Week 6: New Bodies, New Selves: Women’s Embodied Experiences of Culture
- Reminder: Some of this week’s readings are hosted on MSU Google Drive. These are only accessible using your MSU Google Apps account. When you open the link, you’ll be prompted to select which google account you want to open them with – use your MSU Google Apps account (which requires your regular MSU Net ID and password). If you choose your non-MSU google account, you won’t be able to open the file. Do not request access to the files with your non-MSU Google account.
- Lecture: 6.1. The “Ideal” Feminine Body: Chinese footbinding, female genital cutting, and female genital plastic surgery (20 minutes)
- Lecture: 6.2. Laws are culture, too! (5 minutes)
- PDF: 6.1. See, Lisa. Chapter 1 – “Footbinding” In Snow Flower and the Fan
Female Genital Cutting:
- PDF: 6.2 Newland, Lynda. “Female circumcision: Muslim identities and zero tolerance policies in rural West Java”
- PDF: 6.3 Ahmadu, Fuambai. “‘Ain’t I a Woman Too?’ Challenging Myths of Sexual Dysfunction in Circumcised Women”
Female genital plastic surgery:
- Film: 6.1. Leach, Heather “The Perfect Vagina” (58min)
**Optional, but recommended readings:
- PDF: 6.4. Doneles de Andrade, Daniela. “On norms and bodies: findings from field research on cosmetic surgery in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil”
- PDF: 6.5. Braun, Virginia. “In Search of (Better) Sexual Pleasure: Female Genital ‘Cosmetic’ Surgery”
- Link: 6.1. Rodrigues, Sara “From vaginal exception to exceptional vagina: The biopolitics of female genital cosmetic surgery”
- NOTE: This page may require you to login using your MSU netID and password, but it will load the page after logging in.
- Link: 6.2. Newspaper article. Ahmadu, Fuambai Sia. “Defending FGM”
Activity post (15 points): 500-700 words August 10:
For this activity, please read up on the concept of the “social determinants of health.” Identify and describe a social determinant of health that affects the people in the country you have selected suffering the health problem you wish to write about. Many of you have identified different determinants already in your activity writings, so I recommend going back over your old writings and identifying one of the more pertinent determinants to write about.
I have provided three articles above to get you started. Use Google Scholar and the MSU Library’s Electronic Resources to find at least two more academic articles as support on your chosen determinant.
Blog post (15 points): 700-900 words August 10:
Please think about the way culture impacts definitions of feminine beauty. How do these practices (Chinese footbinding, female genital cutting, and plastic surgery) FUNCTION in the societies where they are practiced, according to these readings and video? In other words, what are these practices connected to? If any of these practices were outlawed abruptly, what would happen to the lives of these women? In your blog post, please identify the theoretical perspectives of the authors and filmmaker.
Blog comment (15 points): 150-200 words August 12:
Comment on another class member’s blog post. Your comment should contain 3-4 of the following: questions, another point of view, evidence from outside sources, insights from the weekly readings.