For Women’s History Month, this woman might be a myth, but her story still has an important point.
In Ancient Greece, about fourth century BC, illness was a risky business. So was child-bearing. Women were banned from practicing medicine, but many ill and pregnant women refused to see male physicians. Agnodice went to Alexandria in Egypt to learn all she could about medicine. After she returned, in order to treat women, she had to dress like a man.
The husbands of Athens grew suspicious about how fond their wives were of this new male doctor. They hauled Agnodice into court with charges of adultery and seduction. To refute their charges, she lifted her tunic and proved her innocence.
Afterwards, the women of Athens threatened to leave if they could not see their favorite doctor. The men caved to their demands.
The moral of the story? Women have been organizing for centuries. In a group, you have greater power.
Thanks to Sam Maggs and her great book Wonder Women.