Florence against men - page 3

I have a quote here from Luther Christman PhD,RN,FAAN that Florence Nightingale did everything she could to eliminate men from nursing. I know she is such an iconic hero to so many people but this is... Read More

  1. by   RN Randy
    Quote from caroladybelle
    Thank you, love.

    Mtn Man, I was not putting you down, just correcting a serious misconception. But is not appropriate to make assumptions that I do not know what I am talking about, because I am not a certain age.

    It would be as if I said that as a man, you really don't have a clue about how women were treated, because you are not a woman and therefore have no room whatsoever to speak on the matter.

    Either one involves an "assume" - which as we know, makes an "&*^" out of "u and me". It is unwise to make such assumptions.

    Back to topic...anyone know whether Flo was gay or had an STD? Those have always been rumored about her.
    From the mountains of Colorado to the mountains of Georgia, to the mountains of West Virginia... Gotta chime in and say Mtn Man maybe mis-worded what he meant to say... and it stands true right here in my town this very day.

    The quote is, "My woman doesn't work, and she'll never have to work, it ain't her place to work, it's mine!"

    What that equates to is the local mentality that assumes this: men whose wives work are considered to be 'less of a man' because he can't 'support his family.'
    It isn't just a silly notion, it is an unspoken law amongst believers and not something anyone would make fun of, lest they risk a shiner of magnificant proportions.

    It's under breath most of the time, but it is indeed there.

    .....and back to topic, this is a good one, I've not heard all the juicy rumors of Flo's escapades and/or rumors of such. Please continue!
    rb
  2. by   ewattsjt
    Quote from rmbelcher
    from the mountains of colorado to the mountains of georgia, to the mountains of west virginia... gotta chime in and say mtn man maybe mis-worded what he meant to say... and it stands true right here in my town this very day.

    the quote is, "my woman doesn't work, and she'll never have to work, it ain't her place to work, it's mine!"

    what that equates to is the local mentality that assumes this: men whose wives work are considered to be 'less of a man' because he can't 'support his family.'
    it isn't just a silly notion, it is an unspoken law amongst believers and not something anyone would make fun of, lest they risk a shiner of magnificant proportions.

    it's under breath most of the time, but it is indeed there.

    .....and back to topic, this is a good one, i've not heard all the juicy rumors of flo's escapades and/or rumors of such. please continue!
    rb
    i originally come from the hills of wv. this ^ conception is still alive among some of the older folks. my mother has only worked (for pay) on a part time basis (when she wants) and she believes as well as my father in this type of ideology. it doesn't make it right but it shows that mountain man's comments are still in effect today. my father has black lung (to the extent he is not allowed underground anymore by federal law), spinal arthritis and degenerative disc disease, hand injury (avulsed and reattached)....so bad that all of his doctors want to put him on social security disability. he refuses because (a.) he would not be able to "take care of his wife", a man's primary duty. (b.) he does not want to be a "dead beat" living off the government. < my dad's standards from his time.

    nightingale should be judged by her times standard. my wife should not be judged by my father's standards nor should my mother be judged by today's standard. it is easy to see how much things change. my dad remembers when he went down south how african americans were 2nd class citizens. these are huge changes within one and two generations.

    my point is: how dare someone have the audacity to compare nightingale with today's standards!
  3. by   MountainMan
    These are all good replies.
    A man should be able to support his family! My father felt such pride that he was able to have a fairly high standard of living with-out a working wife. My mother told him one day she wanted to get a job. after all I being the youngest of 4 was about 14 and could certainly take care of myself. It was if the rug was pulledout from under him. He was victorious in the discussion and my mother didn't go to work...for a couple of years. She eventually went to college and graduated with honors. Change happens by degrees (no pun intended).
    Sorry if I came off a little cranky yesterday, I was. And I've never done anything like this before. Never did a chat or a blog.
    However Florence was part of a revolution that was comming. These moments of change happen from time to time Just like in the 60's 70's cusp. When she took nursing from men and began to clean things up the out-look for medical treatment improved. Perhaps she was just a figurehead or perhaps she started the cascade of change. I'm astounded that her work was not related to the discovery of germs. These were times when people thought maggots were inherent in flesh and meat and would simply bloom at the apropriate time. however the discovery of germs would have certainly ushered ina move toward cleanliness and eventually sterile techniques Flo' or no Flo'.
  4. by   caroladybelle
    The point that I was trying to make is that women have always worked...in the kitchen..in the fields...scrubbing the bathroom, raising the chilluns, sewing the clothes.

