack of sensitivity and privacy. Oh and having a male HCP laughing at her and calling her a snob for reading The Times.

LeGavrOrf Sun 06-Oct-13 14:45:29

I agree with DavidcAruso.

Nobody should feel forced to be made to feel uncomfortable of they don't want to see a male or female doctor. My fil always requested to see a male doctor when he had prostate troubles. I would always request to see a female doctor for intimate issues, or t the very least have a female nurse present. I would not want a male midwife, health visitor or obstetrician. I do.not want to go into they reasons why every time I request this, and thankfully nobody hAs ever made me. I think that medical professionals of both genders should realise that these requests should be made.

To the male hcp who has posted here in hurt tones, you need to grow up pal. It's not about you. It is about a persons right to control over who gets to touch their body.

skyeskyeskye Sun 06-Oct-13 15:01:45

I had a male HV. His job was to check my baby, jab my baby, weigh it, measure it.... Why should his being male prevent him doing any if those things?

He had 4 young DC of his own.

LeGavrOrf Sun 06-Oct-13 15:04:55

Sorry for double posts.

The reason I will not have a male hcp for gynaecology reasons is because when I was young and pregnant I had a distressing internal conducted by a gp, asked to strip naked, lie on a bed and have a very rough internal. All in silence and unexplained. Not accompanied by a nurse. Being young and stupid I just thought that that was normal and felt shamed and pretty violated for years. I will be damned if I will tell anyone that when I ask for a female, or ask for an accompanying nurse at worst.

Hcps can also give personal reasons for not treating someone. When I had an abortion the original gp I saw would not refer me because of their Christian beliefs, so had to see another gp in the practice. Which was fine. Some midwives were upheld weren't they in a tribunal recently because they did not want to treat women who had had terminations due to their Catholicism. So the choice for personal reasons goes both ways.

JustGettingOnWithIt Sun 06-Oct-13 15:15:42

Grennie please believe her, I've only mentioned the very tip of the iceberg witnessed, because it was relevant to this thread. I'm permanently disabled and have made the decision to opt for euthanasia when older knowing what awaits me if I don't. Quality of life is everything.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 15:16:01

Pigsdofly. When I said Victorian values I was talking about our attitude to our bodies.

Coconut. What you are essentially saying is that all men are sexist and driven by the genetalia if I read you right.

Grennie Sun 06-Oct-13 15:25:14

justgetting - Thanks. If she does have to go back in I will try and be with her as much as is physically possible. At the moment though, she is refusing to go back in for an operation that would improve her quality of life.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 15:52:48

I guess I should give up. The point I was making was that we should not have to worry.

I guess I should simply accept that I and all my male friends are controlled by our dicks and nothing else

Opalite Sun 06-Oct-13 15:56:57

Ilovemyself if society was different right now then these issues wouldn't exist, society is the way it is at the moment and you should understand that

JustGettingOnWithIt Sun 06-Oct-13 17:10:30

Apologies for a side conversation on this thread.
Grennie I can't explain to you how a normally strong independant woman can be reduced to a point where an early death or ill health seems a better option, but that's what being abused by people who are supposedly there to look after you when you are absolutely helpless, can bring you to.

I have three days neurosurgical hospital coming up next week, I have to submit or risk losing my only limited income. It's taken two years to drag me in.
I'm absolutely terrified, because I know I don't want to do all of what they will want, and I want to refuse one small part and accept the possible consequences, because I know what doing it will do to me,and no one will look at my future needs as a carer or as a 'fully functioning' woman, neither count if a proffesional decides so.
Failure to co operate is a dangerous thing to do. I want autonomy and it's not allowed, and I'm so scared that someone's going to get angry and I'll be punished heavily for it, and I'm going to be absolutely helpless to protect myself or my future. i probably sound ridiculous but I know what's hapened and what I'm afraid of, and what I've seen happen, and all trust is destroyed, and in all other ways I'm strong, independent, and not so easily diminshed.

I'd try and find out exactly what's behind her decision, there maybe something quite specific or more than one thing, as there is for me.

