193. The embodiment of gender and 'women's health': revisiting the feminist critique of medicalization

Stephanie Pache;

This panel will address the gendered shaping of bodily experiences in the field of health. We are looking for contributions that question the dynamic relationship between the lived experience of bodies and minds, medicine, and feminist critique. The papers should foster exchanges aimed toward the renewal of the feminist critique of the medicalization of women's bodies. The second wave of feminist movements challenged the medicalization of the female body and the role of health professionals in the oppression of women (e.g. Chesler 1972; Ehrenreich and English 1974). Their critique pointed out pathologizing theories about menstruations, menopause, and hormones. They denounced the lack of scientific evidence and the medicalization of female physiology. We will consider any paper that discusses feminist perspectives on the embodiment of gender, but we invite especially papers that reexamine this feminist approach by considering contemporary claims about menstrual health, menopause, or other issues traditionally linked with female bodies. Papers can discuss technologies of menstrual tracking or other technologies participating to the production of the female body experience. They can explore political collectives or other forms of collective actions claiming to advance women's health or to fight medicalization of the female body. The panel offers a space for discussion on rediscovered, renewed, or reiterated feminist perspectives that criticize the medical construction of knowledge on gendered experiences (e.g. menstruation, menopause or pregnancy). The contributions will allow us to reflect on diverse feminist approaches of gender embodiment and different strategies of resistance against medicalization.

Contact: pache.stephanie@uqam.ca

Keywords: Feminist STS, Information, Computing and Media Technology, Medicine and Healthcare, gender; theories of embodiment; psy sciences; menstrual cycle application; period tracking; medical advice; self-help

Published: 04/07/2023