    That is not exactly "cherishing" too much to work.
  5. by   RN Randy
    ....and that goes right along with the problem of comparing Flo with today's standards. Your statement seems to have the 'times past' air about it. Yes, back in the days of fields, sewing and scrubbing, it was indeed quite the easier of the options available and considered only doing her part to keep her husband up and running to work, and fend for his family.

    Me thinks we are straying...
    rb
  6. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from rmbelcher
    ....and that goes right along with the problem of comparing Flo with today's standards. Your statement seems to have the 'times past' air about it. Yes, back in the days of fields, sewing and scrubbing, it was indeed quite the easier of the options available
    ....therein lies the debate. Some of us would say that the other option was easier, especially during the referenced "Eisehower" era. And that BOTH genders worked hard, equally so, in different manners, only one was not "paid" and therefore does not get credit. And to refer to the one as "cherished" and the other as doing his duty, is more than a bit wrong.
  7. by   nursemike
    I think the point worth remembering, at least relative to this discussion, is that Nightingale defied the convention of her day that women, at least those of her socio-economic class, were too "cherished" to work (outside the home.) She set the groundwork to establish nursing as an honorable occupation for respectable young women, as well as for some of the scientific principles were still value: fresh air, good hygiene, and wellness. For that, she deserves much credit.
    I'm not a scholar of the history of nursing, but it's my understanding that Flo and some other early leaders of modern nursing did wish to exclude men from the field. I don't know what their motivations were. It could be argued that at a time when opportunities for women to be gainfully employed were scarce, there was a value to carving out niches exclusive to women. In fact, when I encourage young women to consider nursing as a career, one of my strongest arguments is economic independence. For a single mother, for example, it offers a chance to make a decent living with fairly flexible scheduling, and one can enter the field with only a two-year degree. In these respects, I think nursing is still relevant to what I think of as "Mary Wallstonecraft" feminism--that women ought to be educated and able to earn a livelihood whether or not they marry. Nursing today represents a very real possibility for women (and men) to escape lives of poverty and/or dependency, and I consider that as important to society as its service to our patients.
    To my thinking, it was wrong to discourage men from nursing, whatever the rationale may have been. Men are, and always have been, quite capable of all the skills and characteristics that make a good nurse, and those who are so inclined deserve the opportunity to make use of those skills and characteristics, and to develop them as fully as we can. Of course, I do recognize that it is easier to embrace this view in a time when women have many opportunities which were once not open to them.
    As I read the previous posts, I don't believe anyone meant to suggest that women ought to be "too cherished to work," only that that was the attitude of the time. And yes, it is a bit ironic that one could be too refined and delicate for a paying job, and thus confined to a life of domestic servitude. Homemaking is a fine and noble occupation for those who choose it, but without the opportunity to choose, it has many of the attributes of slavery.
    Last edit by nursemike on Jan 16, '07
  8. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from nursemike
    In fact, when I encourage young women to consider nursing as a career, one of my strongest arguments is economic independence.
    As I keep urging all my sisters, cousins, nieces and their friends - male or female. Get a steady job. Own or rent a home. Learn to live life on your own - before you try and "settle down" in a relationship. Learn to be self-reliant and independent. You'll only thank yourself later...

