A Conversation

History of Medicine

Jul 07
Dr Simms & Anarcha

The date is July 18th, 1845. Anarcha visits Dr J Marion Sims who has recently fashioned the first speculum from a pewter spoon. It has been used just once, to relieve the pressure inside a young slave girl’s vagina.

Anarcha, a 19 year old slave girl and recent mother, suffers from a horrible fistula in her uterus combined with an infection that’s eaten through both her bladder and bowel. She stands before her doctor as he looks up at her and says, “Anarcha, I have some bad news for you.”

“Bad news, Massuh?”

“Yes, Anarcha. I cannot operate on your fistula.”

“Why dat? Massuh?

“Because in the future, 170 years from now, people will be very angry that I experimented on a slave girl.”

“Massuh? Whut kinda muthuh-fuckuhs you got in dat fewtcha of yos?”

“Well, Anarcha, it seems that someday America will be populated by a lot of thin-skinned, whiny, little brats who get easily offended.”

“Massuh? Does dey knows I smells like shit?”

“I’m afraid they won’t care, Anarcha. You’re a slave and they’ll think you were forced into this so I could be famous one day. They’re going to look at me as some sort of butcher who exploited helpless slaves to bolster my reputation as a surgeon.”

“Does dey know I got me a infekshun dat burn like da dickens all day an all night?”

“They won’t care.”

“Does dey know dat dis mornin I took me a shit out ma lady part?”

“I know, Anarcha, I know. But apparently they won’t seem to care about your suffering now. If I take a scalpel to you they’ll think that I caused you more suffering, doing endless surgical experiments . . . just so I can get my name into some damn history book.”

“Scuse me, Massuh, but I jes queefed.”

“Queef? What’s that?”

“Is what da girls been callin it when I fart out ma clam.”

“Anarcha, well at least one of us will go down in history. You and your friends have created a fine, new word for the American lexicon. Good luck, and keep on queefing.”

“Thank ya, Massuh. Oh, an you be sho ta tell dem brats of da fewtcha dat dey can all go fuck deyselves.”

“I’ll pass that on.”