San Diego State University Women Studies Questionnaire Discussion

San Diego State University

Question Description

I don’t understand this English question and need help to study.

Please be sure to answer all parts of each question and, when requested, to provide specific examples.

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Question #1 (2-3 pages)

In Complaints and Disorders: The Sexual Politics of Sickness, Ehrenreich and English explore some of the ways in which social class intersects with race and gender with regard to assumptions, ideas, and actions within the 19th and 20th century U.S. medical professions.

Please provide a minimum of three examples that illustrate the biologically determinist assumptions and actions of the U.S. medical profession with regard to 1.) upper and upper-middle class women (3 examples) and 2.) lower-class and poor women (3 examples). In other words, please explain at least three ways the U.S. medical professions have explained and/or treated upper-class women and three ways the U.S. medical professions have explained and/or treated lower-class women from a biologically determinist standpoint. (Total of six examples).

Question #2 (2-3 pages)

We’ve been reading Marge Piercy’s science fiction work: Woman on the Edge of Time throughout the semester. As you know, Piercy’s novel is centered around Connie and her experiences in and out of medical institutions. The novel toggles between a dystopic present day reality and a version of utopia in the future.

First: Do you find Piercy’s version of a possible future (the attitudes, behaviors, social structures, norms etc. found in the future she describes) compelling? That is, are there elements in Piercy’s imagined future that you find worth aiming for? Why or why not? On the contrary, are there elements of this future that you find less or not at all appealing? If yes, what and why?If no, why not?

Second: Consider the various aspects of science, technology, medicine, etc. that we’ve discussed this semester, especially as they relate to gender and sex, sexuality, race, and socio-economic status/social class. Consider what you find most inspiring or promising and what you find most limited or problematic. Now, step in to Piercy’s shoes and imagine what science, technology, medicine etc. might look like in your preferred future. In other words, compose a brief reflection on how and why science, technology, and/or medicine could be – from your perspective – made better going forward. Hint: you can approach this question in a broad sense, reflecting on large-scale social structures or institutions. On the other hand, some may find it helpful to narrow in on one particular aspect like reproduction. The choice is yours!

Question #3 (1-3 pages)

One of the central concerns of feminist studies of science and technology involves persistently posing the questions: what counts as objective truth, who decides this, and on what basis are claims to truth legitimately made (or not)? During the last half of the semester in particular, we’ve explored the relationship between various understandings of expertise and their relationship to power, privilege, and the possibility of equality, justice, and democracy.

From your perspective, is there a fundamental tension between the existence of expertise and a society built around equality, justice and democracy? If so, why? If not, why not? In answering this question, please specify what you understand expertise to be. Please discuss a minimum of three examples that speak to your answer. Any relevant course material is fine to use.

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Final Answer

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Running head:


Women Studies Questions
Author Name(s), First M. Last, Omit Titles and Degrees
Institutional Affiliation(s)

Women Studies’ Questionnaire
1. Complaints and Disorders
Upper and Lower-Class Women’s Experiences with Patriarchal Medicine
Though all women are oppressed under the Patriarchy, the manifestations of this
oppression differ, as it comes into contact with other forms of oppression. Across class lines, for
instance, the various types of Patriarchal oppression have impacted women in diverse ways. In the
medical fields – one of the many institutions where Patriarchal oppression has done much harm to
women – both affluent and struggling women would be subjected to ill-treatment, misdiagnosis,
and discriminatory considerations. Poor and working-class women and middle-class and bourgeois
women alike would come to find misogyny in the doctor’s office albeit in different forms. The
former would be affected by the material disadvantage that they bore and their nature as women,
while the latter would be negatively affected by the unrealistic altar in which they were placed.
Either way, both groups of women would suffer for most of the modern era by the medical
misconceptions, malpractices and mistreatment to which they were all subjected as a result of the
prevalent societal sexism.
For poor and working-class women, their problems within the medical fields where the
result of both their genders and their class status. In the conditions within they lived and worked,
ailments of all kinds would become notorious, and the limited money available to them would
result in their perpetually detrimental health (Ehrenreich & English, 1971). Their inability to take
off work to take care of their bodies and the inaccessibility of medical professionals made it more
likely for the poor to take significant hits to their health (Ehrenreich & English, 1971). It did not
help that poor women were seen as sources of germs and disease, making their access to quality
health even more limited (Ehrenreich & English, 1971). Furthermore, working-class women would

become targets of public health initiatives that would make it harder for them to assume positions
of employment, as they were still painted as diseases carriers. In such conditions, living a healthy
life was almost outside the possibilities of poor and working-class women.
Working-class and poor women would also become negatively affected by the existing
prohibitions around sexual safety. For one, unable to control their fertility, women of the lower
classes were forced to give birth to children that they might not be able to feed. Also, they would
be demonized as breeders, a perpetual danger to the integrity of the upper ...

eetorres (10704)
Duke University

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