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  • jamiehagen

My book chapter on lesbian moms and moms who have had an abortion is out now!

Last year I published the book chapter "Extending acts of motherhood: Storytelling as resistance to stigma" in February, right before the pandemic. I'm only now getting around to writing about and promoting the chapter which is part of the OUP text Troubling Motherhood: Maternality in Global Politics.

This chapter highlights the different ways mothers engage in storytelling to resist stigma, while also rejecting the idea that they are “bad” mothers. The prevailing story told about what makes a “good” mother relies on the construction of an ideal mother parenting within a specific vision of the nuclear family. Mothers who do not live up to this ideal construction of motherhood are punished through various forms of stigma such as sexual stigma and abortion stigma. The chapter considers the impact of stigma on two groups of women, lesbian mothers and mothers who have had abortions. Mothers from both communities who have faced stigma are finding ways to rewrite the script about how to mother without shame.

In the chapter I reference the organising work of Repeal the 8th and Together for Yes. l also reference the CLIPP conference in discussing reproductive justice organizing and opening up powerful space for those who've had abortions to share their experience in a supportive space during the conference's Speak-Out. I also read and watched lots of fun media about queer moms. I reference the @lezgetpregnant YouTube page where Haley Jude aka (Queer Mama), a queer femme vlogs about lesbian conception, pregnancy, and parenthood.

Some of the forms of resistance these mothers have engaged in includes abortion speak outs, online storytelling through blogs and videos and storytelling through art. The chapter also explores how community-based initiatives informed by the principles of reproductive justice also make possible new narratives of maternity and new visions for a future for mothering without stigma. Read here.

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