Marginalizing Women “A Minority Within a Minority” (Feb. 14) by Jane Graham-Bethea and Robert Mayo, reminds us that as clinicians and researchers, we have a primary goal to help individuals meet their individual challenges to self-expression. This can be accomplished, as the authors suggest, by recognizing that each individual seeking our help—child, ... Inbox
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Marginalizing Women
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Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Professional Issues & Training / Inbox
Inbox   |   April 01, 2012
Marginalizing Women
The ASHA Leader, April 2012, Vol. 17, 38. doi:10.1044/leader.IN3.17042012.38
The ASHA Leader, April 2012, Vol. 17, 38. doi:10.1044/leader.IN3.17042012.38
A Minority Within a Minority” (Feb. 14) by Jane Graham-Bethea and Robert Mayo, reminds us that as clinicians and researchers, we have a primary goal to help individuals meet their individual challenges to self-expression. This can be accomplished, as the authors suggest, by recognizing that each individual seeking our help—child, teen, and adult—wants to be heard and that his or her needs and goals may be linked to gender identification.
The authors referred specifically to the often unmet clinical needs of women who stutter. Unfortunately, our profession’s research has not always recognized that. And so I and other women with stuttering problems who participated in research I conducted in the 70s and 80s, some of which Graham-Beathea and Mayo cited, often experienced difficulty locating speech-language clinicians to help us meet our needs.
But our profession is not unique in failing to help women who stutter be and do as we wish. A report on ABC Evening News revealed that medical professionals tend to be dismissive of women’s requests for help resolving their chronic pain, while aggressively treating men with complaints of chronic pain. So the practice of marginalizing women, at least in settings where we seek help, continues in our society. If we wish to help change that and function as mandated by our profession’s Code of Ethics, if not our internal code of ethics, then we need to recognize this tendency in our profession and, perhaps, in ourselves, and act accordingly.
Ellen-Marie Silverman Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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April 2012
Volume 17, Issue 4