And completely ignore those that affect men.
Dood I no rite.
Like, I’m a white guy, and sometimes I see a bunch of black people all standing together doing black things and talking about black stuff and black rights and I’m like DON’T YOU EVER THINK ABOUT THE WHITE PEOPLE??? WHAT DID THE WHITE PEOPLE EVER DO TO YOU??? DID YOU EVER THINK THAT MAYBE ALL MY WHITENESS HAS MADE MY LIFE SO DIFFICULT BECAUSE REVERSE RACISM@!!!!!!!1MLK
I can’t even…
Pat Lynch, a high school football coach from Wyoming, heard that bullying is a hot issue right now so he decided to weigh in — by telling his students that he has no tolerance for cry babies….
This is absolutely disgusting!
WHAT THE MOTHER FUCKING FUCK?!?!?!
Martin also calls attention to Ludwik Fleck’s idea of the “’self-contained’ nature of scientific thought.” (Martin 183) To sum, this idea illustrates the tendency of scientific minds to find new innovations to fit their archaic ideas. For instance, in Cordelia Fine explains the “seductive allure of neuroscience explanations.” (Fine 171) While this idea deals with the area of neuroscience, this still rings true for the reproductive information that we have gained.
Because scientists are using new information to shore up old ideas, they have begun to change their views on the reproductive functions of the egg. In complete opposition to the way in which the egg has been discussed throughout history, many biologists are now “flipping the script” and painting the ovum in a dastardly light. Martin states that the egg is now being painted as a “spider lying in wait in her web.” (Martin 185) This new portrait of the egg draws on the other archaic stereotype of “woman as a dangerous and aggressive threat.” (Martin 185)
To refer back to the movie The Little Mermaid, the dangerous and aggressive woman in this scenario is Ursula, the sea witch. In this scenario the villain who tricks the damsel is a woman who has taken on masculine traits (domination and villainy) is the ultimate of foes. Much in the same way, the woman’s reproductive germ cell is now being treated as the aggressor in the situation. Instead of this being a step to create an equal playing field for the germ cells, this is just furthering the ideal that a woman, no matter what her demeanor, is less than a man. Be it her passive, helpless nature, or her aggressive dominating tendencies, she is either worthy of saving or threatening.
What this all boils down to is that the medical body is treating a woman’s reproductive functions as a negative experience. The use of negative terminology in textbooks only adds to the detrimental outlook on menstruation in our society. Martin draws attention to the fact that feminists need to “wake up sleeping metaphors in science” (Martin 187) and challenge the idea that the reproductive functions of a woman are either passive or threatening. If we were to change the view of women’s role in reproduction in medical literature, a trickle-down effect would happen and at least get the ball rolling on making society’s view of menstruation a more positive one.
Another image that has been appropriated is that of the damaged and worn out ovary. It is common knowledge that women are born with all of the eggs that they are to produce in their lifetime. Now, because women have these eggs, their ovaries have to continually (every month) ripen and release an egg from its follicles. As Martin states, many people view an ovary that has gone through hundreds of cycles as a “scarred, battered organ.” (Martin 181) This description would not be nearly as harmful if the male equivalent, the seminal vesicles, were described in the same way. However, the vesicles are spared from this negative description. In this way, not only is the female reproductive system being looked down upon, but it is being depicted as something that, with age, is beaten and cut by its own host. How much more of a damsel in distress can you get?
The next aspect of a woman’s reproductive process that is problematic is the view of menstruation as a failure to reproduce. For instance, there is a movement in Christianity called the QuiverFull Movement who “acknowledge [God’s] headship in all areas of [their] lives, including fertility”. What this movement promotes is the idea that a woman’s place is to have children. This attitude, however radical it may seem, is present in our society as a whole.This is exemplified by Martin’s claim that women who menstruate are seen as “wasteful.” (Martin 181)
To counterattack this argument of wastefulness, Martin calls attention to the fact that “[f]or every baby a man produces, he wastes more than one trillion (10¹²) sperm.” (Martin 181) However, a different paradigm in which to view this would be the cybernetic model in which “feedback loops, flexible adaptation to change, and changing responses to the environment” (Martin 185) govern the system of menstruation. An illustration of such processes is as follows: the woman’s body realizes that the egg will not be fertilized, in response, hormones are released making the uterus shed its lining, to rejuvenate its environment. In this instance, not only is menstruation treated as a system in which the body “talks” to itself but also as a positive experience that refreshes the uterus.
In society today it is not mystery as to how people feel about menstruation. A class of Human Sexuality students, when asked how they viewed menstruation, came up with words like dirty, unclean, unsanitary, and unpleasant. Something that is not taken into account is how medical literature on reproduction perpetuates these ideals of wastefulness and uncleanliness. In Emily Martin’s article The Egg and the Sperm: How Science Has Constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles, Martin delves into the world of medical terminology and how this affects our everyday understanding of menstruation.
Popular culture today is rife with examples of damsels in distress being rescued by a strong masculine character. This ranges from Disney movies, like The Little Mermaid, to more mature movies like Katherine Heigl’s The Ugly Truth. What is surprising is that these popular images of men and women have seeped into our understandings of the male and female reproductive systems.
With ova being seen as a damsel in distress the jump from a fair maiden to wasted tissue is easy to account for. For instance, if the prince in The Little Mermaid had failed to rescue Ariel from the dreaded sea-witch, would the story have been a success? The simple fact that the prince failed in his duties would make the story a failure as well. Much in the same way, when a sperm “fails” to penetrate an ovum and thus does not create pregnancy, this is seen as a waste.
Emily Maguire- Princesses & Pornstars (via missrockmeup)
YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES.