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Medicalization Essay (Critical Writing)


Medicalization is a process where problems affecting human beings are diagnosed medically and treated using medical prescriptions. Therefore medicalization of deviance involves introducing medical treatment to correct deviant behaviors. This however applies to certain behaviors that are non-normative in appearance and therefore receive the condemnation of the society. Examples of such behaviors include male chauvinism, obesity, racism, gambling, alcoholism, mental disorder, unattractiveness and sexual acts.

According to medical terms deviance of whatever form is regarded as an illness. A definition for deviance can also be described using medical terms and a treatment for each of the deviant behavior can be prescribed in order to correct them. There are several human characteristics that do not just involve personal traits that are stigmatized in the society.

Research in the field of medicine has been done on treatment of such behavior. For instance there are sex drugs that are specifically used by people of women to treat medical conditions because they are more vulnerable to such conditions and the society has already labeled it that way.

Women experience deviant behaviors such as depression more compared to men. Because of the fact that they are emotionally attached to things, they tend to express feeling candidly compared to men. As a result, there are certain behaviors which are common with women. Such behaviors can be subjected to medicalization.

Treatment of depression is among the development of medicalization of deviant behaviors. Sadness, which can also translate to depression or stress, is generally considered a deviant behavior in the society and there are drugs that are specifically made for people undergoing sadness in their lives.

Reproductive Technologies: Who can reproduce?

According to chapter five of the book by bell hooks, it describes of how systems created in the society perpetuate and reproduce oppression against the marginalized. This marginalized group includes women and people from small ethnic groups and races. Gender is an issue that has been discussed in public forums and solutions suggested towards solving the discrimination that is aimed towards women.

Gender mainstreaming is one of the adopted suggestions to solving this problem whereby there is at least some representation of women in decision making. In the modern society, women need equality with men in education and other sectors of the society. These are the exact issues that she points out and critically analyzes in her book. The issue of gender mainstreaming where in each and every aspect of the society there is need for gender sensitivity in terms of representation.

Women involvement is linked to development and Hooks puts this point out clearly by saying that equality is for the benefit of the interest of both men and everyone in the society. A look at all the millennium development goals, gender issues has huge impact in achieving almost all of them. Equality in gender can also benefit society in the sense that the role that women play in the society and in the family is really important and needs to be appreciated.

Take an example of a family in which the woman or the wife has a job and goes to work daily. This means that the overall income of that family will be much higher than when it is just the male providing for the family.

The problem that arises with such a scenario is that career women are considered to neglect their family responsibilities and leaving their children under the care of baby sitters. This problem can easily be solved since the breed of women today like to multitask. They can easily take care of their children by sparing some time for them and balancing their time for both work and home issues

Denial of women’s voices

Bell Hooks in her book perceives human nature as being rational. Human beings are also equal in thinking and no one should prevent another human being from taking part in reasoning. Women are always prevented by men from doing some virtuous activities that involves philosophical thinking and reasoning. Their minds are geared towards things that are vanity in nature. For instance they use their natural beauty to make the men like them without realizing that the beauty can easily disappear.

The only thing that seems to last longer for the time period that we are alive is the ability of a human being to be rational. Hooks identifies some enlightening activities in which she believes that if only women could be educated in these activities, then they can begin to think as rational beings and participate in philosophical activities which she claims to be more virtuous

Hooks is a product of enlightenment in the sense that she uses a rhetorical approach to enable the men to see a faulty side of women and use this knowledge to create equity in the society by treating women as equal rational beings. In her explanation, she criticizes the nature of women and most of her arguments are focused on women.

But at the same time her arguments are expected to be read by men so that they can easily realize the benefits of creating equality in the society. The oppression that men have towards women is detrimental to both the interest of men and those of the society in general. For instance, if women continue to enjoy the power of beauty over men then this would make men susceptible to issues of lust and adultery.

Embodied power and popular culture; how women are represented and the power of socialization

She uses the term equality to express what is expected of the society as a whole in terms of relationships of gender. The society can achieve a state of equality by educating women on these key enlightenments that they are unaware of.

