Feminism and American Literary History: Essays
by Nina Baym
Rutgers University Press, 1992
eISBN: 978-0-8135-5620-8 | Paper: 978-0-8135-1855-8 | Cloth: 978-0-8135-1854-1
Library of Congress Classification PS152.B39 1992
Dewey Decimal Classification 810.900082

Bodies may be currently fashionable in social and feminist theory, but their insides are not. Biological bodies always seem to drop out of debates about the body and its importance in Western culture. They are assumed to be fixed, their workings uninteresting or irrelevant to theory. Birke argues that these static views of biology do not serve feminist politics well. As a trained biologist, she uses ideas in anatomy and physiology to develop the feminist view that the biological body is socially and culturally constructed. She rejects the assumption that the body's functioning is somehow fixed and unchanging, claiming that biological science offers more than just a deterministic narrative of 'how nature works'. Feminism and the Biological Body puts biological science and feminist theory together and suggests that we need a politics which includes, rather than denies, our bodily flesh.
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