Greer, Pratchett, and what science ignores

I wrote earlier today of how science ignores women and their reality, in the context of discovering what I have may be catamenial epilepsy. And then, on the bus home, I was thinking of Germaine Greer’s comments on menstruation*

It is assumed that nature is a triumph of design, and that none of her processes is wasteful or in need of reversal, especially when it only inconveniences women, and therefore it is thought extremely unlikely that there is any ‘real’ pain associated with menstruation. In fact no little girl who finds herself bleeding from an organ she didn’t know she had until it began to incommode her feels that nature is a triumph of design…the fact is that nature is not a triumph of design, and every battle against illness is an interference with her design…

There’s more, of course. But I love the way she draws the easy parallel between menstruation and illness, it reminds something I once wrote about. Feminism challenges, again and again, the notion that certain roles are ‘natural’, Greer extends that challenge to nature itself. To extend what she says, the notion of what is ‘natural’ is a constructed one.

If the notion of ‘natural’ is itself constructed, the world can really be what you wish it to be; your world can be real. The world is the mollusc of your choice.

*Yeah, there’s more than just the famous one about imagining tasting menstrual blood 


3 Responses

  1. hello erimentha, just dropped by to check out the latest entry in your blog. hope you have a great 2007. peace.

  2. I *wondered* where Pratchett would come in. 🙂

  3. Oh, he can come in almost anywhere, can’t he?!

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