JustGettingOnWithIt Sun 06-Oct-13 17:12:17

Ilovemyself I don’t believe for one minute that every male HCP is controlled by their dick, and I have no problem with all sorts of procedures being carried out by male HCP's, but I’ll still reserve the right to say no to specific ones, and that’s because of how I feel about me, not anything against the male HCP, usually. (scummily behaved one's not icluded!)

Would you really want to be carrying out any task on a woman who you knew was being deeply disturbed by it, and if yes why?

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 18:17:01

Justgettingonwithit. Of course I don't want anyone to have to have a procedure that disturbs them for what ever reason.

But it is frustrating that people give the answer because it's a man and then can't quantify that ( I am talking about on here at the moment - not in the face to face situation which I do agree is different)

The whole point I am trying to make is neither male nor female should have any issue with seeing a hcp of the opposite sex. But it appears to be ingrained from birth that it is embarrassing (at best) and at worst that you will be treated as a sex object.

I think it does a great disservice to many many people that work in medicine to tar them all with the same brush. And I also think that men on the whole these days are a lot better than is made out on this thread.

My sister right from day 1 of her medical training treated her patients as another human being. Their sex doesn't come into it. The same can be said of her partner who is also a hcp.

Of course some of the people that have told us their awful stories need protecting and not putting in a place where they are likely to be distressed. Neither, I guess, should those with the attitude that they don't want to see a male doctor because all males are sexist and will objectify them or worse. But the latter should really become a thing of the past as we get over the views about men that seem to be so prelevant on here.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 18:20:12

Hi opalite. The reason why I find it hard to understand is I don't see society as being like that. My friends do not objectify woman, and I am fairly confident are not rapist or sexual predators (although I know you can't always tell)

Opalite Sun 06-Oct-13 18:21:38

Ilovemyself, I think the views about women are the bigger problem... There are reasons that women feel uncomfortable, that's what needs to change! Society needs to change, can you blame women for not feeling comfortable when society is the way it is at the moment?

Opalite Sun 06-Oct-13 18:24:00

It's great that you and your friends aren't sexual predators. That doesn't change the facts and statistics

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 18:34:05

Opalite. I will start with saying i am asking this in a friendly way ( I know my posts always come across as either condescending or arsey). Please can you provide me with a link to these statistics. I would rather look at them and learn something from this than just get the normal back and forth that happens on here.

The comment about not being sexual predators was not meant flippantly which is how I think you took it. It was actually meant as I have no experience of this amongst my group of friends.

CoconutRing Sun 06-Oct-13 18:38:07

"My sister right from day 1 of her medical training treated her patients as another human being. Their sex doesn't come into it. The same can be said of her partner who is also a hcp."

I am delighted that your sister and her partner see patients as human beings.

When I see HCPs, I see them as men and women. I cannot be gender neutral. I chose female HCPs. I don't care what male HCPs think of my decision. It's not about them, it's all about me, my care, my body and my choice. You could be the best doctor or surgeon in the world, but I still wouldn't chose you.

CoconutRing Sun 06-Oct-13 18:39:41

*choose

Opalite Sun 06-Oct-13 18:40:55

I'll link to a couple of statistics but I am surprised that you haven't realised what a huge problem the way women are treated in society is...

http://www.rapecrisis.org.uk/Statistics2.php but really, just look around, in the media and in day to day life

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 18:46:32

Coconut. I find it a shame you feel that way because of the arseholes you had to deal with.

I agree with all moth at you have said, but how can you include it is about your care when your care potentially could be better with a male hcp ?

candycoatedwaterdrops Sun 06-Oct-13 18:55:26

I will always support women and men having the choice to choose HCPs and to choose who looks at and touches their body. HOWEVER, I do think some women on here are showing prejudice in thinking that the majority of male HCPs are thinking anything other than medical thoughts when examining a woman.

I have issues stemming from childhood but I will suck it up and let any qualified doctor look at me. I've found when I'm in pain or when something needs dealing with, I don't give a flying fig who is looking/touching as long as they sort it out. I suffer from a painful skin condition and every GP in my surgery has seen my nether regions. When I'm that distressed, I'd probably show the entire waiting room if I felt it would help.

