The article by Emily Martin left our group more aware of the possibility of hidden stereotypes within explanations of human biological processes. The rhetoric used in teaching and describing fertilization is in fact, sexist against women. There are many other ways in which the female egg can be described with its interaction with the sperm, so that recognition is given to both of them and not just the sperm. We had a successful discussion this morning and received some strong opinions on the subject. It seemed like the students in our section didn't even realize that hidden stereotypes existed within the explanations when they learned about the human biological process. We had an extended discussion about sex education and a lot of students shared their experience of when they were taught about sex and the process that they had to go through to learn (ie. girls were separated from the boys).
As we were growing up, each of us always thought about sexes being opposite. The idea that sex is a social construction had never really crossed our minds, but it makes a lot of sense. Wilchins presented a new perspective to us when he included that "opposite gender" is only about 400 years old. We realized that people do have so much more in common with each other than they have differences, but the data supporting the similarities is discarded due to a society wanting men and women to be different. It is interesting how we are always trying to classify sex, gender, and desire into their appropriate categories when in truth, it is more of a spectrum.
This got us thinking as to whether which came first, negative scientific discourse or the stereotypes themselves. The idea of "opposite gender" came about during a time when women were finally becoming seen in the public eye. As a way to control women, discourses came about which limit women's roles in reproduction which translated over to the limitations in all areas of their lives.
Overall, we had a successful diablog experience.