(M)otherhoodPragya Agarwal More by this author...£16.99
This is a book about motherhood. And the shapes it takes.
This is a book about bodies (mostly cis women's bodies). And how some are less than the sum of their parts.
This is a book about choices. The roads we follow, and those we are not allowed to walk. In a world where women have more choices than ever, society nevertheless continues to exert the stigma and pressures of less enlightened times when it comes to having children. We define women by whether they embrace or reject motherhood; whether they can give birth or not. Behavioural Scientist Pragya Agarwal uses her own varied experiences and choices as a woman of South Asian heritage to examine the broader societal, historical and scientific factors that drive how we think and talk about motherhood. She looks at how women's bodies have been monitored and controlled through history, and how this shapes the political constructs of motherhood and womanhood now. Extremely open in its honesty and meticulously researched, (M)otherhood probes themes of infertility, childbirth and reproductive justice, and makes a powerful and urgent argument for the need to tackle society's obsession with women's bodies and fertility.
[pls note - Dr Agarwal's book is consciously rooted in her personal experiences as a heterosexual cis woman of colour- and although she makes space to acknowledge the experiences of trans women, trans men, and non-binary people in relation to motherhood and childbearing these do not form a core component to the book. Dr Agarwal explains how her scope was shaped by an absence of scientific data, the anchoring of the book in her cis experience of womanhood and in a wish to avoid tokenisation. this is her story, and it is beautiful in its specificity]