Women’s reproductive health is the least important concern in many countries. And if you’ve ever been to a gynecologist in India then you’ve most probably had an epiphany regarding this.
In the post, u/Stunning_Vacation_27 has talked about telling her gynae about being sexually active, only to be left in utter fear of being held back from finishing her education.
She took me behind a curtain and said to me, “Your mother is outside this room, be honest with me so I can treat you appropriately, are you sexually active?” I said yes, she asked if I used protection I said yes and I also test for STI/STDs every 6 months. She proceeded to judge me and say “You are doing all this, are you at least intending to marry this person,” to which I just nodded. I walk out of the curtain and my mother was right there, extremely furious, she goes on to prescribe hormonal birth control and we leave.
I would be lying if I said I was surprised by this confession, but haven’t we all been in similar situations? Here is how other netizens responded to the evidently discomforting post.
1. “Why the fuck are gynecologists the worst ever doctors in this country. I am so sorry for you. I don’t know in what way I can help you. Please try to get your mom to see your side and flee asap. I’m worried for your education. I hope you become financially independent soon.”
2. “True. When I visited my gynae for my PCOD I was 17 then, she literally scolded my mother and me so much because I gained weight because of PCOD and then said my body doesn’t look like a young woman’s body. My mother was on the verge of tears. I am sure your father will not get a heart attack just from knowing this. So don’t be scared, this is Indian parents’ way of scaring their kids. My friends’ mother used to say the same thing, that she will get heart attack if ever her kid fails in her exam. And change your gynecologist. And don’t be scared. They will scold you for sure hut they will not kill themselves.”
3. “Yes, you are doing everything right. Practicing safe sex is the most important thing. It’s an Indian parent’s worst nightmare to know that they have a sexually liberated daughter. I am so glad you have a support system. How many years of studying do you have left? I hope you don’t have to depend on your parents for long.”
4. “JFC, OP the gyno aside, your parents are also totally overreacting. Keep your passport away from them, just saying.”
5. “That’s awesome!. BTW, I was about your age when I was studying in the UK, best years of my life by far. Totally life-changing. I hope everything works out for you and you are back there safe and sound.
6. “Is there no way you can report the gynae? She must be having some kind of supervisor? Or you can leave a review of her clinic talking about your situation (through an anonymous Google account).”
7. “I am so sorry this happened to you OP. I was shamed for wanting to have safe sex as a TWENTY SIX YEAR OLD with a long term boyfriend and wanting birth control. Gynacs suck. Just know you are not alone, you did nothing wrong by trusting this treacherous doctor. Navigate the situation as best as you can (lie if need be), and once you get back to the UK, figure out a way to never go back to India except for the holidays.”
8. “Hey…you might want to drop in this gynac’s place of practice… Just so other women could avoid this pos.”
9. “OP I am so sorry this happened to you. Gynos are literally the worst and that’s why even though I have PCOS I stopped going to them. I have been shamed so much. I’ve been called defective for having irregular periods. I have been told to not come back till I lose 10 kgs and only then will they start my actual treatment. I have been told, “You will not die if you don’t eat for a day.” I fortunately found great people online to follow and heal myself to an extent that I am NEVER seeing a gyno in this country ever again.”
10. “I hope you get to fly back to UK soon. Just hang in there in the mean time. If required, lie to your parents. And just focus on getting back safely.”
11. “Damn I’m so sorry you had to face that. My mom is a gynaec with shitty views. It’s hard living with her. I hope you get out of there safely, OP”
12. “Honestly OP, maybe I’m too old for this, but I’d be done with anyone, including parents, who try to behave like this. Fuck them. Live your life. The only people we can depend on is ourselves. That’s the simple truth of being born in a woman’s body. Not our parents, not our doctors, not our partners, not our bosses or colleagues, and not our kids. It’s the only reality. Once in a while we find friendship and solidarity, but there’s no saying when that will be removed. So yes, I know this is not a hopeful message, but I hope you will find ways to leave and depend only on yourself. Make yourself so strong that they come to you and you can choose whether you want them or not. Good luck.”
What is really alarming about this entire thread is how most of the comments are advising the OP to protect her passport and documents so that she can flee to safety as soon as possible. I’ve personally known women who have had to fight for their autonomy just like this, and it’s such a sad, sad reality.