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Explore real women’s tales of healthcare trauma and medical misogyny with this meticulously researched, in-depth examination of the women’s health crisis in America—and what we can do about it.
When Anushay Hossain became pregnant in the US, she was so relieved. Growing up in Bangladesh in the 1980s, where the concept of women’s healthcare hardly existed, she understood how lucky she was to access the best in the world. But she couldn’t have been more wrong. Things started to go awry from the minute she stepped in the hospital, and after thirty hours of labor (two of which she spent pushing), Hossain’s epidural slipped. Her pain was so severe that she ran a fever of 104 degrees, and as she shook and trembled uncontrollably, the doctors finally performed an emergency C-section.
Giving birth in the richest country on earth, Hossain never imagined she could die in labor. But she almost did. The experience put her on a journey to explore, understand, and share how women—especially women of color—are dismissed to death by systemic sexism in American healthcare.
Following in the footsteps of feminist manifestos such as The Feminine Mystique and Rage Becomes Her, The Pain Gap is an eye-opening and stirring call to arms that encourages women to flip their “hysteria complex” on its head and use it to revolutionize women’s healthcare. This book tells the story of Hossain’s experiences—from growing up in South Asia surrounded by staggering maternal mortality rates to lobbying for global health legislation on Capitol Hill to nearly becoming a statistic herself. Along the way, she realized that a little fury might be just what the doctor ordered.
Meticulously researched and deeply reported, this book explores real women’s traumatic experiences with America’s healthcare system—and empowers everyone to use their experiences to bring about the healthcare revolution women need.
Anushay Hossain is a writer and a feminist policy analyst focusing on women’s health legislation. She is a regular on-air guest at CNN, MSNBC, and PBS, and her writing on politics, gender, and race has been published in Forbes, CNN, USA TODAY, The Daily Beast, and Medium. Hossain is also the host of the Spilling Chai podcast. The Pain Gap is her first book.
Soraya Chemaly is the award-winning author of Rage Becomes Her (2018; Atria Books), writer, and activist whose work focuses on the role of gender in culture, politics, religion, and media. She is the Director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project and an advocate for women’s freedom of expression and expanded civic and political engagement. A prolific writer and speaker, her articles appear in Time, the Verge, The Guardian, The Nation, HuffPost, and The Atlantic. Follow her on Twitter at @SChemaly and learn more at SorayaChemaly.com.
Jill Filipovic is a Brooklyn-based journalist, lawyer, and author of The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness. A weekly columnist for CNN and a 2019 New America Future of War fellow, she is also a contributing opinion writer to The New York Times and a former columnist for The Guardian. Her work has appeared in Time, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and the anthologies Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance and Revolution in Trump’s America and Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape.
Sophia A. Nelson is an award-winning American author and journalist. You can see her regularly on CNN’s Inside Politics and Newsroom as a legal and political analyst. Nelson is an adjunct professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. She is a former investigative counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform, and senior counsel with the international law firm of Holland & Knight, LLP. She had the privilege of covering former First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House from 2010–2012. She is the author of The Woman Code, Black Woman Redefined, and E Pluribus ONE. www.iamsophianelson.com/