Opalite Sun 06-Oct-13 18:57:11

That's your choice candycoatedwaterdrops but you'd be perfectly reasonable to request not to be seen by male doctors, as would anyone else

JustGettingOnWithIt Sun 06-Oct-13 18:57:21

Ilovemyself in my old industry being female was a sign of automatic incompetence as the three bits I was in was a male bastion. I took in on the chin that some men would feel like that and on occasions refuse to deal with me with no good reason, and I'd have to work round it, not get all hurt on them for not trusting me.
You and other males want equality in a traditionally female industry and you're working at it, but Rome wasn't built in a day.
Nowadays being female in my old life is still quite rare but it's no longer an automatic bar and it should become a thing of the past but women will still have to accept the way men are within it, and a lack of confidence from many of them for a long time yet, even though everyone knows any woman will have had to be at least twice as good to be considered equal.

I get wheeled out for charity work sometimes and returned from an exhibition this morning with info for a new product and the obligatory free T Shirt.
The product is named the G spot, (why wouldn't you automatically think what a great name when selling to men, eh?) and the T shirt proudly proclaims ‘ G spot operator’, and everyone's begging me for it even though they won’t be using the product, so while you and your friends feel you represent the average male, I think you'll find my colleagues and suppliers to, are busily disagreeing with you and representing their idea of the average male interest. That’s the reality of society, we all have a long way to go.

CailinDana Sun 06-Oct-13 19:30:36

Ilove, in my case the two male doctors I saw for my breast problem made me uncomfortable with their behaviour - one by being awkward and embarrassed and one by being weirdly unconcerned by my obvious discomfort and by leaving me sitting there half naked with boobs leaking everywhere. Both experiences were really negative whereas my many other experiences with female doctors were absolutely fine because the females (I felt) hit the right tone

CailinDana Sun 06-Oct-13 19:33:40

The reason for that I think is simple. Female doctors have breasts and so are awarethat while exposing them isn't super embarrassing (for most women) sitting there half naked does make you feel vulnerable.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sun 06-Oct-13 19:38:25

If a doctor left me feeling uncomfortable for whatever reason, I would blame that particular doctor for having a poor bedside manner and I might not want to see them again. I would not automatically assume that their poor bedside manner was purely due to being of a certain sex, so I'm not sure why so many women on here are. confused

Writerwannabe83 Sun 06-Oct-13 19:41:28

Thanks for that link Opalite - those statistics are shocking!

contortionist Sun 06-Oct-13 19:45:41

candycoatedwaterdrops - I quite agree. If you have a bad experience with a particular HCP, refusing to see all others of the same sex is plainly sexist. It would make more sense to refuse to see any others who studied at the same university, or trained at the same hospital, etc. etc.

HandMini Sun 06-Oct-13 19:47:56

Cailin - you have my sympathies - I had a boob op earlier this year and the female surgeon examined me (lying topless, obv, on the bed) then proceeded to discuss my options with me surrounded by her colleagues looming over me while I lay half stripped on the bed. I got cross and told her what a shite way to treat patients that was (had reached end if tether with boob pain and quite enjoyed letting rip).

CailinDana Sun 06-Oct-13 20:00:11

Oh I let rip at the surgeon about the treatment I'd had too mini - they'd led me to believe a biopsy wouldn't affect bfing, which it did, and considering I had a bottle refusing non-weaned baby it made me pretty darn angry. I was so busy ranting and raving about that that I didn't even think to ask him how it was appropriate to leave me sitting there topless and leaking. He started out quite smooth and condescending but by the end he looked so

CailinDana Sun 06-Oct-13 20:01:34

battered I felt quite sorry for him. What was the reaction of your surgeon?

HandMini Sun 06-Oct-13 20:11:46

She was ok about it, said "sorry, sorry, of course, yes", pulled the curtain, let me get dressed etc. But I was so ill and so upset and with the high emotion of it, I remember leaving the room afterwards pushing my tiny DD and just getting to Starbucks and having a massive blub and that so could have been avoided if she'd just been NICE.

