The Supplement Body

In The Body Electric Carolyn De la Peña argued that our close relationship with technological advancement changed our views of our gender-specific roles in society, and has contributed to our understanding of them in the 21st century. Peña makes clear how acceptance of new technologies is facilitated when they are seen to fix our perceived defects, deficiencies, and deviance. Our implementation of such fixes is achieved through intimate devices such as the Pulvermacher belt.

The Link above entitled “End of the American Male” is a very long advertisement for a hormone supplement called “T Drive” produced by ASRESEARCH. The “T Drive” add, more of an infomercial, adds to where its belt predecessor left off by making the claim that the new threat on the “American Man” is three “feminizing” hormones linked to estrogen that cause all of man’s “lacks” and deviances. Furthermore they claim that these hormones are found everywhere: tap water, plastic bottles, food. ASRESEARCH with their “expert” Paul explain that their fully “natural” hormone supplement pill is the only option to cure all of man’s defects, and links the boost in testosterone and elimination of “feminizing” hormones created by the drug to success, wealth, and all other attributes of an “alpha male,” which is presented as the natural male form.

Peña’s ideas are thus illustrated in contemporary examples, as the continued modernization, industrialization, and globalization that has happened over the past century has led to the new “miracle cure” — the “hormone” and other chemical supplements disguised as a natural fix. The incorporation of such cures is literal, in that, rather than applied to the body, we take them into the body in the form of powders, power bars, many different supplements deemed not only “ok” but also “healthy” and restorative.

There are many products that are sold that promise to make us better in some way, what are your experiences with these? Do we see them elsewhere: makeup, diet pills, etc.?


Sexy Ebola Nurse

These two Ebola Halloween costumes demonstrate Patricia N. Limerick’s idea that an ideological frontier is defined not by factual data but rather by distorted and decontextualized rhetoric.

The costumes are both deflecting attention away from the virus by making the matter of the Ebola virus trivial.

This is one of the mechanisms by which the real threat of Ebola is sidelined therefore making adequate response less likely, similar too the ways in which Ebola has been associated with deviance and Africans rather than a general public health issue. Instead call for such as immigration denial, quarantines, and flight cancellations, all of which are inadequate response to a virus because of the misrepresentation.

Focusing on a sexy costume a deviant continent of origin or racially-motivated scapegoat attention is deflected from a health care system that is inadequately prepared because of continuous funding refusal, this all serves to reinforce a policy that diminishes social spending by vilifying individuals not policy.

Why do you think the female Ebola nurse’s outfit is over sexualized while the man’s is not?