Lecture#14-Men and Women
Medicine was one of the discourses by which the Greeks defined already
The scientific inquiry was drive be and derailed by cultural oppositions
o He can’t escape the cultural biases he grew up with
o He is trying to explain the difference between Greek and barbarian but he is
always working with this mindset that Greeks are superior
o He is trying to find scientific basis for nomos but nomos always affects and
effects his observations.
Anatomy and physiology determines the differences between male and female.
Given Hippocrates, Socrates etc…these writers are trying to understand nomos and their
perception of gender roles affects their description of nature/biology
Their empirical observations of females are always affected by their biases towards
women and their role in society.
As with airs, water and places, this physiis is always affected by nomos.
Sex may always be gender. Underneath those sexual differences (anatomical
differences), those differences may not be understandable without some gender
o They think that they are explaining is physis or sex
They are seeing it through eyes of nomos or gender
o The question is sex that the bedrock under which gender is built?
o Or is gender the bedrock in which sex is built?
Fant & Lefkowitz #339, 341, 343, 344, 349, 351
Bizzare things found in text
Men are hotter than women?
Semen coming from the right side of the body…and the right is hotter than the left. That is why
right is generative
Women does have sperm?
Women are just men on the inside?
Wandering wombs, inverted men, hysterical virgins.
What are these texts?
These texts are coming from different authors.
Some authors: Hippocrates was writing in 5 BCE and from Asia Minor, Aristotle (philosopher)
who wrote on everything, (4th century BCE), Gailean (2nd century CE)under roman empire,
o How little there was an understanding change of gender over 6 centuries….
o Emotional state in relation to pregnancy (an ancient notion that is carried through to
o Something wrong with women more than men. (women going to doctors more often or
even gynecologists. Standard going to these doctors) reproductive health is assumed
for women, general ailments for men.
o Doctor is a man and a patient is a woman. Until recently, women were patients and not
doctors. You get the sense with these texts from male doctors talking about female