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Petty Grievance from MLA 2008 – My Anatomy isn’t Male

May 23, 2008

Having to ask the Cyber-Anatomy vendor if a female model was or would be available, because it wasn’t used in the demonstration and I wasn’t told about a female model as part of the sales pitch.

Look, I realize that standing at a table and saying the same things to strangers all day who may not eventually buy what you’re selling is tiring. I also think Cyber-Anatomy is a pretty cool product (it’s an interactive 3D tool for learning anatomy, complete with special glasses). I was just annoyed by the male-as-default presentation and the repetition of this default in the print materials. With this kind of technology, I’d like to be able to see side-by-side comparisons where anatomy varies, such as male vs. female pelvic structure, effects of age, and the like. I’d also like for the presenter to look around the room, see how many women are packing it, and decide that he might not select the male model alone for demonstration, perhaps mentioning the presence of a female model.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. onesillyme permalink
    May 23, 2008 9:26 am

    That’s not a petty grievance at all! It’s a hideous marketing mistake on their part and an example that sexism is still alive and well. I’ll have to point this out to my daughters, who at ages 19, 19, 14 SWEAR they aren’t feminists because they don’t need to be!

  2. May 23, 2008 9:36 am

    Onesillyme, thank you.

  3. May 23, 2008 8:26 pm

    Is there a female model available? I was annoyed by the sexism in our gross anatomy textbook, Netter’s, which is a standard for medical schools. (They sing about it in that scrubin’ dirty youtube video). Almost all the pictures are of white, hairless males. They would throw in male genitalia even if the subject of the plate was something fairly gender neutral, like the omentum in situ, and there would be a scrotum underneath, just for reference.

  4. May 24, 2008 9:28 am

    There apparently is, but the guy actually trying to sell the system didn’t bother to tell me that – I had to ask at the end of the demonstration/pitch. When he confirmed that there is, he still didn’t offer to actually show it to me. This was a medical librarianship conference, and I’d take a wild guess that his potential audience was ~70% female, and yet, male-as-default. White as default, too, I believe, although I was mostly shown muscle/skeletal levels.

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