Dangerous Women

By Jo Shaw, Ben Fletcher-Watson and Abrisham Ahmadzadeh

Fifty reflections on women, power and identity

Monday, 23 March 2020

"The chariot wheels of progress": of medics and milestones

In these remarkable and uncertain times, we are so thrilled to see that Dangerous Women has just jumped to 66% funded. What a milestone! Thanks to everyone who has pledged so far, and welcome to our community!

Like all of us, the Dangerous Women team are full of admiration for the tireless workers in the NHS, and indeed in hospitals around the world, as they strive to overcome the coronavirus. From doctors to domestic services staff, specialists to students, their efforts are perhaps the greatest example of community-building in the face of a crisis.

The original posts from the Dangerous Women Project are still freely available online, and so we would like to point our readers towards a piece that isn't in the book; written by Jo Spiller back in 2016, the blog explores the long fight by Sophia Jex-Blake and others to enter the medical profession in the late 19th century.

...the women began to be subjected to a mounting campaign of intimidation. They were regularly followed home, and had a series of obscene letters put through their letterboxes. Crowds would gather outside their Edinburgh home to rattle their windows and door and remove their nameplate, they would be pelted with peas and other objects thrown at them as they moved around campus.

The women stopped going out on campus alone and would not leave the house after dark. This hostility reached crisis point at 4pm on 18th November 1870 when the women arrived at Surgeon’s Hall on Nicolson Street, Edinburgh to sit an Anatomy exam. They found their route blocked by a baying mob of over two hundred students and locals hurling mud, rubbish and insults at them.

To read more about their incredible story, please visit http://dangerouswomenproject.org/2016/04/26/sophia-jex-blake/.

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