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Journal Article

Situating Gender: Marie E. Zakrzewska and the Place of Science in Women’s Medical Education

Arleen Marcia Tuchman
Isis
Vol. 95, No. 1 (March 2004), pp. 34-57
DOI: 10.1086/423510
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/423510
Page Count: 24
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Situating Gender
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Abstract

ABSTRACT Marie E. Zakrzewska (1829–1902) is known among historians of women and medicine for her advocacy of the natural sciences at a time when most women physicians preferred to emphasize their nurturing qualities. This article suggests that Zakrzewska’s views have been poorly understood because scholars have tried to position them along a fault line that divides femininity and sympathy from masculinity and science. It suggests instead that feminist scholarship on the “situatedness of gender” offers a more promising conceptual framework for understanding the diverse strategies women (and men) have utilized in trying to achieve their goals. Zakrzewska, unlike many of her colleagues, did not seek to empower feminine virtues as a way of justifying women’s entry into the medical profession. Instead, she tried to reappropriate science for women and to use it as a weapon against the barriers designed to keep women out of the public sphere. She was fighting her own battle against the gendering of science.

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