Anyway, to get back on thread topic, I mainly wanted to share that because of Cailin's similar story but also to show that its not always men who are insensitive idiots.

foreverondiet Sun 06-Oct-13 20:36:09

My son has a male nursery teacher. Is that a problem too?

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 06-Oct-13 20:36:47

I'm a hcp and at times it's appropriate for the patient to want to see a hcp of a particular gender. I get that patients may not want certain procedures undertaken by a man. Similarly if we have a teenage boy in he might not want a female nurse to wash and change him, it's no biggie.

However to think that all male hcp are capable of being inappropriate based purely on their gender is appalling. I have plenty of male nurse friends and I feel sorry for them knowing that some patients feel like that based on them being a bloke. Absolutely ridiculous and offensive. Good care is not down to gender.

MrsDeVere Sun 06-Oct-13 20:44:06

Why would a male nursery worker be a problem?
None of the men working at my son's nursery are going be giving me a smear test or breast exam.

GangstersLoveToDance Sun 06-Oct-13 20:47:48

A make hv would be fine with me.

I would probably refuse a male mw though. I can't imagine I'd want a man present during birth or aftercare and definitely not when establishing bf which sometimes requires man-handling (no pun intended) of breasts to help the latch.

Similarly I'd rather a female gp if it was to discuss anything gynae related.

I couldn't really give a flying fuck if anyone minded. It's my choice what I'm comfortable with.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 21:16:30

Opalite. Those figures are awful. 1 rape or sexual assault is too many.

It would be interesting to see if stats are available for the number of men committing the crimes. 1 man in 300 being rapists or 1 man in 150 as a sexual offender ( which is an estimate I have made from the census figures from 2011) is far too many. It is certainly higher than I thought.

I personally do not think it justifies the attitude all men are rapists or sexual offenders but it is not an amount I am happy to see at all.

ReallyTired Sun 06-Oct-13 21:51:51

"
It would be interesting to see if stats are available for the number of men committing the crimes. 1 man in 300 being rapists or 1 man in 150 as a sexual offender ( which is an estimate I have made from the census figures from 2011) is far too many. It is certainly higher than I thought. "

I suspect that many men are serial offenders and have more than one rape conviction. If say 300 women are raped, it doesn't necessarily mean that there are 300 rapists.

Ilovemyself Sun 06-Oct-13 22:14:50

Really tired. I agree. I was working on a worst case scenario.

CailinDana Sun 06-Oct-13 22:44:51

The important point to take from the statistics is how many women have experienced some form of sexual assault. And that's just the known ones - many more women never tell anyone about it. The issue is that a very high number of women do have a "legitimate" reason not to want male hcps- not because they believe those men are rapists but because being in a vulnerable position around a man is too difficult given how other men have abused them in the past.

ReallyTired Mon 07-Oct-13 09:35:05

Lets say a white woman is horrendously raped by a black man should she have the right to refuse health care from all black health professionals? (Does the fact that one black man is a rapists mean that all black people including women and chidlren are bad?)

Where do we draw the line and say that it is not OK to refuse healthcare from a black health professional or a catholic health professional or a gay health professional or on grounds of gender. Should making the patient "comfortable" always take piority?

Ilovemyself Mon 07-Oct-13 10:15:33

Caulindana. If we just take the statistic that we have at the moment I don't think 1% ( if you add rape and sexual assault) is a very high number. Too high of course, and in no way acceptable.

But if a consultant sees 100 people a day ( and I guess this is too high a number) it is one person a day. Yes, provision should be made for them but I don't think the figures justify the view that most men either are, or agree with abuse of women

ReallyTired Mon 07-Oct-13 10:20:27

If someone is a victim sexual assult then surely the solution is to have a chaparone. The idea that you can refuse all health care from a man is unacceptable.

Female health professionals are potentially capable of abuse.

MrsDeVere Mon 07-Oct-13 10:39:05

Reallytired if someone was raped by a black man the person was raped by a man.
Why would they be likely to refuse treatment by a black woman?

If we follow that logic women who are raped by white men would surely refuse to be treated by white women too.

A chaperone is not the answer.

Forcing a woman to expose her body to a man is unacceptable, whatever the reason.

There are no parallels here with racism or homophobia.

ReallyTired Mon 07-Oct-13 10:59:50

But some posters make it clear that they will not see ANY male health professional. Only a tiny amount of health care is gynological.

Would you pander to someone who refused to see a male ENT surgeon or a male consultant about their broken finger. Or would the patient have the option of bringing a family member with them. Surely the chances of an ENT surgeon abusing a patient is the same as a health visitor abusing a patient.

I have never exposed my body to a health visitor. I think my health visitor would be rather worried if I did!

RoonilWazlibWuvsHermyown Mon 07-Oct-13 11:10:17

Perhaps after experiencing something as horrendous as rape they never want a man to touch them anywhere ever again. So yes, broken fingers etc should still be given a female option if that's what they need to get treated. I'd rather people had the option than fear getting medical treatment and not going to the hospital in case they get seen by a man.

SunshineMMum Mon 07-Oct-13 11:13:49

Really tired it is not for you to decide what is and isn't acceptable. Women may have all sorts of reasons for wanting to see a female HCP. I even request a female dentist if possible, that is my right.

MrsDeVere Mon 07-Oct-13 11:15:24

Its not pandering.

What an awful expression.

This is not a problem. Male MW get to deliver babies, male nurses get to give care and male doctors get to cure people.

No one is being laid off or prevented from training because of the few men and women who want to see somebody of the same gender.

I doubt most HCP would bat an eyelid at the request.

ReallyTired Mon 07-Oct-13 11:17:15

"Really tired it is not for you to decide what is and isn't acceptable. Women may have all sorts of reasons for wanting to see a female HCP. I even request a female dentist if possible, that is my right."

With a free health care system there is a limit to what is your "rights". Certainly NHS staff do their best to pander to whims, but I feel its unreasonable to refuse health care from all health professionals. The nhs needs to be run efficiently and needs to be fair to staff.

If you want complete choice of health professional then go private.

MrsDeVere Mon 07-Oct-13 11:17:46

You have probably been alone at home with a very young baby and a HV though haven't you?

That would not bother me but it would bother some.

I think it very unlikely that there are many women who would object because they hate men or think they are all rapists.

For a woman with a real fear it is unacceptable to expect her to deal with the situation.

MrsDeVere Mon 07-Oct-13 11:18:44

It is not a free health system.

The NHS certainly does not pander to whims.

The majority of people cannot afford to go private.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 11:19:28

A lot of women who are raped can't even bring themselves to be touched by their partners and their husbands - the people they trust most in the world. If they aren't able to manage that (and understandably so) why on earth should they be expected to allow a male stranger to touch them?

As far as I'm concerned if a women does not want a man either looking at or touching her body then so be it. It isn't even an issue. And I say exactly the same if man who would rather see a male professional.

Why should our bodies be 'free for all' just because we have a medical problem that needs addressing??

SunshineMMum Mon 07-Oct-13 11:21:49

Many, women do feel uncomfortable with male midwives and I'd have shown a male health visitor the door frankly. There is no way I'd have been comfortable talking about all of the post operative issues I had had, after a car crash of a birth. And how do you know whether I have private health care or not? Either way, where ever possible I ask for a female HCP.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 07-Oct-13 11:25:01

I imagine some women might feel uncomfortable about being in their home alone with a male they don't know - in relation to having a male HV obviously.

CailinDana Mon 07-Oct-13 17:00:53

So really tired do you think it's better that a rape victim be traumatised than a hcp be told they have one less patient to see today? Do you think a decent hcp would be ok with a patient forcing themaelves through a frightening situation so as not be a "nuisance"? I don't see why it benefits anyone to insist someone is treated by a particular hcp against their will.

ReallyTired Mon 07-Oct-13 22:31:30

Posters are saying that they will not be treated by men for any medical condition. I not talking about internal examinations, but something as simple as having their ears checked or bones x-rayed in A and E. The NHS is not a bottomless pit and its not realistic to always have a woman doctor/nurse.

