In this chapter I explore whether what's come to be known as Locke's 'Midwifery Notes' reveals that Locke has a tendency toward a sexist epistemology. I argue that it doesn't appear as if Locke is challenging women as epistemic agents per se in this document, but rather the efficacy of midwives. I then consider whether Locke has the kind of attitude that undergirds the eventual divide between obstetrics and midwifery as it arises in the US - a divide taken to be teeming with sexist assumptions on the obstetrics' side. I argue that this kind of reading is ruled out given what Locke says about the practices of midwives in the 'Midwifery Notes' and what he says about medical practice more generally in 'Anatomia.' Nevertheless, there is something different about Locke's tone in the 'Midwifery Notes' and it's worth considering how the trope of the 'meddling' or 'useless' woman is playing a role in this often overlooked text.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||The Lockean Mind|
|Editors||Shelley Weinberg, Jessica Gordon-Roth|
|Number of pages||13|
|State||Published - Aug 31 2021|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022 selection and editorial matter Jessica Gordon-Roth and Shelley Weinberg. All rights reserved.