The education according to Hooks is one that should emphasize on reasoning and philosophical activities and not issues to do with trying to impress people with their charm. Education that will enable the society to achieve equality is one that would make women to make rational judgment. This overrides the power of beauty that women enjoy over men.

Nature has been used in the book to explain the natural state of men as rational beings and women as charming beings of which she argues otherwise about the state of women. She says that human beings in general are supposed to be equal for the interest of the society and the only way to achieve this is by making the women to reason.

Virtue is the other enlightenment term that she uses in her work. This term is used to show that reasoning and rationality is of more importance to the society and to everyone at large. She says that rational activities such as philosophy are more virtuous than activities that only impress others. She also says that charm has very little effect to the men especially in marriage. It creates feelings of insufficiency in the women and they would start thinking of ways to please other men.

Backlash against feminism; why is feminism a threat and to what?

The rise of feminism brought a change in the minds of every one that women are no different than men. They deserve to be treated right with equal opportunities as men. This movement has bore substantive fruits to this moment. Gender is an issue that has been discussed in public forums and solutions suggested towards solving the discrimination that is aimed towards women. Gender mainstreaming is one of the adopted suggestions to solving this problem whereby there is at least some representation of women in decision making.

The idea behind feminism is considered good for the present generation of women. However its extreme nature has come under serious and stern criticism in the recent past. Among the societies that do enjoy the extreme nature of feminism include religious institutions. Ideologies of feminism are completely against most religious principles. This makes feminism to be disregarded when viewed from a religious perspective.

However, the common religious institutions such as Islam and Christianity have come to a compromise by regarding women as equal beings with equal ability as their male counterparts. Women being a weaker sex in the society for a long time now, have always been dominated by the men and sometime physically intimidated so that they do not come out of their cocoons.

The gendered and race symbol of nationalism, religion and war

I have seen several women who have the moral strength to stand their ground whenever they experience harassment. When a man or a group of men decide to speak suggestively over their bodies or make sexual advancement to them, they confidently put them off and tell them to mind their manners.

If women could display such confidence and courage, then they would help change the perception of men over women and create a dully mutual respect that is supposed to exist between men and women. Women rarely do such things to men even when they are rise to power. So it is obvious that they do not deserve to be treated that manner just as they would not treat others in that manner.

On very many occasions women have the feeling that the men possess power and for them to survive then they have to submit to them. Ever since girls become young, they are brought up in a manner that they have to be good towards other. They are told to be very respectful and caring and treat other well. So whenever girls are in a situation where they have to be bad, they suffer the feeling of guilt. They fear being rejected because of the way they were brought up.

When it comes to religion, women have different rights. Most religions deal with women in a wholesome way by looking at how a woman should relate with God, how she should relate with man as her natural spouse, and how she relates to herself as a human being who is part of the greater society. Religion agrees on the fact that a woman is a weaker gender in the society however there are differences in the way they both attend to the rights and needs of a woman.

Women and globalization

In traditional societies, women were highly involved in procurement of food and this contributed greatly to the status of women in the society. Even though their roles were limited to their physical abilities, the impact they had on the economy could be felt. They did not have to depend on men to support themselves.

They had the ability of looking for food and finding it to feed their children and family. Women were stable on their own and this gave them a status in the society. In today’s society, women who participate in food procurement are able to build their status.

Introduction of waged labor, contributed a great deal towards the destruction of women’s economic status. Men were favored in most of the labor jobs available to them because of their physical abilities. They could handle most of the work and were more effective compared to women.

This left the women to be forced to remain at home and depend on the men. And currently women’s economic status is still being marred by development projects even though the world at large is beginning to get sensitive on gender issues. In today’s capitalist society, women are beginning to gain economic status and are making a lot of profit. But this is also causing tension and bringing conflict at homes since men are losing control and dominance, and most of them feel intimidated by the profits from women’s work.

Aging women

In this age women are struggling to have their independence and be equal to the men. They are encouraged to venture in almost anything that men are doing. The image of success in a woman today is shown by the ability to balance several issues in their lives such as career, marriage and children.

