Physiology is Destiny: Early Modern Views of Gender 15/01/2008 14:06:00

Discussion regarding the essay on Isis called “A Woman Down to Her Bones” • what is the fundamental issue the essay is arguing? o The point of the one sex model  One sex is primary, one is subordinate o Then the issue comes out that there are two sexes and they are not subordinate to each other. How does it prove it? o The author speaks about the anatomical differences between the sexes  His evidence is that the two others ignored a lot of texts that contained male and female skeletons that discussed their many differences.  He argues that in England, Germany, France, there are texts that are widely distributed. They are in the correspondences ability, they ideas get picked up and transmitted. They were well known at the time and widely used. Why is this important? o Just getting the historical time frame correct is one of them. o Stolberg states that Laqueur and Schiebinger maintained that the creation of the two sex model was created in the mid 18th century was a deliberate process. In order to deny woman their equality with men. It was created to keep woman subordinate.

Why does the discussion begin with the one sex model? • Galenic is an ancient anatomical physician • According to them up to the 18th century the one sex model was based on the galenic model and then they change to the two sex model. What is the one sex model? • Nature when its completely right, you get a male. When nature does not go completely right you get a female. The idea is that a female is really an imperfect male.

• Heat is identified with maleness, cold with femaleness. What according to Stolberg what are the main arguments of the other guys? • Before the 18th century there aren’t any technical terms for the female anatomy to separate them from the male counterparts. • Stolberg refuses the idea that there weren’t any illustrations of the female and male skeletons until the 18th century. Stolberg believes that the other guys were trying to find a way to put women down. In the 18th century the enlightenment was occurring in which women were starting to be seen as equal. • Particularly in France. • A new age of light because it asserts the fundamental human right to liberty, and to equality. • Social order is based on a hierarchy. An arrangement of the elites on top, the not so elite (commoners) on the bottom. o The claim is that this is natural. o That the social order is natural. That there are those that are born to be leaders and show the characteristics of the nobility. o Natural also means as god intended. o God realized humans needed a hierarchy. It comes from nature, not society.  The enlightenment claims that this is a social structure, not natural. What is natural is the liberty and human rights. It is in the very structure and design of nature.  Many believed it was god, while others believe it was nature that human rights and equality was given. • The two sex model argues that the bodies are different and is natural that women get married, have children. They wanted a social idea that allowed them to tell women that it was natural for them to stay home and raise the children. It was a way to keep women subordinate. o It is inherently misogynistic  Regarding this issue Stoldberg states what does autopsy mean? • To look for oneself • It wasn’t until this period that autopsy really begin. How does Stoldberg refute the ideas of the other guys?

He is going to identify the differences between the ideas in the 1600s and the 18th century. • Dimorphism is not inherently misogynistic On what area of the body did they focus their research on? • They focused in the skeleton. And a primary point is the pelvis. Because it contains some of the most striking differences. • The women’s pelvic differences were made by design. It was meant to be that way, to serve a function. Who is Felix Platter? • Felix Platter (1536 – 1614), professor of anatomy at Basel University, provided the first comprehensive and systematic account of the peculiar features of the female skeleton. What is more, he accompanied it with the picture of a “sceletos mulieris adultae” offering what is, to my knowledge, the first illustration of a female skeleton and its peculiar features in the history of Western medicine. What are the distinguishing features? • Pelvis, thorax, • Thorax o Female chest needed to support the breast. • It is science that is being understood for specific purposes. It describes women’s rule in the private sphere. More domestic roles. • The cranium o Women were a bit child like in the way their cranium was configured. Men lose more heat through the head than women, thus it was believed were not as smart. • Breast milk What are the social factors? • What are the gynecologists really studying? o They are studying female disease and the origin of the disease. o Why do men have different diseases than women?  The uterus is the origin of physical and emotional problems. o There is a market for the treatment of women. In the process making discoveries such as the fallopian tubes.

Homology means from the same origin. • The one sex model is primary until the 18th century. The one sex model is the homology of the three part model. Testes and such. When the process is not complete due to lack of heat you get a woman. In comparison there are similar functions that add in reproduction. • Similarities between ovaries and the testes, etc. • There are comparisons but you are not saying the female organs are derived from the imperfectness of male organs. Homo means in this context ‘like’ • Two words in Latin homo means ‘like’ o Homo also means ‘men’ In this period when you think of human nature or sex differences. There is a convention that a creator that created for a purpose. They always look for the explanation of function in terms of design. What is/are the principle issues in the challenge of stoldberg to laquer and schilinger? • The one sex model is misogynistic o According to laquer and schiligner why does the two sex model have their origin in the enlightenment? Why does it have to be misogynistic at this time?  The values affirmed in the enlightenment were the values of human liberty and equality and they are natural rights. All humans are equal and the fundamental human attribute is the desire for freedom, for liberty. This are natural to the world. They are in the human nature.  The two sex model develops as a social construct as a way to legitimize the idea that men have control over women. They have a natural subordinate position in society.  Stoldberg to refute the idea that drawings came out during this period shows illustrations and writings before this throughout the world. He argues that it is not a necessary misogynistic move or a social construct.

Stoldberg challeneges the predominanat view of laquer and schilfer by showing that it not necessarily misogynistic by showing writings and illustrations in the 16th and 17th centuries.

15/01/2008 14:06:00

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