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Lecture 6

W S 201 Lecture 6: WS 201 Notes- Health and Reproduction

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Iowa State University
Women's Studies
W S 201
Alexia Shante Angton

WS 201: Health and Reproduction 4/10/2017 7:25:00 PM Concepts and Keywords • Eugenics o The belief that the human race can be “improved” through selective breeding; linked to racism and able-bodyism. • Intersectionality • Marginalization • Reproductive Justice o A perspective that links health and reproductive rights to broader issues of social and economic justice. It offers a view of wellness for individuals, communities, and the wider society based on the eradication of inequality, oppression, and injustice. • Comprehensive Reproductive Rights • Invisibilization What is health? (OOED) • Body functioning “normally” • Selfishness • Legal/social system = political • Mental/moral • Marginalization: o Personal responsibility o Same rules for all • Physical, mental, social, and cultural • Historical and cross-cultural variations Intersectionality Matters, Too • Access or denial to services or information • Pathologies may depend on social location • Age of death • Health/medical system = part of society • May reflect biases and beliefs • History and social location matter Medical/Health System is Androcentric • (White) male body is norm historically • Aristotle: women = “incomplete/unfinished men” • Women’s reproductive system = inversion of men’s • Women’s body seen as monstrous, pathological o Hysteria o Bodily changes o Menstruation = filth; endometriosis dismissed (Yuko 2016) o Cancer: Women’s disease • Until mid-1970s: only men could be in clinical trials and used for medical experiments; norm for prescriptions • Symptoms are different and dosage is not “one-size-fits-all” • Specificities of “other” bodies denied, marginalized, or used against people • = keep in subordinate position • Flipside: Is there an equivalent for a gynecologist for men? o Andrologist: only since 1960s • Men = “naturally” healthy = marginalization Medical/Health System and Context • Organs and bones are displaced and crushed • Digestion and respiratory problems • Uterus moved = pregnancy and childbirth risks • Livers “wrinkled” because of corsets (Gilgenkrantz 2013) Controlling Bodies • Concerns, advice, habits, or medical discipline • Multiple societal levels of control • Individual (Self-objectification) • Peer-pressure • Cultural o Sandra Lee Bartky (1988) o Greater eating disorders = women’s social independence o Disorders = context and women’s social positions = kept subordinate • Laws and regulation at regional, national, and global levels Feminism, Health, and Reproduction
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