We honor Anarcha the Slave! Resisting Patriarchy and Racist Capitalism

In 2015 #Anarchagland, an autonomous-research project of #gynepunk  in Catalonia,  renamed female sex glands after 3 slaves, Anarcha, Betsey and Lucy, who were abused as guinea pigs  by the maverick doctor J Marion Sims.  …..

Dr Sims, who had no gynecological experience,  obtained up to 20 black slave women suffering gynecological injuries of torn fistulas and experimented on them, without anesthetics , for 4 years in his ”medical Plantation” in Alabama .

“If there was anything I hated,” he wrote from the outset, “it was investigating the organs of the female pelvis.”

We don’t know how many of his victims died or if they really gave consent as he claimed in his extravagant autobiography ( it was a death sentence offense for slaves to write or record  anything) but Sims was a showman and boasted of operating over 30 times on Anarcha who was 17 at the start,  and almost killing Lucy outright on her first operation.

Diane Collier and Marina Ortiz want the Dr. Marion Sims statue removed from East Harlem. “It’s offensive obviously to women of color, but it should be offensive to women as a whole,” Collier said. “My position is if Yale can change the name of Calhoun College … Parks should be able to do something in a progressive city like New York. That’s how I’m looking at it.”

These slave women suffered torn fistulas- tears in the walls between their vaginas, urethras and rectums, so that they  leaked urine and weren’t sexually able  so that their owners lost potential profits in baby slaves. .. these were caused by difficult births, atrocious working conditions (e.g. 15 hour days when pregnant),  or legal rape ( female slaves were property and could be raped with impunity, and for profit when they had children).

Indeed Sims himself probably caused the condition in Anarcha by using forceps to pull out her baby with zero experience, as he admitted himself.  Sims devotes many chapters to praising himself but leaves us no note on whether the children or women patients survived.

He did admit turning the women into weak and helpless opium addicts, so that he would have to feed them less and they would defecate less, perhaps aiding the healing of the stitches. (But other researchers have accused him of lying in his autobiography, and that far from being a few black slaves on his ranch the experiments were in a building beside the main slaves market and all other doctors refused to participate..)

Dr Sims  ‘invented’ the speculum, an improvised shoehorn to open their vaginas so he could see inside and stitch up the tears, thus claiming to be the ‘father of gynecology’ when he went on to operate on white women, with anaesthetics and found a prestigious hospital in New York.

Now there is a controversy, with eminent physicians like Dr Wall defending Dr. Sims and the feminist movement denouncing him for the way he treated Anarcha, Betsey, Lucy and their anonymous fellow victims, demanding that the slaves not the  predatory doctor be honored and that his statues be removed .

The  Barcelona feminists proposed that female sex glands, which have been misnamed after men  who ‘discovered’ them and had their functions obscured by misogynist medical science, be renamed to honor the suffering of Anarcha, Betsey and Lucy whose suffering allowed the technique for sewing up fistulas to be developed. SEE THEIR VIDEO BELOW

Other feminists have pointed out that millions of women in Asia and Africa still suffer incontinence from torn fistulas and are shunned, marginalised and even killed, NOT because there is no known treatment (nowadays blocked birth is routinely avoided by C section in the West) but because there are few if any health facilities ( also due to ex colonial resource ownership, rampant predatory capitalism, religious superstition used to abuse women, etc).

They point to this predator capitalism as the root cause, both under the slave system then and the wage slave system today, quoting the statistic that health and education for all could be paid for with just a few days a year of the world arms budget controlled by power crazed patriarchs.

Patriarchy and Racism Still Rife

Especially for black people the case of Anarcha, Betsey and Lucy is a burden, a cultural and emotional link to the censored world of infinite pain and suffering of our recent ancestors under obscene power and wealth, and a reminder of how that world continues around the planet, except for hard won  and always threatened victories.

Lynn Roberts, a public health professor at the City University of New York, At the time, anesthesia was available and could have been used. It’s very similar to Tuskegee. They knew (penicillin) was available and didn’t administer the treatment.”

