SOC 214 – Reproductive Politics: The Body as a Site of Political Struggle

Abstract:

In this episode, the team tackles one of the most sensitive topics within current social discussions – reproductive politics. Using Rickie Solinger’s seminal book Reproductive Politics, we discuss how the women’s bodies have become a site of public political struggle, thereby, determining the level of personal autonomy and privacy available to women. We highlight an aspect of Solinger’s work on fetal personhood, and how the rights of the fetus have been constructed, in some ways, in conflict with the mother’s rights.

*NOTE: This episode was recorded last year in 2018 (hence, the breakdowns are old), but we did not want to release it until we had covered the umbrella topics around reproductive politics. For a primer on episodes to listen to before this episode, check out the following:

  1. SOC109 – Illness & Morality: A Look at Medical Sociology
  2. SOC126-Medicalizing Behavior: Common or “Abnormal”?
  3. SOC204 – The Spectrum: An Introduction to Sex and Gender
  4. SOC205 – The Matrices of Oppression: An Introduction to Intersectionality
  5. SOC 213 – Doulas and Midwives and Women’s Health, Oh My!
Keywords:

Reproductive politics, fetal personhood, autonomy, sex, gender

Sources:

  1. Reproductive Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know by Rickie Solinger (2013)
  2. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity by Judith Butler (2015)
  3. The Status Syndrome: How Social Standing Affects Our Health and Longevity by Michael Marmot (2005)
  4. Breastfeeding in public is finally legal in all 50 US states
  5. Roe v. Wade: The Constitutional Right to Access Safe, Legal Abortion
  6. Does the GOP tax bill introduce anti-abortion ‘fetal personhood’ legislation?
  7. Abortion after the first trimester
  8. Induced Abortion in the United States
  9. Trump just basically said he’s anti-childbirth
  10. The Criminalization of Bad Mothers (New York Times)
  11. State Laws on Fetal Homicide and Penalty-Enhancement for Crimes Against Pregnant Women
  12. Unborn Victims of Violence Act
  13. Woman whose rapist was granted joint custody of child speaks out
  14. How can US rapist win joint custody of victim’s child?
  15. Ronald Reagan, The Silent Scream and the Slow Rise of Fetal Pain
  16. Abortion in the US: Five Key Facts
  17. Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients in 2014 and Changes Since 2008
  18. Waiting Periods and the Rising Price of Abortion

SOC204 – The Spectrum: An Introduction to Sex and Gender

Abstract

Gender and sex– They appear to be the same thing, but in reality they aren’t! This week we dive into the differences between gender and sex through the lense of sociology using work from Judith Butler, Simone de Beauvoir and other recent research. How have our notions of gender and sex changed over the years? Where are these two concepts headed? And how do our own identities influence the way we behave, feel, and think? Tune in to find out! (And come back next week for our follow-up discussion on feminism and intersectionality.)

Keywords 

Gender, Sex, Social Construction

Sources

  1. Judith Butler’s (1990) Gender Trouble is one of THE foundational texts if you want to get into gender and sex.
  2. Simone de Beauvoir’s (1949) The Second Sex is another key text to explore, as Butler builds her theories off of de Beauvoir’s work. It is in The Second Sex where de Beauvoir writes the famous line, “one is not born a woman, but, rather, becomes one.”
  3. New York Times article by Claire Cain Miller (Sept 14, 2018), “Many Ways to Be a Girl, But One Way to Be a Boy: The New Gender Rules”
  4. A pamphlet from the National Partnership for Women and Families that reports the following on the national gender wage gap:
    • “Nationally, the median annual pay for a woman who holds a full-time, year-round job is $41,977 while the median annual pay for a man who holds a full-time, year-round job is $52,146. This means that, overall, women in the United States are paid 80 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to an annual gender wage gap of $10,169.”
  5. Duncombe and Marsden (1998) chapter “Stepford Wives and Hallow Husbands” in Emotions in Social Life
  6. Some interesting articles about femininity and the female gaze:
  7. Articles on the consequences of toxic masculinity: