Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-04-16
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Arts Alliance luncheon to feature McCraney Arts Alliance luncheon to feature McCraney
The second annual Arts Alliance Illinois "Voices of a Creative State" benefit ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

BOOK REVIEW Ready and This Common Secret
by Yasmin Nair
2008-05-07

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Written by Elizabeth Gregory

$26.00; Basic Books; 298 pages

This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor

Written by Susan Wicklund

$24.95; Public Affairs Books; 268 pages

Elizabeth Gregory's Ready is about a phenomenon she calls 'later motherhood,' of women having children, either biologically or by adoption, in their forties and beyond. Susan Wicklund's This Common Secret is about her twenty years of experience as an abortion provider and the changing landscape of abortion rights. Wicklund's clients are rural pregnant women in need of abortions in a world where clinics sometimes remain for only a few days a month. Gregory is the Director of Women's Studies and Associate Professor of English at the University of Houston. Her book draws from a small sample of 132 women, all of whom share her privileged background.

Wicklund writes about her own alienating experience with abortion, with cold instruments and colder nurses, and her subsequent resolve to ensure that she could provide women in similar situations with a far more supportive atmosphere. But abortion rights have, by law, become increasingly restrictive and onerous for poorer women in particular. For many, the fight for 'abortion rights' may well be a moot point.

Wicklund has had to bear witness to it all, from the abortion protestor who showed up for an abortion and still called Wicklund a sinner, to the man who brought in his daughter to abort the child he'd fathered. On woman lost her job because of the required 24-hour waiting period which forced her to take extra time off that she couldn't explain.

In sharp contrast, Susan Gregory's book is optimistic to the extreme. She sees a brave new world where birthing technologies and adoption opportunities make for a perfect world where anyone ( in her social class ) can become a parent. It never occurs to her that women might not want that chance; it's clear she feels that having children is the ultimate mark of adulthood. Or, as one of the women puts it, 'I could never have shown up [ for them ] in my twenties because I was too busy trying to show up for myself.'

Her eagerness to render childrearing in the sunniest of terms prompts Gregory to make bizarre statements, as in her description of international adoption: 'part of the hope around adoption in impoverished countries is that the children who are adopted out will gain the education and resources needed to return as adults and help make things better for their birth country.' It's unclear why she would ignore the economic duress that forces countries like China and India to turn into baby factories in the first place. Or that adoptive children are not sent out as economic emissaries to the world.

Even more disconcerting is her willful ignoring of the issues of child-rearing that face most parents today. Gregory gets around all that by only focusing on women of her own class, leading her to write blithely that 'highly educated women spend intense amounts of time stimulating creativity in small numbers of children, preparing those kids to be the innovative workers the market now demands.' Such statements are typical of her placement of women's bodies and the children they bear or adopt as agents of neoliberalism.

Gregory's book cloaks reproduction in terms of choice and technology. Wicklund provides a stark look at the realities of reproduction from the other side. Her book gives us the perspectives and experiences of women for whom giving birth might be an unwanted experience but whose rights to terminate their own pregnancies are increasingly being eroded by the very economic system that Gregory celebrates so joyously. Elizabeth Gregory shouldn't be held directly responsible for the world that Wicklund inhabits, but a book about reproduction could at least be more aware of the socio-economic circumstances surrounding the same.

Placed next to each other, these two books provide unsettling insights into a climate where the ability to reproduce and the ability to cease reproduction are mired in a complex entanglement of access and privilege. Seen through these two lenses, motherhood emerges less as a privileged and natural process of adulthood and more as an experience mediated by women's gendered relationships to inequality.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.

Lesbianography: Lesbians and Sex, Out at CHM May 8 2014-04-17
BOOK REVIEW Falling into Place 2014-04-15
New Evanston independent bookstore to open in June 2014-04-15
Gerber Hart Library and Archives book sale April 26-27 2014-04-14
Chicago Humanities Fest names Alison Cuddy Program Director 2014-04-10
Comic book publishers sever Uline ties over anti-gay ads 2014-04-10
The Summer I Wasn't Me 2014-04-09
Lavender U: Balay on sexuality, gender in steel mills 2014-04-07
The AIDS Generation: Stories of Survival and Resilience 2014-04-01
BOOKS Man talks about being gay in the Colombian army 2014-04-01
Women & Children First plans April author events 2014-03-30
Women & Children First Bookstore hosts Jimmy Carter book signing 2014-03-27
Harry Nimmo deciphers fact from fiction in 'Before Summer' 2014-03-26
Gay Colombian soldier tells story in new book 2014-03-26
Knives and autopsies just the start in new Peggy Shinner book 2014-03-26
GLSEN, Matthew Shepard Foundation release Shepard curriculum 2014-03-20
Library commissioner talks changes, technology 2014-03-20
BOOK REVIEW Pee-Shy 2014-03-19
BOOK REVIEW The Days of Anna Madrigal 2014-03-19
BOOK REVIEW Teaching the Cat to Sit 2014-03-19
BOOK REVIEW Off the Rocks 2014-03-19
Katy Perry adds second show at United Center 2014-03-18
Women of Letters at Mayne Stage March 21 2014-03-15
CPL Commissioner Bannon at Gerber/Hart event 2014-03-14
Strub reflects on past and present AIDS activism 2014-03-13
BOOKS Jackie Collins: True 'Confessions' 2014-03-12
BOOK REVIEW Legally Wed 2014-03-12
Orchid show in Glencoe through March 16 2014-03-12
Sean Strub to make two Chicago appearances 2014-03-12
Jimmy Carter coming to Andersonville on March 27 2014-03-12
Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes talks new media in Elmhurst 2014-03-12
'It Gets Better' with Tamale at Guild Complex 2014-03-09
"LGBT Writers in Schools" brings writers into classrooms 2014-03-08
Lambda book finalists announced 2014-03-06
Facebook co-founder at Elmhurst on March 6 2014-03-05
BOOK REVIEW I'll Take You There: Mavis Staples... 2014-03-04
Women & Children First bookstore March events, honor 2014-02-27
HIV/AIDS activist Sean Strub visiting March 12 2014-02-26
VIEWS: MOMBIAN 'Jacob's New Dress' adds to growing genre 2014-02-26
Events 2014-02-26





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
the online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

Lady Tajma Hall dies
 
Gay-owned B&B offers warmth in Rogers Park
 
Villa Loretta adds a touch of Hollywood to weddings
 
Homeless agency looks at increasing needs
 
Frankly speaking: Expert tips to plan your wedding expertly
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now








  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.