ignore this, it's about women and sexism ...]]

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Fri Nov 26 11:30:17 PST 1999

Doug Henwood wrote:

> Carrol Cox wrote:
> >Emphasizing only the obnoxious
> >uses of biology leaves too much room for the obnoxious uses
> >of ignoring biology.
> How much of a risk is that these days, when journalists are busily
> following scientists who are allegedly tracking down "gay" genes and
> "fat" genes, the ideologues of bionomics are telling us capitalism is
> a natural process, and employers are looking to test workers for
> genetic vulnerabilities rather than cleaning up workplaces?

Not much risk at all in any mass medium. And in writing a letter to the editor or in speaking at a public forum I would not be making some of the arguments (on both "sides") that I and others are making in these threads on this maillist. But here, I believe, we are interested

in "the truth" (as near as we can articulate it), I take it, rather than in honing our agitational style. And that is a separate topic.

And of course Gould's example (lack of mother love causes autism) was in the public realm, and did real damage. Can't such instances still happen?

In fact they still do. NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) has a slogan which I would modify in various ways were I to formulate it on this maillist but which answers to very real harm done to people every day: "Mental illness is a brain disorder not a moral defect." It's more complicated than that -- but any attempt to make all the necessary qualifications (when the point is discussed in mass forums) plays in the hands of those freaks who write WSJ editorials and columns on the dangers of legitimizing "soft symptoms." They are very clear on the subject: depressed people are malingerers.


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