Newspaper clipping of a letter to the editor originally published in the New Republic in November 1869. Describes the events of November 6, 1869 when a group of about 30 women students from the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (WMCP) went to the Pennsylvania Hospital amphitheater to attend a clinical lecture also attended by several hundred male medical students. Their attendance drew a strong response from the male students, which included heckling and spitballs. This event came to be known among students, faculty, and alumnae of WMCP as the “The Jeering Episode.” The Jeering Episode and the ensuing debate about women medical students were widely covered in regional newspapers, and this is one of the numerous articles about the incident collected by Woman's Med. The scrapbook was made by pasting clippings into an existing, bound, printed volume.
Why It Matters
Though the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania had been training women to be doctors since 1850, in 1869 many male medical students were still opposed to women students attending clinical lectures with them. The author of this newspaper article claims he was present at the clinic that took place at Pennsylvania Hospital on November 6, 1869. He asserts that, despite other press reports describing the male students jeering at the women students, the male medical students did not harass the women students at the lecture, even though the male students did in fact object to the presence of the women. The specific language the author used to describe the women students reflects his strong opinion of women medical students and his anger at their presence at the lecture. His language questions the very female-ness of the women.