Women oppression essays

Many feminist writers have been equally guilty of shaping the evidence to fit the theory. For example, Sherry Ortner argues in "Is Female to Male as Nature Is to Culture?" that, historically, women’s capacity to give birth brought them closer to "nature," while men’s capacity for warfare allowed them to dominate in the realm of "culture." On this basis, she makes the sweeping generalization that "everywhere, in every known culture, women are considered in some degree inferior to men." But she is short on evidence–and that which she offers is far from definitive. For example, she cites a 1930s’ study of a matrilineal American Indian society, the Crow. Although Ortner admits that in most respects Crow women hold positions of relatively high authority, she cites the Crow’s taboo toward women during menstruation as evidence that they are nevertheless regarded as inferiors. Among other things, menstruating women are not allowed to touch either a wounded man or a man starting on a war party. 11

Some studies that claim to have found differences have used post-mortem brain samples of transsexuals. What can be overlooked when these studies are promoted by neuropundits is that the numbers of subjects are small and often they (MTF usually) will have been on significant oestrogen medication for many years. Not the least of the criticisms of these brain-fishing expeditions using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and PET (positron emission tomography) scans is that our behaviour, personality and desires cannot be read off from claimed physical differences in localised areas of the brain. Correlation between various stimulants and activity in areas of the brain is not the same as causation . What we do know about the brain is that it is highly complex, integrated and continually adapting and changing. 18

Women oppression essays

women oppression essays


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