However other issues have arisen as women try to be successful in life by pursuing several things at a time. These issues include the manner in which children are growing up without values that are important for them and the society. As women grow old, they receive more power and respect from the society.

Before such changes were witnessed, women, especially mother played the very important role of instilling these values to their children. The early stages of a child development is very important when at least the child is around the mother because it is at this age that it is possible to shape the minds and ways of thinking of a child. Most children who are raised with their mothers and both parents end up developing good self esteem.

They know very well that there is some stability at home and that whenever they want support and advice; they can get it right from their mothers or fathers. Children need to be assured that they loved and cared for in order for them to grow positively and it’s the mother who is at a better position to provide this security. This therefore means that mothers should stay at home at least for the early years of their children development. This paper intends to develop a profound argument that supports the idea that mothers should stay at home

The waves of feminism; where we are at now

Since the rise of feminism, a lot of women have come out to challenge the men in fields that were once believed to be male dominated. These fields included political leadership and leadership in general, some sporting activities, and occupations that deal with engineering and sciences. The progress made so far is heading towards the right direction as policy makers are forced to include women in decision making process. The old tradition of not allowing girls to go to school is gradually changing though not at a desirable pace.

The role that women play in the society and in the family is really important and needs to be appreciated. Take an example of a family in which the woman or the wife has a job and goes to work daily. This means that the overall income of that family will be much higher than when it is just the male providing for the family.

The problem that arises with such a scenario is that career women are considered to neglect their family responsibilities and leaving their children under the care of baby sitters. This problem can easily be solved since the breed of women today is like to multitask. They can easily take care of their children by sparing some time for them and balancing their time for both work and home issues.

Politically they have more power and social rights and the women seems to be hopeless and restricted at home where they only engage themselves in child bearing and child rearing and work around the house such as cooking. Gender has also been linked to development. A look at all the millennium development goals, gender issues has huge impact in achieving almost all of them.

For instance when the laws are discriminatory against women, then access to education is limited and hence it is going to be hard to achieve that goal. The majority of the underpaid workers constitute of women. Therefore this makes gender issues a priority consideration before thinking of these other goals of the MDG. The role of women in child rearing is important in achieving millennium development goal number 4 which touches on child mortality.

Activism; kinds

Gender mainstreaming is a positive response toward creating equal opportunities for women in the world. The requirements for gender mainstreaming include calls for gender equality where there are equal relations between male and female in all walks of life. The areas where equity must exist include: politics, work place, sexuality and culture.

In mainstreaming, there should also be inclusion of gender issues in to political agenda. Every policy made by policymakers must include equal representation of both sexes. For example in public appointments made a leader must meet a standard as stipulated by the law.

Normally the ratio of male to female in public offices appointments should be 1 to 3, where 1 represents the female and 3 represents the male. Including female participants in decision making is also important. Women have to be represented equally in all institutions of decision making such as the congress, house of representative and parliaments.

Also in state corporations and statutory bodies this needs to be reflected in the leadership and managements as it is the state to take first steps of responsibility towards gender sensitivity. There is need for this culture and norm in institutions and organizations. Policies must be put into place to regulate private farms to adopt cooperation on gender issues in all the departments of the farms.

There are nations that still struggle to see to it that women are equally represented in decision making, therefore these mainstreaming procedures and requirements are applicable in such countries. It is observed that in such countries there is usually some level of strict poverty meaning that gender inequality is actually linked to poverty. In most case of poverty stricken area, men have an upper hand in getting opportunities for income generation compared women.

Works Cited

Hooks, Bell. Feminism is for everybody. New York: South End Press, 2000.

Kimmel, Michael S and Amy Aronson. The gendered society reader. London: Oxford University Press, 2007.

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IvyPanda. (2019, May 1). Medicalization. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/medicalization-critical-writing/

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"Medicalization." IvyPanda, 1 May 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/medicalization-critical-writing/.

1. IvyPanda. "Medicalization." May 1, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/medicalization-critical-writing/.


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IvyPanda. "Medicalization." May 1, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/medicalization-critical-writing/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Medicalization." May 1, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/medicalization-critical-writing/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Medicalization'. 1 May.

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