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Author Archives: Laneice Garner

Revealing the Truth about Science

TESTING As Stryker has said “Medical practitioners and institutions have the social power to determine what is considered sick or healthy, normal or pathological, sane or insane –and thus, often, to transform potentially neutral forms of human difference into unjust and oppressive social hierarchies”(pp. 51-52) 1. We, as a more progressive era of humans, have already started to blur the lines that separate humans into specific categories based on how we were biologically put together, in terms of sex, race, and body and how we present ourselves to the world after having experienced our version of life; while questioning, who gave the majority the power to enforce what is biologically right or wrong with human nature. We, as forward thinking people need to focus on “Dismantling a system that recklessly sorts all of us into biologically based categories of embodied personhood deemed more or less worthy of life” (Xii, Prologue) 2.

TESTING We tend to take on science as a fact without taking into account that scientists are humans with their own biases and perceptions which leak into the “impartial” data they are trying to convey to the public. However, science is not safe from the political nor how this “unprejudiced” data shapes our society and continues to be passed down through generations unquestioned. In the words of Stryker, “Society tends to be organized in ways either that deliberately or unintentionally favor the majority, and ignorance or misinformation about a less common way of being in the world can perpetuate harmful stereotypes and mischaracterizations” (p. 7-8) 3. To elaborate, even if it were possible to create a study that would include every human difference, be it biological, cultural, sexual, etc., there is still a group of scientists driven by their own thoughts or agendas deciding how they want to interpret the data and present it to the world. There is an audience that they intend to present to, or appease, and this could be for funding purposes, as a means to an end, or to support the belief of the majority in society depending on the social issues of the time.

TESTING If in some possible way we could have completely unbiased results of studies or tests, how that neutral data would be presented to the general public would still be leaning to appease the majority or risk being rejected, ignored, or tossed to the wayside regardless of factuality. Science has amended its facts many times over multiple eras and have deemed what should be relevant and therefore funneled to the public and also what should be retracted or disregarded due to ignorance, political shifts, or human error. My point being that medical science biases can make or break movements that lean toward inclusivity, to align with Stryker once more, “Medical science has always been a two-edged sword—its representatives’ willingness to intervene has gone hand in hand with their power to define and judge” (p. 52) 4.

TESTING In a society that profits off of exclusivity, it is necessary to break away from the social or cultural conforms, while focusing on pushing for the equity of all human nature rather than the equivalence of “lower” or “lesser” lives in terms of worth, be it class, race, sexuality, or gender also known as the minority being boosted up to the privileges of the “higher” or “better” or those more worthy of life, also known as the majority. Just as there are multiple perceptions, religions, and interpretations of the world we live in, there is also no way to measure which viewpoint is right or wrong or should be enforced or disregarded. Society tends to have a hard time identifying with the humanity of another person if they can’t understand what a person is trying to personify, especially if it is outside the knowledge of their life experiences. This tends to lead to an instant adverse reaction, usually resulting in a slew of negative emotions, to name a few, fear, panic, disapproval, disgust, contempt, hatred, dread or outrage. This then leads to physical violence, a couple of examples are genocide or murder, and/or emotional violence, directed against the person who is perceived as divergent. This leads to generational disparity, presenting itself in psychological traumas, the regression of the part of society considered outcasts, undeserving, or unfit to be a human amongst other human beings, and unconscious social biases that get perceived as truth.

TESTING I am not saying we should completely snub scientific fact, as we as a people crave recognition and understanding of the world around us, what I am saying is to use the information for inclusivity of all people, rather than to label, demean, or exclude any group or groups of people based on genetics, biology, psychology, or different ways we present our person. There is a historical pattern where science has been used to berate, disregard, or choose who is worthy of having the better quality of life, when we all begin with life and we all end with death and there should not be a need to categorize life, but learn about it and accept each other no matter the difference of person. Our goal moving forward should be to acquire acceptance of all through knowledge, be it scientific or experience based, and not to use this newfound knowledge for means of exclusion, politics, social agendas, the suppression or eradication of a people.

Draft Blog Post

As Stryker has said “Medical practitioners and institutions have the social power to determine what is considered sick or healthy, normal or pathological, sane or insane –and thus, often, to transform potentially neutral forms of human difference into unjust and oppressive social hierarchies”(pp. 51-52). We, as more progressive era of humans, have already started to blur the lines that separate humans into specific categories based on how we were biologically put together, in terms of sex, race, and body and how we present ourselves to the world after having experienced our version of life; while questioning, who gave the majority the power to enforce what is biologically right or wrong with human nature. We, as forward thinking people need to focus on “Dismantling a system that recklessly sorts all of us into biologically based categories of embodied personhood deemed more or less worthy of life” (Xii, Prologue). We tend to take on science as a fact without taking into account that scientists are humans with their own biases and perceptions which leak into the “impartial” data they are trying to convey to the public. However, science is not safe from the political nor how this “unprejudiced” data shapes our society and continues to be passed down through generations unquestioned. As Stryker has said, “Society tends to be organized in ways either that deliberately or unintentionally favor the majority, and ignorance or misinformation about a less common way of being in the world can perpetuate harmful stereotypes and mischaracterizations” (p. 7). Even if it were possible to create a study that would include every human difference, be it biological, cultural, sexual, etc., there is still a group of scientists driven by their own thoughts or agendas deciding how they want to interpret the data and present it. If in some possible way we could have completely unbiased results of studies or tests, how that neutral data would be presented to the public would still be leaning to appease the majority or risk being rejected, ignored, or tossed to the wayside regardless of factuality. My point being that medical science biases can make or break movements that lean toward inclusivity, to quote Stryker once more, “Medical science has always been a two-edged sword—its representatives’ willingness to intervene has gone hand in hand with their power to define and judge” (p. 52). In a society that profits off of exclusivity, it is necessary to break away from the social or cultural conforms, while focusing on pushing for the equity of all human nature rather than the equivalence of “lower” or “lesser” lives in terms of worth, be it class, race, sexuality, or gender also known as the minority being boosted up to the privileges of the “higher” or “better” or those more worthy of life, also known as the majority. Just as there are multiple perceptions, religions, and interpretations of the world we live in, there is also no way to measure which viewpoint is right or wrong or should be enforced or disregarded. As Stryker has said and which I agree with, “Because most people have great difficulty recognizing the humanity of another person if they cannot recognize that person’s gender, encounters with gender-changing or gender-challenging people can sometimes feel for others like an encounter with a monstrous and frightening unhumanness. That gut level reaction can manifest as panic, disgust, contempt, hatred, or outrage, which may then translate into physical or emotional violence–up to and including murder—being directed against the person who is perceived as not-quite human” (p. 8). I am not saying we should completely snub scientific fact, as we as a people crave recognition and understanding of the world around us, what I am saying is to use the information for inclusivity of all people, rather than to label, demean, or exclude any group or groups of people based on genetics, biology, psychology, or different ways we present our person. There is a historical pattern where science has been used to berate, disregard, or choose who is worthy of having the better quality of life, when we all begin with life and we all end with death and there should not be a need to categorize life, but learn about it and accept each other no matter the difference of person. Our goal moving forward should be to acquire acceptance of all through knowledge, be it scientific or experience based, and not to use this newfound knowledge for means of exclusion, politics, social agendas, the suppression or eradication of a people.