Feminists and Science: Critiques and Changing Perspectives in India (Vol-I)
Ed: Sumi Krishna and Gita Chadha; Stree, Kolkata: 2015
Pp: 302 pages | Price: ₹500 | ISBN: 978-93-813-4507-8
SETTING THE TONE
A man and his son go biking and meet with an accident. They are rushed to the nearest specialty hospital where it is declared that the boy has to get operated upon immediately. He is taken to the OT and the surgeon rushes in, donning the scrubs; the surgeon comes up to the table and exclaims, "Oh my god, this is my son!"
Question: So, who’s the father of the boy?
This was the quick puzzle thrown at 20 women at a workshop on gender. Answers flew –the boy is the biker’s adopted son, the surgeon is the sperm donor, the boy had a doppelganger, the surgeon is plain lying, and other fantastical conjectures, before the person posing the quiz shut us up saying –"the surgeon was the boy’s mother". Needless to say, it was a slap across our faces. The silence that followed barely offered the scope for any reconciliation with the way we had failed ourselves. After participating for six days at a workshop on gender, we all had failed to break, in our own heads, the image of the surgeon as exclusively a man.