We Are Not Meant to Be Well

Sometimes I write things in my head over a series of months, usually with mixed results. My latest such effort deals with the systemic way in which society keeps those of us with marginalized bodies and marginalized needs from accessing health care.

I'm pretty sure it's worth reading. Of course, I'm biased because I managed to work in a story about genital electrolysis. Good times.
This is what marginalization looks like. Having access to health care is about more than getting an insurance company to pay one’s bills. It’s about being able to focus on living one’s life and maintaining one’s health. It’s about healing. When socially-accepted people need socially-accepted medical care, this is what happens– they go to the doctor and the doctor takes care of their needs.

There are fewer providers catering to marginalized peoples’ needs. Why risk one’s career to work in a specialty that your medical school won’t discuss, your colleagues don’t universally respect, and your patients can’t afford? With fewer, and frequently less-knowledgeable providers, the burden falls on patients to figure out precisely what procedures they need performed, how they should be performed, who will perform them, and how they can reach these professionals who will perform them. The cost in time, energy, and money is more than many folks can afford.

Making oppressed people go to all that work is also counterproductive, provided that the goal of the system is to make people well. It isn’t. As far as I can tell, the massive mental, physical, and financial strain that society places on some patients is a feature, not a bug. We are not meant to be well.

The full essay is here.

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