feminist science; the sperm and the egg story

Cameron Smith cameron at ecst.csuchico.edu
Wed Sep 6 13:45:07 EST 1995

	Hello again---

This is Cameron. I' m the one with the original post regarding my thesis 
and its focus on feminism and science. First I want to say thank you to 
all who wrote me personally and to those who posted in this group. In all 
i received approximately 15 responses. thanks. 
	Many of you noted the broad area which I was covering and I 
apologize for this but I wasn't sure of the response, so I wanted to make 
it a broad request for info.  To be more specific and to continue this 
thread...  I am looking at biology textbooks, specifically the human 
reproduction chapter. I have been intrigued when looking at biology 
textbooks which describe the sperm and egg meeting. Many of them read 
something like this:
	" hunderds of thousands of sperm swim up the fallopian tubes and 
search of the single egg. Then when the sperm find the egg they swarm 
around it as if magnetized, and all attack the egg until one finally 
penetrates it..."  

	This story is a common one. I was rather disturbed when thinking 
about it as it almost sounds like a gang-rape sequence. The I began to 
look at 
how the egg is seen as passive and the sperms viewed as active.  This was 
my original perception and focus, how men in society are viewed as active 
and women viewed as passive. I began to think about the story told here 
and the rhetorical implications that come out of such a story which can 
perpetuate the problem.
I hope that sheds a better light on my take on the issue.  
	All of your reading suggestions have been helpful, and additional 
one which I have found to aid me in my reseacrh is the early work of 
Nancy Tuana.

	Any positions on this issue? I'd love to hear how those in the 
biology community feel about this (remember I am based in a Communication 
department-- and I usually look at the rhetorical implications of 


Cameron smith
department of Communications
Chico State University
Chico, CA 95929-0502

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