Diablog #2 Follow-up Entry

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Taking another look at the articles, I noticed a few interesting points in Wilchin's article I had not noticed before. One was her statement that people judge people based on their gender immediately, and the connotations associated with their sex. This is something I've always done, so I haven't necessarily noticed it happening. Noting the differences in others is subconscious, yet it is something that people discuss, point out, and are in awe of. Wilchins main problem is that programs researching similarities between the sexes are getting no funding, because the majority of the funding is going towards studies that focus on the differences! Similarly, Martin's article points out how science and scientific terminology glorify one sex (male) and disregard the other (female) in the sexual reproductive process. Martin believes science is affected by traditional gender roles and stereotypes associated with the sexes, thus making the sperm seem 'heroic' in the reproductive process and the egg as dormant and simply receiving the action, while doing no work of its own. Male sperm is glorified as having gone through a miraculous quest to reach the egg, while the egg, if unfertilized, is considered to not have reached its 'potential' of developing into a fetus.
Some questions brought to mind were if I really thought that scientific terms were accurate in describing the egg as being the receiver of a great action of the sperm, or if I believed that both the male and female reproductive cells worked equally? A woman's are there from birth, and the males are processed with age. Women's eggs that are wasted are emphasized as a failed attempt to reproduce, yet the excess of sperm in every ejaculation is considered many more potential opportunities to get to the egg and looked at as something naturally more beneficial. I was also wondering if I really thought that scientific terms glorified male sperm more than the female egg. After all, the sperm does go through an intense journey to the egg and many die along the way, so it is really up to the male's sperm to reach the egg and successfully procreate. Do you believe science is appropriately biased towards men, at least in this reproductive aspect?

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I believe science is biased towards men. I wouldn't use the word appropriately because afterall it was men that were doing some of the original research and creating the language for reproduction. They were using language already available to them through gender norms of the time. They were also biased towards the male sex in general. When talking about reproduction, the female system seems to fail no matter how you look at it. What I mean by this is as the reading mentioned, a woman't reproductive system is a failure if th egg does not get fertilized. it is a waste. But the female reproductive system also has many defenses in place, which is why only a few sperm reach the egg. The sperm is viewed as the amzing warrior that survived against all odds when others did not not. THe sperm wins, conquering the woman's defenses. Once again she loses. Her compensation is that now she is a success because she can have a baby. I don't think that it is appropriately biased towards men. A woman's defenses beat thousands of male sperm. And only a few get through once in a while. (And the male sperm-carrying the y chromosome-will only fertilize if the egg has been released because they are the fastest. But the female sperm-carrying the x chromosome-is able to survive longer and wait for an egg to fertilize-up to 5 days. So the female survives longer but what is focused on is how fast the male sperm got through).

This was one of my original questions that I posed towards the class was why is it that the female reproduction system is looked at as inferior to the male reproductive system instead of simply different. They both play the biggest role in the actual reproduction process where without one you can't have the other. So why is it that one is looked at as being better? It takes two to tango, without the other you have nothing (just have a lonely person on the dance floor).

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