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Wow, great essay.

I haven't been yet, and now I'm not entirely sure I want to.

From what you're saying, the examination of the biological is fantastic but the social is, well, patriarchy.

Why would I spend 25 bucks to see that?


Wow, that was a very interesting essay. I didn't see the Bodyworks thing but my sister went. Sounds like the sociological lessons were as/more interesting as the biological ones. Thanks.


This is one of the best essays on the body that I have read in some time. Thank you so much for your thoughts -- there's a lot to think about here.


I saw the body worlds exhibit in Chicago, and they did include a few more women. There's now a woman, standing tall, in the first room after the organs. The second woman you see is a blood-vessel only girl. The pregnant woman is a bit farther down.


I saw the body worlds exhibit in Chicago, and they did include a few more women. There's now a woman, standing tall, in the first room after the organs. The second woman you see is a blood-vessel only girl. The pregnant woman is a bit farther down.


i also saw the exhibit, and other than the blood-vessel "mother" (of the nice nuclear mom-dad-child trio), the first woman i noticed was the pregnant woman. one of the main reasons she stuck out for me was her position- the traditional centerfold pose, on her side, with her elbow crooked and hand holding up her head. i kept wondering if she'd been put in that position as a joke. it was almost as if they had to put her in an overtly sexual pose so we would recognize her femaleness. (i still think the exhibition is very interesting and worth seeing.)

i also noticed the male-as-default setting recently in my roommate's physiology photo book. the captions only specify the sex of the body if it's either part of the reproductive system, or if it's from a female body.

i'm glad someone else notices these things; sometimes i feel crazy and nit-picky.


Wow, I saw Body World in LA, and loved it. I didn't notice the omission of female bodies then, but looking back, my memory confirms your observations. I'm not sure I want to develop the feminist observational abilities you possess, as I already notice so many products of male-centeredness to make me a little crazy. Perhaps a little blissful ignorance is good for the sanity.

Doctor Slack

Very interesting post. Seems that the line about "perceived community concerns" could indicate that Von Hagen's elision of the female form was more out of fear that it would be perceived as somehow pornographic than that it was uninteresting per se. (That would also help explain the placement of the few female bodies he did include.) I'm just speculating, but somehow I doubt that even he really buys the stuff about how male musculature is more useful for anatomical viewing.

I wonder to what extent the "community concerns" he "perceives" are actually some form of projection on his part.

Sharon Attwell Thompson

Who cannot be wrung with caution & awe to veiw the once living, breathing human?Von Hogan has perfected taxidermy, but the revelation of the architecture of the human form in such stark & sterile genius is worthy of respect.
You can't force humility nor purity of heart on anyone.We are a little planet, with the yes, no,
maybe,the indifferent,the innocent,the unaware,the inquiry
groups,seducers,ENFORCERS so we
are left with CHOICE, to think,
say & act.Choose to explore oh
fearful ones.


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I read: codex

  • Hugh Maclean: Ben Jonson and the cavalier poets;: Authoritative texts, criticism (A Norton critical edition)
    My love for the Norton Critical Edition knows no bounds of decorum, what with the footnotes handily dangling at the bottom of the page, the effective but not-excessive use of white space and the pages and pages of charming formalist criticism handily excerpted for one's edifying pleasure, and this fine specimen is not only crammed with the verses of Carew and Herrick and Shirley and Waller and Suckling, but the Benniest of Bens himself. Aaaaaah.
  • Margaret Atwood: Strange Things : The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature  (Clarendon Lectures in English Literature)

    Margaret Atwood: Strange Things : The Malevolent North in Canadian Literature (Clarendon Lectures in English Literature)
    Right to the frosty tips of my Maritime 'burg nestles the omnipresent appreciation of all things Canadian - lest not forget, 'natch, that this is Lower Canada, first founded, settled by those who settled and therefore most appropriate dwelling-place for some serious CanLitticism on a chilly eve - a hunger best feasted with the reigning Empress of post-Dominion Culture, here her own splendid Wendigo-fed self most engaging with a bemused discussion of the particular neuroses provoked by our frozen mythoscape that are so lovingly delineated by myriad earnest PhD dissertations from sea to sea to sea.

  • Candace Savage: Crows : Encounters with the Wise Guys

    Candace Savage: Crows : Encounters with the Wise Guys
    Seduced by the caw of the wild that blankets the UNB campus with a murderous cacophany of harbingers of death at the same time every fall, I put this on my Chrismas list hoping for some new insight into these amazing creatures that mimic human speech and modified tool use - instead, I found surprizingly mediocre musings on evolutionary biology from an unqualified, underresearching hack writer made bearable only by a bevy of lovely photographs and images of our witty black-feathered bretheren.

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