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Lecture

Reproduction


Department
Women's and Gender Studies
Course Code
WGST 1F90
Professor
Jenny Janke

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3(19) Reproduction
March-18-12
9:53 PM
Key Terms
i. Eugenics and Darwinism*
ii. Alberta Farm workers Women's Association*
iii. the personal is political
iv. Body politics/ politics of the body
v. Morgentaler decision
vi. CARAL (Canadian Abortion Rights Action League)
vii. two sides of reproduction
*terms from film
Controlling reproduction has never been exclusively a private matter between a woman and her
partner. Legislation, court decisions, medical practices, cultural norms, and technological innovations
have restricted and expanded reproductive options at varying moments in…history (Clarke, A.E.
Disciplining reproduction: modernity, American life sciences and the 'problems of sex’. Berkeley:
University of California Press; 1998. Print.)
Introduction
1. A rallying cry of feminism (& the women's movement) is, "The personal is political"
2. Meaning: personal problems are political problems, which basically means that many of the
personal problems women experience in their lives are not their fault, but are the result of
systematic oppression
3. Key feminist axiom: "The politics of the body" or "body politics" refers to the practices and
policies through which powers of society regulate the human body and the struggle over the
degree of individual and social control of the body.
Examples: institutional power expressed in government and laws; disciplinary power
exacted in economic production; discretionary power exercised in consumption; and
personal power negotiated in intimate relations.
4. Both terms cover a wide range of social practices.
5. Central issue remains securing women's right to control their own bodies (note the term remains-
- still not guaranteed!)
6. Reproduction is a significant issue: deciding if, when and how to reproduce are core elements.
7. Ensuring the state provides fundamental rights in supporting reproductive choice: safe, legal
abortion, access to pre/post natal care, access to safe birth control, knowledge about
reproduction, and the right to say “no” to unwanted sexual relations.
Abortion and Birth Control
1. Prior to 1969, Canadian women could not legally obtain information on, or prescriptions for
artificial birth controlboth were outlawed by the Criminal Code.
2. In 1969, government legalized the public distribution of birth control information and sale of
contraceptives.
3. By 1969/1970, Morgentaler began providing abortions to women in Quebec. He was brought to
trial in 1973, charged with performing an illegal abortion.
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