Analysis Of ' The Egg And The Sperm ' By Emily Martin

965 Words Nov 6th, 2015 4 Pages
Denaturalizing the rigid gender system
Although gender is a socially constructed idea, it is often suggested to be a natural phenomenon. Society plays an important role in reinforcing gender roles in a way that disguises itself as natural, and is thus accepted without question. The United States’ gender system emphasizes gender hierarchy and a binary system that forces individuals to conform. In order to progress gender equality, it is important to denaturalize these social constructions of gender.
The hierarchical aspect of America’s contemporary gender system is reinforced through the use of language. We frequently associate biology and the sciences with objectivity, but in “The egg and the Sperm,” Emily Martin argues that it is not outside the socially constructed idea of gender (485). The association of gender norms at the cellular level suggests that the process of gendering is natural beyond alteration; yet, this is merely a result of the implantations of social imagery on representations of nature. Literary works can subtly emphasize the stereotypical differences between males and females in a way that goes unnoticed, consequently ingraining these concepts into our brain and thought processes. In many biological texts, the egg is described as “drift(ing)” and being “swept” throughout the process (Martin 489). This denotes passiveness—a clearly feminine characteristic that society would deem to be appropriate for women. On the other hand, the sperm “streamlines” and…
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