Friday, 17 April 2009

Friday Feminist - Virginia Woolf

Cross posted

Nature was called in; Nature it was claimed who is not only omniscient but unchanging, had made the brain of woman of the wrong shape or size. ‘Anyone’, writes Bertrand Russell, ‘who desires amusement may be advised to look up the tergiversations of eminent craniologists in their attempts to prove from brain measurements that women are stupider than men.' Science, it would seem, is not sexless; she is a man, a father, and infected too. Science, thus infected, produced measurements to order: the brain was too small to be examined. Many years were spent waiting before the sacred gates of the universities and hospitals for permission to have the brains that the professors said that Nature had made incapable of passing examinations examined. When at last permission was granted the examinations were passed.

Virginia Woolf, Three Guineas, 1938

1 comment:

Julie said...

I have quite a vivid memory from when I was probably about 8 of reading in the Guinness Book of Records that the person with the highest recorded IQ at the time was a woman. This was very heartening to me.