Florence against men

  1. 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 very interesting. I am doing a research paper on Chritman so if anyone has anything on this I would like to hear it.
    Thanx
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  2. 46 Comments

  3. by   pghfoxfan
    Quote from MountainMan
    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 very interesting. I am doing a research paper on Chritman so if anyone has anything on this I would like to hear it.
    Thanx
    That was probably normal male/female prejudices back in those days.
  4. by   styRN
    It was definitely related to the Victorian sexism of the day.
    Florence believed that women were all inherently nursess, and wanting to do what she believed came naturally to them, established nursing schools in the mid 1800's (which also elevated the general status of women, which she and her followers fought for as well). These schools barred men, as was customary to separate sexes in schools of higher learning.

    Also, Florence took a keen interest in maternal/newborn nursing, especially with the high rates of maternal mortality during and post-chilbirth, and this slanted the nursing profession even more more towards women during those sexist times.
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from pghfoxfan
    That was probably normal male/female prejudices back in those days.
    I agree.
  6. by   RGN1
    Totally to do with the attitudes of the day. We can't judge her by today's standards, it wouldn't be fair.
  7. by   Kabin
    Quote from MountainMan
    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 very interesting. I am doing a research paper on Chritman so if anyone has anything on this I would like to hear it.
    Thanx
    I recall Nightingale wasn't fond of men at all. She claimed she didn't have time to marry. There's lots of stories of Nightingale snubbing her Jamaican contemporary Mary Seacole during the Crimean war. Some say she was a racist. Interesting how she was progressive only when she wanted to be.

    http://blackhistorypages.net/pages/mseacole-2.php

    There was a thread a while back on the history of men in nursing. The nosocomial, etc. Coincidently, in our nursing coursework we covered the history of men in one half lecture with the other half lecture being humor in nursing.
  8. by   MountainMan
    Thank you all so much these replies have been helpful. Being 50 I remember when things were a whole lot more sexist around here. You women were too cherrished to be allowed to work, there was a great show on wmmr (phila. radio) in the early 70's that was called 'Up From the Pedastel'. A progressive womens movement (it was still called womens-lib in those days) show that tried to deal with the very strong resistence to women entering all aspects of society. Wearing pants???!!!? Secretaries wearing pants??!!
    I can remember the impact it had on the executives of the day (my father being one of them). They were worn out from the war protests and had no energy left to try and mend the fraternal fabric of dominance (mending is womens work anyway). So being in a minority (us young guys were in full support of anyone achieving a higher degree of self-actualization) they had to go along with it and hope for the best. At least they could stop slicking thier hair down with Brillcream (I can't think of anything to put into parethisis here).
  9. by   gonzo1
    I recently read a biography of Nightingale. She was an incredibly intelligent woman and very forward thinking. However, she was also a product of her time and upbringing. I don't believe it is fair to call her a racist. Her focus was on elevating the new knowledge of how to better care for patients and prevent disease. As far as racism, that was not her focus and if she had a poor opinion of black people it was because it was the norm. How many battles can one woman fight. I think we do have to be very careful to not judge her by todays standards, and we can't judge her by her days standards, because we didn't live then and therefore have no real understanding of what life was like back then.
    I think it is more important to focus on all she accomplished during a time when women were supposed to be seen and not heard.
  10. by   Kabin
    Quote from gonzo1
    I recently read a biography of Nightingale. She was an incredibly intelligent woman and very forward thinking. However, she was also a product of her time and upbringing. I don't believe it is fair to call her a racist. Her focus was on elevating the new knowledge of how to better care for patients and prevent disease. As far as racism, that was not her focus and if she had a poor opinion of black people it was because it was the norm. How many battles can one woman fight. I think we do have to be very careful to not judge her by todays standards, and we can't judge her by her days standards, because we didn't live then and therefore have no real understanding of what life was like back then.
    I think it is more important to focus on all she accomplished during a time when women were supposed to be seen and not heard.
    Summarizing what you are saying... We can't compare her to today's standards but yet she was a forward thinker based on comparisons between her time and today's standards.

    She had issues by the standards of her time and today's.
  11. by   Tweety
    I agree, it's not fair to judge by today's standards. Things have changed. She also didn't believe in germs.
  12. by   caroladybelle
    Wasn't she also biased against attractive or married women being nurses?

    As far as Mountain Man - slight correction. "Women were too cherished to work". As far as I know women have ALWAYS worked...they were merely "too cherished" to get paid for it. And they continue to be the majority performing unpaid work.
  13. by   MountainMan
    caroladybelle
    everybody always worked. However there was the golden years for a short time there when some families needed only one wage earner and I happened to live in the neighborhoods where this happened. You were -0 to 6yrs when this was going on. It was a time of power-tools for women and science was so incredible that women didn't have to breastfeed anymore. We were raised on formula, which had to be better than human milk because it was the modern age!!!
    Don't go gittin yer dander up!
  14. by   Multicollinearity
    I like women who get their "dander up"

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