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Feminism and the Biological Body

Lynda Birke

Paperback (Print on demand)
£33.00

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.

Reviews

A fascinating and successful narrative which simultaneously embodies feminist theory and centers the female body within the discipline of biology.
Effectively probes beneath the female body's well-theorised outer surfaces, to explore the cultural valency of its inner mechanisms. The effect of this 're-telling' of biological narratives effectively dismantles the gendered and often dualistic biomedical stories told about it.