the feminist critique of science

Paul Curtis Smith pcsmith at alpha2.csd.uwm.edu
Mon Sep 11 11:50:40 EST 1995


Joy Frestedt (frest001 at MAROON.TC.UMN.EDU) wrote:
: In response to Pearse's comments to Muriel...

: Au contraire, I think this is EXACTLY the point.  In the example you use, 
: the "way" in which science was done has been changed completely.  In the 
: record, the "male" way to DO science was to study only MEN...the "female" 
: way to DO science is to study BOTH men and women (all ages I hope).  I 
: hope this means that the way we DO science has been changed DRASTICALLY 
: from now on! (Admitedly, the feminist critique of science is much broader 
: than this simple diatribe).  I leave all claims of superiority in this 
: example to the minds of our gentle readers.

     I would imagine you'd have to search quite a long time to find
scientists of either gender who felt that the purpose of science is to study
men to the exclusion of women. 
     I also don't think that many feminist critics of science have levelled
this charge against science. To say that requiring a sample representing
women as well as men amounts to changing the way we do science "drastically"
places you in what would seem to the feminist critic of science to be an
EXTREMELY conservative position. They're asking for much more change than
simply the inclusion of female subjects. 

     In the eyes of the feminist critic of science (as well as in my own
eyes), the example represents the application of standard scientific
methods, and not a "drastic" change in the way science is done. 

Paul



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