Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-04-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  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.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Indie LGBTQ graphic novel series to release release "Flutter" 2015-04-25
World news: Turing notebook; South African runner; Malawi law 2015-04-22
Michelangelo Signorile reminds us why 'It's Not Over' 2015-04-22
BOOK REVIEW The Old Deep and Dark 2015-04-21
Gerber/Hart celebrates Sandfield Exhibition Gallery 2015-04-20
VIEWS: MOMBIAN New edition enlivens 'Two Mommies' for families today 2015-04-15
THEATER Denis O'Hare and Lisa Peterson talk 'The Good Book' 2015-04-15
NUNN ON ONE Cody Jamison Strand plays it by the 'Book' 2015-04-15
BOOK REVIEW Frank 2015-04-15
THEATER REVIEW The Good Book 2015-04-08
SAVOR: Sepia 2015-04-08
BOOKS Writer Jennifer Morales tackles racial tension 2015-04-08
Book group thrives at Center at Halsted, looks to expand 2015-04-01
BOOKS: Dying to Play; Ndegeocello; authors Sullivan, Conner 2015-04-01
BOOKS Gay NU professor authors YA Holocaust novel 2015-03-31
Stamp to honor Dr. Maya Angelou 2015-03-31
Quare Square event with Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, M. Shelly Conner 2015-03-27
Barney Frank at Center on Halsted for book promo 2015-03-26
BOOKS Chelsey Clammer gets personal with 'BodyHome' 2015-03-25
Victoria Brownworth talks Axelrod, identity and feminism 2015-03-24
Publishing Triangle's 27th annual Triangle Awards to be presented 2015-03-10
United States Artists: Illuminating value of artists for a decade 2015-03-10
BOOK REVIEW Batty Bwoy 2015-03-10
27th Annual Lambda Literary Award finalists announced 2015-03-05
Humorous memoir 'Butch' details pregnancy woes 2015-03-04
Facebook adds free-form field for gender identity 2015-02-26
BOOK REVIEW The Escape Artist 2015-02-25
Maya Angelou to be honored with Forever stamp 2015-02-23
Women & Children First celebrates renovation 2015-02-22
PICTURE THIS Photo book documents '80s same-sex couples 2015-02-18
Local entertainment: Burly returns; Dudes season out; exhibits; exhibit 2015-02-17
BOOKS 'Love Together' looks at longtime gay couples 2015-02-17
Book on bisexual men aims to fill a long-held void 2015-02-10
Book of Merman to move to the Apollo Theater Studio Feb. 26 2015-02-06
BOOK REVIEW An American Queer: The Amazon Trail 2015-02-04
BOOKS Leslea Newman gets personal with 'I Carry My Mother' 2015-02-04
Queer writer presents at Noche de Cuentos 2015-02-03
ANTHOLOGY REVIEW Off the Rocks, Vol. 18 2015-02-03
Queer children's book author Gonzalez creates gender-neutral character 2015-01-28
World: Turing notebook; ISIS killing gays; king makes history 2015-01-27
 



Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our 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.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



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     
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.