I might just be tired, but I found Mellor’s argument, all in all, fairly reasonable. However, I don’t agree with Mellor in all aspects. I don’t think that it’s unreasonable to say that thinking of science as a challenge to control a “passive and possessable female” will cause research to be self-furthering and “morally insensitive” (Mellor). However, Mellor didn’t touch on the effects of gendering Nature and the sciences on female scientists and researchers. (Or I could’ve missed that because I’m so tired.) Science as a “passive and possessable female” speaks prominently to a male audience and leaves little room for and blocks the progression of women in science. Of course, not to say that women cannot also want to possessively bend Nature to their wills. I think it’s strange that Mellor doesn’t talk about this that much. Maybe she might’ve implied that this language opposes women in science; perhaps she is relying on their omission to speak for them. However, in the 18th-19th centuries (and before, and after), there were still many women in science. A quick Google search takes us to a Wikipedia list of names. I just feel like women could have constituted a more visible part of her argument. All of her sources were from men of science. By ignoring women, Mellor seems to exemplify the very erasure that the gendering Nature causes. How science is thought of–as a woman to be taken rather than what it actually is (the natural world, which is for the most part gender-neutral)–causes the “oppressive sexual politics,” rather than the actual manipulation of nature. If we get rid of all these women comparisons/personifications, then we should be good.

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