I feel that the notion that all men are potential rapist is ridicolous. Most rape victims do not think that for a second. I imagine that its rare to have quite that level of anxiety.

Prehaps as an aside, the majority of sexual assults are done by someone that the victim knows well. The probablity of being raped/ sexually by a work collegue or a friend is far higher than being assaulted by a total stranger or indeed a health professional.

I was the victim of a serious sexual assult at the age of nineteen and the assailent was an ex boyfriend. I am sure that the majority of rape victims do not see all men as potential rapists. Otherwise it would be impossible to go work or college or even out to the pub with friends.

CailinDana Mon 07-Oct-13 22:39:22

Who said rape victims see all men as potential rapists?

MisForMumNotMaid Mon 07-Oct-13 22:41:42

For me personally I have no issues with male healthcare practitioners within a doctors surgery or hospital.

I feel very vulnerable allowing men into my home on my own. I had limited mobility post birth so felt even more vulnerable. For me this is the instance I'd rather not have the visit than have a man I didn't know in my home, if I couldn't arrange a friend/DH to come to. Due to the nature of the job health visitors in my experience can't practically stick to a timetable to visit so its quite a big ask for a friend to sit in all day or DH to take the day off work.

I don't fear rape as such. I fear being left feeling scared in my own home. Having my home violated so that it no longer feels safe. I wouldn't presume to judge how a violent crime effects any individual.

PeriodFeatures Tue 08-Oct-13 08:47:24

I personally think that anyone has a right to request a different HP if they are not comfortable with receiving intimate care (including someone coming into their home) from that person, for whatever reason. (although discrimination is a grey area)

Whether they get it or not, that would be up for discussion.

Flame me down here but we are talking about pregnant women and women with young babies.......being petrified of all men?!! I'm sure there are very few circumstances where this would apply, but not many, surely.

It doesn't bother me at all having a male hcp.

tb Tue 08-Oct-13 10:12:20

DD is 16 tomorrow, and I had a male hv. He was rubbish, and had only taken the job to be nearer home.

He'd been a cpn before, and talked me into believing I had pnd. I didn't, my thyroid was packing up, and, had I had a different hv, might have had diagnosis/treatment sooner (and not put on 10 stone, either).

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 10:14:09

Did anyone watch the Midwives programme last night which featured the male midwife?! He actually seemed really, really lovely. Apparently there are only 169 male midwives in England, that is really, low. I was surprised actually that there aren't more! One of the pregnant women had assumed he was a Doctor because he was male smile

ReallyTired Tue 08-Oct-13 10:16:10

Everyone has the right for a change of a health professional if there is a problem with personality. I imagine that there might be circumstances where a male health visitor might be a disaster for reasons that are nothing to do with gender.

Refusing health care from someone you have never met is unfair.

CailinDana Tue 08-Oct-13 10:52:44

Unfair? So people have to go through situations they find frightening/uncomfortable in order to be fair?

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 10:55:34

Are you a male HCP reallytired and have you comes across an issue like this personally?

ReallyTired Tue 08-Oct-13 11:54:35

"Are you a male HCP reallytired and have you comes across an issue like this personally?"

No I am female and I used to work in a male dominated role of network managment. I know what it is like to experience unfair sex discrimination.

Where I worked there were people who only wanted one of my male collegues to fix their IT problems. They felt more comfortable with a man fixing network switches. It really hurt as I was equally as competant and qualified as the men I worked with.

I also met men who have wanted to work as nursery nurses and got turned down for job after job inspite being excellent at their job. He also experienced shit like mothers objecting to him changing their babies' nappies. Thankfully my daughter's nursery were brave enough to tell these parents to take their custom elsewhere.

There is a fine line between meeting people's wishes and tolerating unfair discrimination in either traditionally male or female jobs. There are some situations where asking for a male/ female person for a role is fair and within the law. (Ie. inimate care, internal examinations, having a female officer for helping a rape victim.) Employment law already caters for this. I doult that anyone is forced to have a male midwife in labour or for internals. However refusing a male midwife at the the gestational diabetes clinic would not be acceptable.

Where is the line between pandering to sexual discrimination and meeting people's preferences?

