‘Feminist Health Politics’ Course Questions whether Disease Is ‘Subjective’

(Lee Celano/Reuters)

The University of Massachusetts–Amherst is offering a course this semester titled “Feminist Health Politics,” which “will examine how health becomes defined, and will question whether health and disease are objectively measured conditions or subjective states.”

“What is health?” asks the course description on the college’s website. “What makes health a matter of feminism?”

“We will also consider why and how definitions and standards of health have changed over time; why and how standards and adjudications of health vary according to gender, race, sexuality, class, and nationality; and how definitions of health affect the way we value certain bodies and ways of living,” the description continues. “Additionally, we will explore how knowledge about health is created; how environmental conditions, social location, politics, and economic conditions affect health; how various groups have fought for changes to health care practices and delivery; and how experiences of health and illness have been reported and represented.”

Now, to be fair, not all of this is crazy. It absolutely is true, for example, that issues such as “environmental conditions” can…

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