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Women and Men's Bodies:
The Biological Similarities

by Lucifera Elena (March 5,2002)

Dark Greetings to all! Here you have issue No. 16 and I bring you many different things to think about for this issue. I am taking Women's Studies this semester at CCNY and I read an article called “Women’s Bodies,” a chapter that deals with “the biological and physical attributes” habitually used to define the difference between men and women. An interesting point the chapter on “Women’s Bodies” is that fact that this chapter contains valuable information showing that the male body is not as different as the female body.

The article even illustrates all the similarities of the genitals of both genders as well as the similar biological make up that is developed according to the environment that we are brought up in. It helped establish a stronger awareness about the way in which we are conditioned to believe that we are completely different, “Women from Venus and Men from Mars” but in reality the differences have been adopted by us because of the slowly developing ideology of European cultures which separate women and men by using duality. Similar to a video I once saw in an anthropology class, it was called “Kypseli: Men and Women Apart.” The division of the roles of both males and females are strongly upheld and even the tools and places in house or churches where the man or woman belongs are assigned.

Although I when I was younger I saw the physical differences between men and women to be very clear, as I learned about other people who had gender problems where they were either hermaphodites or had genital “abnormalities” this opened the doors to many questions regarding the whole idea about male and female being different. I think our cultures is slowly showing that women’s bodies can very muscular, very tall, very strong, very fast, just like the our male counterparts. The article raises many questions that have crossed my mind, such as “But what about women who cannot have children? Does that biological fact make her not a woman?”

This physical difference, which is hard to hide was the reason that men either protected women, believed women shouldn’t play certain sports, or lift certain things. The biggest eye opener in this chapter is definitely the comparison made between the male and female sexual organs.

My only difficulty with the tone of this book is that sometimes the writers seem to mock or even seem to act as if “we” are better. For example, the tone taken when speaking of the chromosomes and the contrast of the X and Y and how the Y has little use compared to the X chromosome. Even if this is a fact, it would be better to strive for a tone where making others feel inferior is not part of the language. We want change but we shouldn’t become caught up in trying to be “superior” if it is a form of equality that we strive for. Yet, I suppose that’s where the comment which states that we aren’t equal comes from, maybe we just aren’t equal but we can be a like and treat each other respectively.

Source: "Women's Realities, Women's Choices An Introduction to Women's Studies Second Edition HUNTER COLLEGE WOMEN'S STUDIES COLLECTIVE"

"I am treated as evil by those who feel persecuted because they are not allowed to force me to believe as they do."