The line is the point where the patient feels comfortable: end of story. It is not about pandering, it is about allowing someone to carry out an often incredibly intimate examination whilst ensuring the patient is as happy as possible. It is a world away from inspecting verrucas or fixing computers.

The patient (male or female) has to consent to the examination. What they say goes. An examination where the patient has not given consent is assault. There really is no debate on this, I'm not sure why it is so difficult to understand.

It's not racism, it's not sexism; it is patient led care.

Bluegrass Tue 08-Oct-13 12:32:49

I don't think the question is quite so closed for debate as some make out. At certain points in history it would have been seen as perfectly reasonable for a patient to object to receiving care on the grounds of the caregiver's race, no one would have raised an eyebrow if they said they didn't want to be touched by them, and their preference would have been catered for regardless of the potential offence caused. Now the very idea of it is shocking and offensive and remains so no matter what arguments that patient may put forward about bad experiences or genuine fear/disgust etc.

Is it really impossible to imagine that rejecting a fully qualified caregiver on the grounds of sex alone might not eventually be treated the same way?

We are all human, albeit with some tweaks in plumbing and we are all capable of empathy and learning how the other sex works. Perhaps at some point the sex of the caregiver will genuinely be something that passes without notice, and to even think of mentioning it let alone objecting to it will be considered odd, who knows!

Grennie Tue 08-Oct-13 12:36:13

Bluegrass - If our society changes, then yes I think that is possible. But at the moment we are brought up in a society were boys and men are usually taught to see and treat girls and women in a certain way.

ReallyTired Tue 08-Oct-13 13:34:31

"The line is the point where the patient feels comfortable: end of story. It is not about pandering, it is about allowing someone to carry out an often incredibly intimate examination whilst ensuring the patient is as happy as possible. It is a world away from inspecting verrucas or fixing computers."

I think that the health visitor role is closer to inspecting verrucas than doing intimate care. Certainly there are posters on this thread who object to ALL male health professionals.

Patient led care does not mean not respecting the feelings of health professionals. It does not mean getting the patient always having their way.

"Bluegrass - If our society changes, then yes I think that is possible. But at the moment we are brought up in a society were boys and men are usually taught to see and treat girls and women in a certain way."

Sex discrimination goes both ways, I would love to see an end of jobs for the boys or jobs for the girls. If women are going to have equal opportunities in the work place then we need to give men equal opportunities.

Some issues are more important than an individual's feelings.

RoonilWazlibWuvsHermyown Tue 08-Oct-13 13:59:46

Would someone inspecting your verrucas be doing it alone in the patients home? That's where the main difference for a HV comes into play. For me personally, I have experienced sexism in my own home from a male plumber. Nothing extreme at first but when gently challenged on his comments, it ended up with him swearing at me, physically intimidating me and making me feel frightened in my own home while I was alone with my baby. I don't think a male HV is likely to do that but for my own emotional wellbeing, I do not want to be alone with a man in my home again because I find it distressing as it triggers off an anxiety response and brings back all the fear I felt. Why should I sit in fear with a male HV because of this reaction that I can't control (and therefore have no benefit from seeing the HV anyway) just to make life fair for him? Why are his needs outweighing mine?

The funny thing is, a good health visitor or doctor would consider things like rape, previous bad experiences with men etc and how they can affect your life and attitude to being with men alone and would let the request to see a woman instead roll off their backs.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 08-Oct-13 15:00:05

The funny thing is, a good health visitor or doctor would consider things like rape, previous bad experiences with men etc and how they can affect your life and attitude to being with men alone and would let the request to see a woman instead roll off their backs.

Exactly!!!

Ilovemyself Wed 09-Oct-13 06:12:44

I think most agree that for those with trigger issues it is not a problem.

It is the issue of those who have no reason other than social conditioning that needs sorting. Yes, it means making sure that women are treated equally but I think we are already further down the line than some like to make out. Still a long way to go but ere getting there.

Ilovemyself Wed 09-Oct-13 06:13:43

To be clear I meant it is not am issue for those with trigger problems to see someone of the same sex.

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