Sweeter for its evidence than its tone
April 15, 2015 11:51 AM   Subscribe

Mary Putnam Jacobi challenged Clarke’s thinly veiled justification for discrimination with 232 pages of hard numbers, charts, and analysis. She gathered survey results covering a woman’s monthly pain, cycle length, daily exercise, and education along with physiological indicators like pulse, rectal temperature, and ounces of urine. To really bring her argument home, Jacobi had test subjects undergo muscle strength tests before, during, and after menstruation. The paper was almost painfully evenhanded. Her scientific method-supported mic drop: “There is nothing in the nature of menstruation to imply the necessity, or even the desirability, of rest.”
posted by sciatrix (5 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
I am way, way too amused at the juxtaposition of this post and this one.
posted by Etrigan at 11:55 AM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

I love how all that 19th century effort to demonstrate how women couldn't handle being scientists (or politicians or anyone influential) was never used to demonstrate that women couldn't be laundresses or cotton pickers or labourers or any of the really strenuous work that millions of poor women engaged.
posted by jb at 11:59 AM on April 15, 2015 [43 favorites]

What a great post! Also, I don't know if everyone gets this same ad, but Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science and the World also looks like a wonderful read!
posted by chatongriffes at 11:59 AM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also interesting is that there has been very little research on the emasculating effects of science and education on men. Off the top of my head I recall that there was a survay that indicated that advanced degrees translate to decreased infidelity for men but increased for women. Maybe men can't handle so much school without losing some aspects of their virility and should be protected from it.
posted by srboisvert at 12:09 PM on April 15, 2015 [4 favorites]

Online bio: Dr. Mary Corinna Putnam Jacobi
posted by Michele in California at 5:00 PM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]

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