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The First British Surgeon to Perform a Successful C-Section Was a Woman Disguised as a Man

Society & Culture  (tags: women, James Barry, disguise, freedoms, interesting, world, society )

- 1687 days ago -
James Barry, the first British surgeon to perform a C-section in which both the mother and baby survived, was born a woman. It is believed that "James Barry" started out in life as Margaret Ann Bulkley. She was born around 1789 in Ireland.

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Kit B (276)
Wednesday November 6, 2013, 6:14 pm

Wow, a woman being as good or better a physician than the men of her day. Who would ever think a woman had the mental ability to be a doctor. I'm so glad I born in a time when even if women were not fully accepted in roles titled "men's work" she could obtain an education. We have come a long way baby, but there is still a long way to go.

Jason S (50)
Wednesday November 6, 2013, 6:36 pm
Good posting, thanks

zora b (85)
Wednesday November 6, 2013, 9:56 pm
Excellent post once again. Not surprised Margaret had to disguise judging the men's opinion of women in that historical period.

James Merit (144)
Wednesday November 6, 2013, 10:02 pm
Awesome, thank you and I agree with comment by Kit.

Ginger Geronimo (438)
Thursday November 7, 2013, 7:15 am
I love Kit's statement. Yes, women have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go. For starters, I'm sick of women getting treated like our purpose is to "serve man", especially in the bedroom & kitchen. It makes me sick when I'll be out shopping & some pervert will make lewd gestures & comments to me. A woman should be able to go about her business in peace.

Joanna W (71)
Thursday November 7, 2013, 11:14 am
oh yeee

Esther Z (94)
Thursday November 7, 2013, 1:42 pm
There are a few stories in LGBTQ history, that I know of, where women lived as men, just so they could follow their passions. One that comes to mind was Billy Tipton, a jazz musician who lived her whole adult life as a man. Ms. Tipton was quite the gender bender of her time, as you can see, if you google her image.

Birgit W (160)
Thursday November 7, 2013, 2:25 pm

Elizabeth M (65)
Thursday November 7, 2013, 3:12 pm
This is so great to know that she was the first doctor to perform a C-section and both baby and mother survived.
I think Margaret had a much better shot at getting the education to become a physician, by changing her looks to that of a man. She did this for 56 years!!!
Very interesting read Carrie. Thank You.

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Thursday November 7, 2013, 4:12 pm
This is the sort of History that would make the subject MUCH MORE INTERESTING TO YOUNG PEOPLE if it was in the Textbooks!
Textbooks just DRAIN History of any possible Human Interest...
as if it weren't Human Beings that MAKE History!!!

Women, and Gay people, and TRANSSEXUAL PEOPLE, are erased from History as an "embarrassment" to the Straight, White, Judeo-Christian, Male Establishment... their "narrative" is not only LYING, but even "worse", it's BO-O-O-ORING....

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Thursday November 7, 2013, 4:54 pm
I believe I read about this in the Midwife, which is the book associated with the special on PBS. I gave birth to my youngest son at home with a midwife in attendance. I decided to have a midwife because I didn't trust our doctors during the time when babies were dying as a result of doctors using a new sort of vacuum suction device during deliveries that caused babies to die as a result of bleeding in the brain. We also had a hospital less than five minutes away and a neonatologist who supported me and was on call in the event of any complications. Hospitals are frightening places to me; consequently, I was far more relaxed at home, and the delivery went very smoothly. Thank you for sharing the news. According to the author of the book, mothers were much safer under the care of a midwife in comparison to doctors at that time.

Athena F (131)
Thursday November 7, 2013, 6:52 pm
Groovy, thanks very much for sharing!

Kerrie G (116)
Thursday November 7, 2013, 9:02 pm
Noted, thanks.

Julia R (297)
Thursday November 7, 2013, 11:22 pm
I'm certainly not surprised to hear this, especially during that very dark time in our history! This story reminds me of another very great woman by the name of Mary Anne Evans. Mary Anne Evans had to take the name of George Eliot for her pen name as women writers weren't accepted well in the Victorian era either. She was an English novelist, journalist, and translator and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era! I'm so glad that women do not have to disguise their sex any more for any profession but indeed, we still have a long way to go!

Nancy M (169)
Friday November 8, 2013, 5:52 am
So cool, sorry I didn't see this earlier.

fly b (26)
Friday November 8, 2013, 7:55 am
I wouldn't be surprised, if c section deliveries have not been performed by other women across the world, in prior times. Good story! Thks

Roger G (154)
Friday November 8, 2013, 2:14 pm
noted, thanks

Winnie Adams (179)
Friday November 8, 2013, 5:32 pm
Wow- Thanks for sharing
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