Anum Rafiq; 13 Jan 2013
Week 2: HLTC02 Summary: Martin, egg and the sperm
Wants to show how gender stereotypes are hidden within the scientific language of biology
For women, menstruation is described as debris’. The shedding of the uterine lining.
Menstruation is extolled after birth. Enthusiasm ends there
The creation of sperm shows something remarkable in men, in women it does not.
Ovulation is not talked of highly either; it’s something that just waits to be fertilized, sitting on a
Female processes casted in a negative light; it needs to be homologous- male and female
Men waste more than one trillion sperm for every baby they produce, so GIRL, QUIT BEIN SEXIST
Little sperms go on journeys, they deliver…little eggs chill and get transported and drifted. Basic
vocab that feminizes the egg and masculinities the sperm
Eggs will die without sperm..they have to be rescued by little sperm men. Oh the FRAGILITY!!!
Research now shows that the forward thrust of the sperm is actually pretty weak, the sperm
uses both mechanical as well as chemical means to penetrate the zona of the egg. There are
adhesive molecules on the surfaces of both the egg and the sperm that allow these guys to stick
After 1987, the egg was given a more active role in this process. Scientists described it more
Basically, all three new accounts of description of this process are still unable to escape the
hierarchical imagery of older accounts. They increasingly give the egg a larger more important
It is now looked as a female aggressor who captures and tethers the sperm with its sticky zona,
like a spider lying in wait in her web.
The new cybernetic model gives the female process a more positive view.
The models biologists use to describe data, can have important social effects.
We should be aware of this biased language in order to lessen its power over us.
Week 2: Reading summary of: Menopause, local biologies, and cultures of aging by Lock and Kaufert:
This article challenges the notion of a universal menopause by arguing that the symptoms of pre
and post menopause vary from pop. To population. It does research in US, Canada, and Japan
It insists that we think in terms of local biologies as opposed to universality of menopause. Since
rates of cancer, oesteoporosis, and other diseases that happen due to the lack of estrogen, vary
in countries. Example, Japanese rates are much lower than North American rates.
Post reproductive life goes beyond nature cuz no mammals have lives past reproductions’ end
A comparative study, looks at how media medicalizes post menopausal life as something that
needs medication. The need to separate biology and culture is argued
Menopause is best understood as a cultural construct Menstruation basically beans the “dodging time” the years before and after the last period
Some at the John Hopkins university argue that menopause is actually good, a protective feature
for the body-others hold the opposite view
In Japan, the word Jonenki is used to describe menopause, however it does not have its same
narrow meaning. Its thought of as a long gradual process to which the end of menstruation is
just one contributing factor, closer to the European idea of the climacteric. It does not indicate
that a woman is now in her middle age in Jap