    Quote from nursemike
    women ought to be "too cherished to work," only that that was the attitude of the time. And yes, it is a bit ironic that one could be too refined and delicate for a paying job, and thus confined to a life of domestic servitude. Homemaking is a fine and noble occupation for those who choose it, but without the opportunity to choose, it has many of the attributes of slavery.
    (empasis mine) Well said. There are many who sneer at some folks who are 'just home makers' - as if raising kids and managing a household are not "worthy" of a "job".

    The crucial point is the "choice" - the ability and freedom to decide and choose how to spend ones life... be you baker, butcher or candlestick maker.

    To wish for "times gone by"? All too often these trips of nostalgia ignore the oft stark nature of the times (E.g. minorities being lynched by mobs anyone?) There is good and evil in all times.

    We can only put our best foot forward and try and carry on, the best we can; in the hopes that we are going in the right direction.


    Not accusing anyone. Just puttering and pottering on the subject.

    Egads! Look at the time! I'm late for work!
  9. by   burn out
    I think Flo was a woman ahead of her times. I think she saw nursing as a profession that was needed then and in the future and she wanted it to be a way that women could have a choice in their lives. I believe that she wanted to keep men out so that they would not take over the field and eliminate women from it or take it in directions that were not where women wanted to be.
    As far as women being cherished by their men which fairy tale is that from?
    I once had a preacher in ALABAMA tell me that I needed to quit my nursing job and live off what my husband made, it would make him feel more like the man....my husband was a dead beat, a one night stand that didn't ever go home. I told the preacher that me and my children like to eat and have a roof over our heads and clothes on our back then I moved to West Virginia without a man.
  10. by   ICRN2008
    I read an interesting biography of Florence that focused on her early years. I recall that she cared for her cousin very much and almost married him, but doing so would have in essence relegated her to the role of party hostess and socialite. She would not have had the freedom to travel or assume the positions that she did. Her father was very progressive, teaching her mathematics and other subjects normally reserved for men. However, her family was still concerned for her safety when she traveled abroad and for the most part only allowed this when she was accompanied by a responsible chaperone. Considering how many restrictions were put on her freedom to pursue a career, it is admirable that she accomplished all that she did.

    When Florence first went into nursing, it was considered a profession even less socially acceptable than prostitution. In fact, the book I read stated that many so-called nurses engaged in inappropriate behavior with patients and physicians on a routine basis. I doubt that societal norms of the day (in Britain) would have allowed for men to enter into such a "lowly" profession as it was considered women's work, and poor immoral women's work at that!

    Based on my book and what I learned in school, it does not appear that Britain had the same tradition of male (military) nursing that the United States had during that time period. And I think that civilian nursing was closed off to men in both countries because it was for the most part conducted by religious sisters and "low women".

    I find nursing history to be very interesting. Thanks for bringing up this topic.
  11. by   Bala Shark
    The nightengale pledge is a ceremony for women..The candle, the wording, it has a femanine tone..No men are allowed!
  12. by   Mexarican
    you all are all so funny. tippy toeing around her image as if you all have her on a pedestal. Look...if true...it is what it is!! If she was a racist...she was a racist...it doesn't matter what time she lived in...racism was wrong then as it is now. If she didn't like men in nursing then so what...who cares! Just cause she didnt like men in nursing doesn't mean she didnt like men. she just didnt want them intruding in her territory. She was a remarkable womam for all that she accomplished that was positive...the rest made her human. I don't put her on a pedestal. Dr. MLK jr was a remarkable man...but it is well known that he had a lover other than his wife...and he was a minister. Does that take away from what he accomplished in the civil rights movement? Hell NO! Look people, people can accomplish great things...but don't try to make them fit in your nice box of a hero image that doesn't have any room for their shortcomings as well . It sucks all the humanity out of them.

    jc
  13. by   RedZeppelinRN
    adrienure:


    So it is true? I was told by a Phd that Flo died of syphilis. She believed in total patient care. Hmmmmm?

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