The Wall, the Ban, and the Objectification of Women

Has “Uncle Sam” Learned any Lessons from “Typhoid Mary?”

in The International Journal of Social Quality
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  • 1 Florida International University aothm001@fiu.edu
  • 2 Florida International University darroww@fiu.edu
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Abstract

Discrimination against women and other vulnerable groups prevailed throughout the twentieth century; it persists today. This historical case study analyzes the life and times of “Typhoid Mary,” an unmarried, Irish Catholic, immigrant woman who was persecuted as an intransigent carrier of a deadly infectious disease. Being a Mexican immigrant, Muslim, or unattractive woman could condemn someone for similar mistreatment today. The failure to overcome prejudice impedes the effectiveness of public health to protect infected patients and susceptible persons from harm and to interrupt disease transmission in communities; it jeopardizes the realization of social quality. Social justice, solidarity, equal valuation, and human dignity will be achieved through resistance to the human rights violations of the Trump administration and the resilience of strong women like Mary Mallon.

Contributor Notes

Amani Othman (BDs, MPH) is a doctoral student in the Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work at Florida International University. She was born and received her early education in Saudi Arabia. ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6500-2443. Email: aothm001@fiu.edu

William W. Darrow (PhD) is a Professor of Public Health at the Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work at Florida International University who collaborates with colleagues and students on historical and other research projects designed to improve the practice of global public health. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of the International Journal of Social Quality. ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7198-6119. Email: darroww@fiu.edu

The International Journal of Social Quality

(formerly The European Journal of Social Quality)

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