Monthly Archives: July 2018

Parthenogenesis – Creating Virginity (Part 2)

In order to rationalize the “natural order” that allowed the female body to conserve its pure, virginal state until nuptial consumption, ancient culture and medicine constructed the idea of a sealed womb. In the process of nuptial consummation, the woman’s vaginal canal was thought to widen, which was evidenced by the deepening of the girl’s… Read more »

Parthenogenesis – Creating Virginity (Part 1)

I was sitting in my high school biology class, during the lecture on bees. The slide that detailed their reproductive systems outlined two distinct paths of procreation: 1) the fertilized egg, produced out of two gametes, 2) the unfertilized egg, produced out of parthenogenesis. What was that, Dr. Ryan? gamete, derived from the ancient Greek… Read more »

Little Lamb, who made thee?

In the tradition of the past few posts, The Wandering Womb and Barking and Broken Bitches, it seems only customary to discuss the next animal which served as a primary analogy for the female body in Mediterranean Antiquity: the lamb. Galen, a male pioneer of OB/GYN in 2nd Century Rome, was the first to relate… Read more »

From a corner booth at Kenyan coffee shop:

I’m officially one month into my travels—coined by many of classmates as “Hannah’s World Coffeeshop Tour”. While they’re not entirely wrong, I’ll have you all know that I’ve only been consuming about 20% of my normal caffeine intake. Small victories. My plane landed in Kenya four days ago, and I cried. I’ve prided myself in… Read more »

Barking and Broken B*tches

The ancient Greek κῠ́ων​ (kuon), meaning “dog,” serves as a strong image in the cultural and medical depiction of women and their reproductive organs. Coming off of The Wandering Womb post, we have already investigated the animalistic construction of the uterus, which functioned to instill fear in women over their own bodies and create urgency… Read more »

The Wandering Womb

Of all the medical constructions of the female body, the wandering womb stands out as one of the most distant from the contemporary understanding of female anatomy. With this, it should be analyzed significantly, as it is through these historical cracks of comprehension that shines the truest cultural perspectives from the time. The hodos ​was… Read more »

Today I go to Marrakech. And then the Sahara

This post will be short, but I’m on my way to the desert! I will return to my French classes in a week, but right now I’m on my way to Marrakech. It’s the city I’ve heard the most about since I’ve come here. But honestly I’m more excited for the desert. I have never… Read more »

From Skaramagas Refugee Camp:

Today’s my last day in Athens. I’m downright sad that I have to leave this place so soon, but I can easily say that I will be back sometime in the near future. No questions asked. As cliché as it sounds, there are not words to fully sum up my experience with El Sistema Greece…. Read more »

The Wet and Dry Dichotomy

Without surgery or X-ray imaging, bodily fluids became the ancient physician’s primary insight into the body. With this, it’s understandable why the wetness of the body was used as one of the principle physes to differentiate feminine from masculine. Referring to the “One-sex” Model entry, Hippocratic treatises constructed feminine flesh to be of the consistency… Read more »

“One-Sex” Model

Perhaps the first hoop to jump through while attempting to understand the cultural conception of the “female” body in Ancient Greece is to understand their approach to gender. According to Laqueur, in his Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud, the “two-sex” body model that exists today is a relatively new phenomenon… Read more »