Monster Moms: Motherhood on the Edge of Time

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Developments in biomedicine are frequently thought of as another Frankenstein’s monster. Feminist scholars such as Donna Haraway (1992) and Margrit Shildrick (1997) argue that new reproductive technologies destabilize grand narratives on procreation and conception. To them, monstrous figures illustrate what comes to be seen as outside of the ”normal,” making the figure of the monster a particularly promising analytical concept. In line with this set of feminist scholarship, we privilege the workings of monstrous configurations (e.g. Haraway 1992, Shildrick 1997). This paper inquires into the normativities of reproductive technologies by analyzing how reproductive practices and perceptions of women seen as reproductively old unfold. We use an assemblage of ethnographic fieldwork carried out in a Danish private fertility clinic, interviews with Danish fertility travelers, Danish mediated accounts, ethical debates, and the legal framework to identify what elements come together to construct older moms as ”monster moms”. We compare how these differ in different settings (legal, clinical, personal settings). The analysis of the empirical material highlights how the position of the monster mom entangles with normative understandings of reproductive temporality, the “natural” (good) mother, and the ”best interests of the child,” and becomes a smokescreen for particular worldviews on reproduction and the making of families.‬‬‬‬‬
Original languageEnglish
Publication date28 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2018
EventRemaking Reproduction: The Global Politics of Reproductive Technologies - University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jun 2018 → …


ConferenceRemaking Reproduction: The Global Politics of Reproductive Technologies
LocationUniversity of Cambridge
CountryUnited Kingdom
Period27/06/2018 → …

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