Replay: Eugenics

Posted on May 6, 2010


Sixteen persons feature in this photograph, ten women, five men, one infant.  One man is in shadow.

Of the adults in the picture, only one woman stares at the camera, while four of the men–those not in shadow–command it.

These are the illustrious and important scientific citizens involved in deciding who gets the Governor’s Trophy for Fittest Family.

And the remarkable and trophied family itself, it seems, sits at centre stage, elevated three modest steps above the common soil.

Men pilot this ship.  Men of one ethnic group, of a very narrow range of social classes.  Women of the men’s own classes are allowed aboard, of course, but theirs is a supporting role, as nurses, doctor’s wives, mothers, and titular matriarchs.

A White child is central–male, since not obviously female–and is there to uphold the hope of the nation, the promise of science.

There are no non-Whites in sight, or any poor or working class or defective persons–by definition unqualified to be photographed at such an event.

What is meant by Eugenics is clear.  What is intended to be preserved is clear.