Friday, July 19, 2019
Sex and Gender Essay -- Anatomy Papers
Sex and Gender Arianna Stassinopoulos wrote in the 1973 book The Female Woman: "It would be futile to attempt to fit women into a masculine pattern of attitudes, skills and abilities and disastrous to force them to suppress their specifically female characteristics and abilities by keeping up the pretense that there are no differences between the sexes" (Microsoft Bookshelf). In her statement we see a cultural feminist response to the dominant liberal feminism of the 1970s. Liberal feminism de-emphasized gender differences, claiming that women were the equals of men and that this would be obvious if only they were offered the same opportunities as men with no special privileges necessary. On the other hand, cultural feminists such as Stassinopoulos claimed that women's unique perspective and talents must be valued, intentionally emphasizing the differences between men and women. A third type of feminism, post-modernism, is represented in Sexing the Body by Anne Fausto-Sterling. Post-modern feminism questions the very origins of gender, sexuality, and bodies. According to post-modernism, the emphasis or de-emphasis of difference by cultural and liberal feminists is meaningless, because the difference itself and the categories difference creates are social constructions. Fausto-Sterling's post-modernism, however, depicts this social construction in a unique manner; she attempts to illustrate the role of science in the construction of gender, sex, and bodies. In doing so she discusses three main ways in which science aids in the social construction of sex: first, new surgical technology allows doctors to literally construct genitalia; second, socially accepted biases aff ect the way scientists design, carry out, and analyze ex... ...heories of performing gender to make this point, Fausto-Sterling is able to point to concrete scientific experiments and explain where they go wrong. And one can conclude from Fausto-Sterling's book that not only do we "do" gender, we also "do" sex and bodies as well. Works Cited Butler, Judith. "Performative acts and gender constitution: An essay in phenomenology and feminist theory." 1998. Excerpt from K. Conboy, N. Medina and S. Stanbury, eds. Writing on the Body: Female Embodiment and Feminist Theory (401-17). NY: Columbia University Press, 1997. Fausto-Sterling, Anne. Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality. NY: Basic Books, 2000. Stassinopoulos, Arianna. "The Natural Woman." Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality. Entry found under "gender." Microsoft Bookshelf 2000. CD-ROM. 2000.