Download Not Trying: Infertility, Childlessness, and Ambivalence by Kristin J. Wilson PDF

By Kristin J. Wilson

One message that comes in addition to ever-improving fertility remedies and extending reputation of unmarried motherhood, older first-time moms, and same-sex partnerships, is that nearly any lady can and will turn into a mom. The media and lots of stories specialise in infertile and involuntarily childless girls who're looking therapy. They symbolize this workforce as fearful and keen to aim whatever, even problematic and financially ruinous high-tech interventions, to accomplish a winning pregnancy.

But the vast majority of girls who fight with fertility keep away from remedy. the ladies whose interviews seem in now not making an attempt belong to this majority. Their attitudes fluctuate and should swap as their existence situations evolve. a few help the present cultural narrative that ladies are supposed to be moms and refuse to determine themselves as childfree via selection. each one of these girls, who come from a much broader diversity of social backgrounds than such a lot researchers have studied, event deep ambivalence approximately motherhood and non-motherhood, by no means really determining both direction. they like to allow existence spread, an perspective that turns out to minimize nervousness approximately no longer conforming to social expectancies.

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Extra resources for Not Trying: Infertility, Childlessness, and Ambivalence

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Yes, motherhood is expected of them, but this is not the only reason why they become mothers. We must also discard that tenacious trope—still promoted in the medical and psychological literature—that instinct drives women. They balance their own desires—desires that are not entirely socially determined (but also not instinct-driven) as appropriate to their social positions. MO THER HO OD FROM THE MARGIN S ( 53 ) Tellingly, some of the respondents bring up the concept of ownership in defining what it is to be a mother: Joy, love, those are the best words I can describe it with.

Fixing Infertiles Infertility is a medical problem as well as a women’s problem (Mies 1987). Medicalization places natural processes under the purview of medical authority. Just like other functions and states of women’s bodies including menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause, medicalization of infertility and childlessness tells us that these statuses need expert monitoring (Lock 2007; Simonds 2002; Turner 1995 [1987]). At one time, infertility was but ill fortune. Now popular culture, the websites and literature for fertility clinics, and ads for fertility pharmaceuticals remind us that modern medicine can make miracles happen.

Jessie Silva, fortytwo, white, queer, hairstylist Without my uterus, even though I went through a lot [of pain and medical procedures], I wouldn’t feel like I’m a woman. So I’d rather keep it. That why I left it [contrary to medical advice]. —Zara Senai, forty-five, African immigrant, married, laboratory technician Each of these women negotiate a new, strained relationship with her disorderly maternal body while they also negotiate with the men who control—and attempt to normalize—those bodies with surgery and medicine (see Britt 2001); Jessie, as a powerless teenager, “shuts down,” refusing to interact, whereas Zara insists on keeping her uterus, an organ that is both problematic (prone to cysts in her case) and the keystone to her embodied womanhood.

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