I messed up last week's weeks post by jumping ahead, both by focusing on the wrong week's reading and by trying to stretch it a little far how I was trying to connect the documentary The Business of Being Born to the Martin article.
That being said, I hope this post makes more sense and that I convince you to check out this film. Most of it is loaded on youtube (which is nice because you can take it in piece-by-piece) or if you have Netflix it streams free online.
In the article Coming to Understand: Orgasm and the Epistemology of Ignorance, Nancy Tuana uses the historical narrative of the scientific and societal discourse of women's bodies and sexuality to demonstrate how ignorance is systematically upheld. That is, the way in which we have come to understand the female body has to be understood as being inseparable from power structures that have an interest (whether conscious or not) in proving what they already believe to be true.
In watching the clip, consider Tuana's words:
"Ignorance is frequently constructed and actively preserved, and is linked to issues of cognitive authority, doubt, trust, silencing, and uncertainty" (195)
And also quoting Eve Sedgwik,
"Ignorance effects can be harnessed, licensed, and regulated on a mass scale for striking enforcements" (195).
Is it reasonable to assume that it's possible that decisions might be made for economic gain and status and that greed and competition unjustly influence some (not all) information and understanding? How have we as a society come to view birth and reproductive health? Is there an interest (again, conscious or not) in keeping women ignorant of their options giving birth?