"« L’histoire de la gynécologie occidentale est extrêmement violente et raciste. » Et il n’y a qu’à se pencher sur l’histoire du spéculum pour comprendre. « Le mec qui a inventé le spéculum a sa statue dans Central Park. Pourtant ce qu’on oublie de dire c’est qu’il a expérimenté durant des années sur des femmes noires, comme on le ferait avec des animaux, afin de mieux soigner des femmes blanches. » Effectivement, l’histoire du Dr James Marion Sims, puisque c’est de lui dont il s’agit, a de quoi faire frémir. Ce chirurgien effectuait ses recherches sur des esclaves qu’il tenait captives dans sa clinique à Montgomery, en Alabama. Certaines ont été opérées plus de trente fois sans anesthésie." ▻http://www.metronews.fr/blog/ovidie/2015/09/23/docteure-duchesne-sorciere-en-gynecologie
Why No One Can Design a Better Speculum - The Atlantic
The speculum’s history is, like many medical histories, full of dubious ethics. Versions of the speculum have been found in medical texts dating back to the Greek physician Galen in 130 A.D. and shown up in archaeological digs as far back as 79 A.D. amidst the dust of Pompeii. (The artifact from Pompeii is a bit of a nightmare: two blades that open and close via a corkscrew-like mechanism.)
But the speculum most women experience today is largely credited to a man named James Marion Sims, often heralded as the father of American gynecology. He was a controversial figure even in his day, and should probably remain one now.
Sims’s early gynecological experiments were done on slave women who, in many cases, he purchased and kept as property in the back of his private hospital. Along with this violent legacy, Sims left behind a few medical advances and inventions—one of them being the vaginal speculum. While the design has been refined, the speculum women see today isn’t all that different from the one Sims used on his captive patients.
One might expect our modern spirit of innovation and disruption to turn its eye on the speculum. Surely something invented so long ago, under such dubious circumstances, could use an update. And many have tried. In the past 10 years, new designs for the speculum have continuously cropped up, only to fade away again. But while medical manufacturers continue to improve the design in little ways, there has been no real contender to displace the duck-billed model. The speculum’s history is inextricably linked to extreme racism and misogyny. But for all that, it just may be the best design we’re ever likely to have.