A Forgotten War on Women
May 22, 2018 10:10 AM Subscribe
"In 1918, 1,121 people in Michigan were “hospitalized at the expense of the state” because the authorities believed they had STIs. 49 were men; 1,072 were women, and one of them was a 19-year-old, impoverished white woman named Nina McCall. She was arrested, forcibly examined by a local health officer named Dr. Carney, deemed infected with gonorrhea and then syphilis, pumped full of arsenic, and imprisoned at the dilapidated Bay City Detention Hospital for three months. Like so many others, she found the courage to fight back. But instead of staging a prison riot or burning down the “reformatories,” as some of her incarcerated sisters did, Nina did something perhaps even more audacious for a working-class woman of her time. She took her tormentors to court."
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