For centuries the biological sciences have dissected, measured, and probed the human body as a product of nature. But from a feminist perspective, the human body is a social production. Human bodies are shaped and controlled by the norms and expectations of gendered social orders, and intersected by racial, class, religious, and age norms and expectations. The result is a gendered body produced for a gendered social world.
In this concise text with readings, designed for undergraduate students, Judith Lorber and Lisa Jean Moore present feminist contributions to social and cultural studies of the human body, examining the construction of gendered bodies in different contexts. They argue that the ideology of the perfect body is a powerful means of social control for girls and boys, as well as for women and men. The authors show how children's bodies are gendered through games and sportsand shaped and modified throughout adulthood to meet social expectations.
Gendered Bodies: Feminist Perspectives covers a broad range of topics, such as men's bodies and masculinity norms, third-wave feminist menstrual activism, transgender and intersex issues, the male pill, the controversies over male circumcision and ritual genital cutting of girls, disabilities, war wounds in Iraq, torture, and suicide bombers.
Each chapter includes a list of key concepts, three readings, recommended books and articles, and Internet sources. For the instructor, the book includes class exercises and a list of films with relevant themes.