Confinements: fertility and infertility in contemporary by Helena Michie

By Helena Michie

While a lady within the usa turns into pregnant or attempts to turn into pregnant, she enters an international of data, expertise, and services. abruptly her physique turns into public in a brand new means: drugs, legislations, and pop culture all supply her occasionally contradictory "expert" suggestion. this article explores the recommendation provided to pregnant and infertile girls via analyzing assumptions approximately femininity, type, and the reproductive physique that constitution the language of craftsmanship. Even recommendation books written from a in particular countercultural or feminist standpoint frequently try and police the way in which girls take into consideration their our bodies. The authors the following argue that our perceptions approximately either being pregnant and infertility are constrained via our culture's battles over the that means of selection and keep an eye on, arguments over what's average or unnatural, and the bothered dating among replica and the family sphere.

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We are, however, deeply concerned about the context in which such consumption takes place, and particularly about the cultural conflation of consumption and choice that obscures the social pressures brought to bear on individual decisions. Page 15 Part One The Pregnant Body Page 17 Chapter 1 Confinements Closer to Home: The Domestic in the Discourses of Upper-Middle-Class Pregnancy A few years ago, in my seventh month of pregnancy and halfway through my semester-long course on Jane Austen and Charlotte Bront√ęthese serve as my calendars and my aids to memoryI found myself teaching a Foucauldian reading of Austen's Northanger Abbey, trying and failing to explain the literary critic Paul Morrison's concept of the "domestic carceral" to my students.

Page 24 The policing of and from the home by advice books directed at middleclass women works as a more covert alternative to the more literal policing of the working-class home and the working-class pregnant mother within the home. That tradition, as we shall see in chapter 2, becomes most visible with the implementation of home visitation for pregnant women in England at the beginning of the twentieth century, although it begins earlier. Oakley sees the spread of home visitation as an indication of a paradigm shift in which the state was newly envisioned as having a stake in the health of pregnant women and in antenatal care.

Many intersperse personal narratives about particular tests or procedures with more strictly "informational" descriptions. The infertility advice book, then, constructs and defines a textual community through carefully framed first-person narration. While these narratives certainly provide a sense of shared experienceand many women we interviewed expressed a real sense of relief in knowing that these narratives were available to themthe stories almost never break with the dominant sense that infertility treatment is a necessary step in having a baby The narratives are in this sense heroic: they present individual tests as part of a necessary if not always triumphant struggle toward a particular goal.

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