Who’s Afraid of Charles Darwin?: Debating Feminism and Evolutionary Theory

2639 WordsJun 18, 201811 Pages
There are many feminist theories and each of them is informed by different sources. There is overlap of where various feminists get to their conclusions but there continues to be unending variations. Griet Vandermassen the author of Who’s Afraid of Charles Darwin?: Debating Feminism and Evolutionary Theory seeks to draw feminists attention towards science as a new source of information to help understand women’s roles and to reinforce women’s rights to equality. She outlines her intentions and her reasons for the book and follows it with an exhaustive argument. Comparing her work to other feminist viewpoints especially views from other women in the sciences helps to shed light on the weaknesses of her argument. Vandermassen is unable to…show more content…
However Vandermassen sees much more choice on the point of the female. The female watches these contests in order that she can make a better decision about whom to mate with. She wants her offspring to survive so choosing the right male is very important. Originally this was known as “coy” female behaviour. It was Charles Darwin who came up with this idea of the coy female. Vandermassen does not accept the term coy as she feels it demeans the female experience. She excuses Darwin his ignorant terminology however by explaining that his envisioning of his ideas were a product of his Victorian upbringing. Oddly this contradicts her denial of society’s affect of human development. There are many flaws in Vandermassen’s arguments not least among them being that it is difficult to pinpoint what her arguments actually are. She spends the first five chapters of the book outlining Darwinian theories both in regards to biology and psychology. She does not clearly indicate in her writing when she is just describing a popular scientific theory or if it is in fact something she herself agrees with. To make matters worse she does not clearly state where she is speaking of biological facts or psychological theories that make her work extremely difficult to critique. Vandermassen also throws in confusing writing by refusing to simply state what she means by writing a straight critique of someone else’s ideas.

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