These cases, and others, partly explain why such large health disparities exist between racial groups in the US — black patients are more likely to die from cancer, for example — and why many of them inherently distrust the medical establishment.

This distrust is well-documented. A 2009 study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that blacks who were surveyed “had significantly less trust in their own physicians” and were less likely than white respondents to agree that their doctor would not ask them to participate in harmful research.

To this day, many minority patients are reluctant to sign up for clinical trials. The Food and Drug Administration explained in a consumer update that this hesitation can be partly explained by the “historical mistreatment of study subjects.” see detailed examples here

“The medical profession still has not dealt with racism in medicine,” said Thad Bell, a family doctor in North Charleston and the former diversity director at MUSC.

”Several of his patients had surgery for what were considered gynecological issues: such as clitoridectomies, believed to control –‘hysteria’ or ‘improper behavior’ related to sexuality. These were done at the requests of their husbands/fathers, who were permitted under the law to commit the women to surgery involuntarily.[5]”http://en.wikipedia. and see below. Witches and women in medicine

The Mother of Gynecology

Anarcha was an African American slave woman. She was one of the seventy-five slaves who worked the Wescott plantation, just on the outskirts of Montgomery, Alabama

J. Marion Sims, the “Father of Gynecology” (in the U.S.) endorsed the
practice of clitorectomies well into the twentieth century. The practice of clitorectomy for psychiatric disorders became popular with Freudian psychoanalysis. Oophorectomy, or removal of the ovaries, also known as female castration, and hysterectomies were widespread as a cure for psychological disorders and continued in the U.S. until the mid-1940’s.-source here The renamed glands are the two Skene’s glands, now the Anarcha glands, and the two Bartholin glands, now the Lucy and Betsey glands.

Skene was another US doctor, who wasn’t even the first to describe the glands, and was a big fan of Dr Sims (even carving a statue of him). see: Skene’s gland


It’s fitting that after suffering over 30 experimental operations without anesthetic that Anarcha be remembered  by having Skene’s gland named after her, also because her name Anarcha (‘female of without hierarchy‘) suggests her parents hoped she would somehow escape slavery and patriarchal culture.

Anarcha glands (Skene’s) vary in size from woman to woman. They can fill with fluid when the vagina is massaged from the inside against the outer front walls, during sex or childbirth, where the acclaimed ‘G spot’ is usually located.

Many studies link the Anarcha Glands to vaginal orgasms. When excitation increases they can cause ejaculation, through ducts and an orifice just below the urethra, so it’s sometimes confused with urine, sometimes intentionally (see Figures.)  (Also the Anarcha Gland has recently been classified by some as ‘the female prostate’ and there is an ongoing debate.)

The Betsey and Lucy glands, (Bartholin) are situated below the vagina on each side and hold a whiteish fluid which goes via ducts to the vagina when excited, providing lubricant in sex and childbirth. We don’t know if Betsey or Lucy (or the up to 20 more slaves) survived the experiments done on them.

Though the condition of fistulas was easily controlled, by 1885, the condition is still widespread especially in Africa, due to non existent primary health care, with resulting stigmatization, witch branding and terrible suffering.

Direct slavery still exists but is largely replaced with wage slavery which in some ways is even worse (debt replacing the whip). The capitalist can hire us at the minimum possible rate, often with little or no obligations to even feed us when he cannot make a good profit, and with corporations offshoring, corruption etc he need pay little or no tax of which only a fraction benefits the worker anyway.

It has been shown that with just a few % of what the male hierarchy spend on weapons you could have free health and schooling worldwide.


The Anarchagland collective made the following video which honours Anarcha, Betsey and Lucy, highlights the continuing tragedy of fistula and celebrates their own anti-patriarchal rebellion and  sexual stories.

Here’s our video that illustrates the history of gynecologypatriarchal exploitation,
Here’s our first draft of a viral tool for body decolonization:[0 beta-teta-test] Anarcha, Lucy, Betsey y otras chicas del montón from Anarcha on Vimeo.



