By Catherine Waldby
This publication demonstates the level to which establis hed rules in regards to the virus, the immune method, the HIV attempt and the epidemiology of the disorder rely on unexamined, conservative assumptions approximately sexual id and sexual distinction.
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Extra info for AIDS and the Body Politic: Biomedicine and Sexual Difference (Writing Corporealities)
Hence its determination of the natural is always and necessarily made within culture, the domain of meaning-making practices. The specific content of the category ‘nature’ is open to cultural reinvention, while nevertheless appearing as the origin of itself. As Butler points out, this apparently self-originating significance of the natural world is always a feminist issue, because it involves an implicit exploitation of the ‘feminine’ as explanatory principle. The binary relation between culture and nature promotes a relationship of The Biomedical imagination and the anatomical body 23 hierarchy in which culture freely ‘imposes’ meaning on nature, and hence renders it into an ‘Other’ to be appropriated to its own limitless uses… nature/culture discourse regularly figures nature as female, in need of subordination by a culture that is invariably figured as male, active and abstract…this is yet another instance in which reason and mind are associated with masculinity…while the body and nature are considered to be the mute facticity of the feminine, awaiting signification from an opposing masculine subject….
The question then becomes, by what procedures are these conjectures made? How do conjectural statements meet the formal requirements for acceptance as properly scientific? There are both positive and negative poles of biomedical conjecture about the healthy organisation of the body. To take the negative first, Canguilhem points out that in biomedical practice the specification of normalcy is necessarily posterior, at least in its detail, to the specification of pathology. The description of the pathological failure of organs or processes precedes the description of their normal operation.
These were analogous because both pathology and revolution demanded vigorous intervention to return the organism to homeostasis. Both states exceed the self-regulating capacities of the organism. Martin’s (1987) study of biomedical metaphor in the conceptualisation of birth and reproductive process details numerous similar instances. She cites instances where the body’s processes are likened to economic processes, spending, saving or balancing its energy resources, for example. She provides a particularly graphic instance of analogy between the working of the body and that of a city, made by Frederick Gates, an important figure is US public health in the early twentieth century.