The Midwives Book Summary

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The Midwives Book written by Jane Sharp in 1671, it was an instructive text to women on how to maintain their births. This text was revolutionary as Sharp established and legitimized her entry into the male dominated medical text tradition due to her extensive practical experience as a women and midwife (Morphis, 2014). More specifically Jane Sharp established her authority in the patriarchal medical hierarchy by reinterpreting the word of God and the Bible scriptures to favour women instead of men and also destigmatise sex and desire. In essence, Sharp reminds her audience of the “midwives of Israel, who were so faithful to their trust that the Command of a King could not make them depart from it.” As a result Sharp establishes the authority…show more content…
The Midwives Book reflects Protestant English medical tradition, this is because the text assumes that God created man and that medicine and religion can emulate each other. Furthermore, Sharp illustrates that “God and nature hate idleness” places religion and the body as equal and is in line with the Protestant work ethic (Morphis, 2014). Sharp manipulates religious stories in the Bible to favour the female perspective by ‘altering the traditional definition of Adam and Eve’s punishment’, by reinterpreting the morals of sexual cravings, in highlighting the ‘Protestant value of moderation’. Therefore in using the scriptures in the Bible to contradict the writings of medical experts, Sharp plays the same role as the midwives of Israel who adhered to the words of God as the ultimate authority above kings and as a result was rewarded for their faithfulness to God (Morphis, 2014). In essence Jane Sharp regularly uses bible stories to portray female midwives as the natural and anointed persons for carrying out the critical task of saving and bring mankind in to this world, whilst illustrating medical men as the less perfect to their female counterpart (Bricks, 2007). It can be exemplified when Sharp

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