I DON’T WANT TO CALL THE GLAND THAT MAKES ME EJACULATE RIVERS of PLEASURE with a guy’s name that says that he “discovered” some part of my body!

ANARCHA, was a black slave that suffered in her own flesh the experimentation of the sadist idols of Skene/ Sims

SHE, AND ONLY SHE, can name my flesh. MEMORY.
HER flesh, MY flesh.
What makes me squirt deserves a body that can speak at her level.

DEATH to the patriarchal domination of the colonialist medical theatre!
pça catalunya

J  Marion Sims.. Saint or Monster

medical SimsHead

Sims has continued to be cited for his groundbreaking work in medical textbooks but, since the late 20th century, historians and ethicists have questioned his practices. His experimental surgeries without anesthesia on enslaved African-American women who could not consent are considered by some to be symbolic of the violent oppression of blacks and vulnerable populations in the United States.[1]

Physician L.L. Wall argues that Sims was operating for therapeutic purposes, with the consent of patients as can be determined, and ”within acceptable medical practices of his time”. He believes Sims cannot be judged only in relation to today’s standards.

It’s true that Sim’s experiments found a way, if it were used, to save the enormous suffering and stigmatization experienced by fistula victims, many also victims of rape or cruel and stupid childbirthing methods, also anesthesia was only starting to be used at the time.

Image result for black lives matter

But that’s no excuse for obtaining and abusing slaves to promote his illustrious career.. operating 34 times on Anarcha before trying white women (with anesthesia). Patriarchal slavers are not innocent because ‘it was accepted at the time” no more than they are today

”Several of his patients had surgery for what were considered gynecological issues: such as clitoridectomies, believed to control hysteria or ‘improper’ behavior related to sexuality. These were done at the requests of their husbands/fathers, who were permitted under the law to commit the women to surgery involuntarily.[5]”http://en.wikipedia.

Witches and women in medicine

Sims was part of a tradition which used surgery to keep women under control. In the late nineteenth century and even up until 1946, there was extensive use of ovariectomy for psychological disorder in the US. Indications included epilepsy, nymphomania, hysteria and ‘ovarian insanity’.” (Scully 1980:49)


see HERE… STOP FGM NOW.COM: The campaign

Female genital mutilation (FGM)

The tradition linking female sexual organs to our brains goes back to
Hippocrates and was used to justify castration of women who got out of hand. An American doctor, Dr David Gilliam, writing in 1896, outlined the case for castration by declaring that as a result “the moral sense of the patient is elevated, that she becomes tractable, orderly, industrious, and cleanly… My own experience in this line has been most happy.” (Scully 1980:51)

This “wholesale unsexing of women” was at times at the behest of
husbands or fathers to enforce the submission of their women.


During this time clitoridectomy was also used to control women’s
sexuality, a custom which remains widespread in Africa and some areas of the Middle East.

Current use of surgery

The widespread use of hysterectomy, caesarean section and mastectomy today may be the natural successor to the overtly hostile and damaging surgery of the nineteenth century. radical mastectomy, prophylactic mastectomy, breast implants.

> 20% of post-menopausal women in Australia have had a hysterectomy  {note from Yazzmyne: and lets not forget the unnecessary mutilation of the cervix routinely performed due to pap smear screenings which  most women are subject to}

”However, there has been an international shift of energy and
everywhere the feminine is rising, and women are coming back to
reclaim their rightful place at the heart of healing.”

——-excerpt from article :Witches and women in medicine” by Jo Wainer

8 thoughts on “We honor Anarcha the Slave! Resisting Patriarchy and Racist Capitalism”

  1. This is painful, reading anything about Marion Sims…The book, Medical Apartheid by Harriet Washington covers his atrocities very thoroughly. I refuse to call him a doctor of anything except enslavement, pain, torture, death and humiliation. I’m wondering why he was allowed to live. Any statues of him should be chopped down and burned – along with anyone who supports him for any reason.

    Liked by 1 person

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