It's difficult to find a modern woman who feels totally at home in the gynecologist's office, but we actually have a much better deal than any previous generation in history. Nobody's attempting to tell us that our womb is wandering, refusing to wash their hands while dealing with our childbirth, or failing to reveal the secrets of their forceps to us. Neither do they follow the example of 19th century American gynecologist J. Marion Sims, who pioneered modern gynecology by experimenting on female slaves without anesthesia. (The recent rediscovery of Sims' legacy inspired protests to have statues of Sims taken down.)
Life as a woman today may be far from a picnic, but for those of us who can afford good gynecological care (not exactly a given in today's America, unless you have access to Planned Parenthood), it can be comforting to think of how far we've come — and distressing to know the racist, sexist, and extremely scary history of gynecology.
The future of gynecology is decidedly space-age: 3-D printed ovaries are now a thing, for example. However, the female reproductive system continues to face serious challenges from the medical establishment. It's been uncovered in the past 12 months that one in 15 women fitted with a vaginal mesh device to help pelvic organ prolapse after childbirth will need to get it removed surgically, and that the mesh causes all kinds of serious complications. While we're certainly a long way from being made to ritually purify ourselves after childbirth, having reproductive organs as a woman remains, for many of us, a scary business indeed.