On the Stories of Men and the Substance of Women : Interrogating Gender through Violence
Exploring Sex and Gender in Bioarchaeology
University of New Mexico Press
This chapter explores some of the ways in which traumatized bodies, especially those of women, have been understood and investigated in the United States from the 1850s to the present. Despite the great technological advances over that time, a persistent cultural logic, I argue, has guided the practices of biomedical, anthropological, and forensic experts. Even more surprisingly perhaps, this logic is consistent with a range of "folk" techniques for establishing essential truths about bodies–in particular, how to distinguish corporeally between "us" and "them." This logic involves the penetration of external surfaces to expose more essential substances or structures, which are seen in turn as providing the basis for new and more reliable systems of classification.