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Women and Gender Studies

WGS – Lecture 2 How to do the readings: Questions to consider when reading:  How does the article relate to the name of the course, and how is it related to biology? & what type of construction is going on?  What assertions/claims are being made about sex, gender, and fertility?  On what evidence are these claims based?  Are there multiple interpretations of this reading? Especially compared to other readings.  Look at various claims, look at evidence for them, look at alternative interpretation of these claims, examine the debates going on  How did the central biological, methodological moves influence the reading?  Look at it critically Last class discussed certain language we should listen to in respect to biology things like natural, or animal nature, instinct, etc. This signals we are dealing with biology I. Pg. 47 of reader 1) Video last week showed that if not born as either sex, they will be constructed as such. 2), 3) Focuses on the genital at birth not only ascribes gender but also boyness and girlness. 4) Matching of male sex/male gender/boy identification as part of normal package, so if had male sex/female gender/transgender then it is not normal. 5) Is singular so you can’t be male and female, or be male but act female, etc. There from birth and lifelong. Gender follows sex, identification follows. Constant throughout one’s life, that is the naturalist paradigm. 6) “ad enforce sex/sexuality/ gender hetero-dimorphism” (video last week, born hermaphrodite constructed into either male or female” - This paradigm is very strong constraining idea, assumed this is what occurs in nature II. Biology -result in psychological makeup as genderand then impact social, cultural, economic, political dynamics & institutions. A: If you start with argument that it starts with biology, determines everything else. Deterministic says things do happen. B: Naturalistic: Things should happen. What is given in biology should not be interfered with but it could be. Sometimes intervention does happen but happen in error that occurred in biology so restoring better naturalist to actor. This occurs in nature but so what? For example, if you have had orthodontist naturalist would say your crooked teeth it is natural, not very good argument. Or getting Lasik surgery on eyes with poor sight. Interfering with nature this way is not seen as bad or good. What about “correcting” sexual variability controversy about runner, Caster Semenya, a few years back about a female runner should not have won award because she was not really a girl. Research done on gender identity, including endocrinologist, gyno, inter-medicine specialist, and psychologist in determining if she is a girl or not? After year still not determined if girl or not, Caster said she is a girl identifies as such, grown as one but these medical practitioners undecided. However, argument made that most athletes are physically different for example Michael Phelps double jointed ankles, and big feet help him swim but no one stops him from competing. -While this debate going on she appeared on “you” magazine, gets a makeover for cover of You magazine. III. Not tested on this. IV. 1) Beatrix Potter, known as one of the most skilful drawers/illustrators/experimenters with mushrooms, worked side by side with uncle who was chemist at that time. Was female scientist who studied fungi Asked to present findings at royal society, turned down because she was female. Decided to express vivid observations she made as scientist through children literature. In 1997 after 100 years she tried to present her findings, apologized for excluding her findings. Beatrix Potter’s exclusion from science was because at that time they did not want any women in science at all, not just Beatrix. 2) Right from start, it was assumed b/c that women by and large were more emotional, more subject to emotional flux and passion then men. Right from start secretary of royal society, expres
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