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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Neoliberal Logic of Reproduction

At the last conference I attended, a scholar spoke about the way female reproductive decisions are made in neoliberal societies. The better a woman is inscribed into the logic of neoliberalism, the readier she is to privilege the convenience of others (especially the ease of capital reproduction) and pay for that with the damage done to her own body.

The later a woman begins to reproduce, the higher are the physiological costs. (I almost yelled, “Hear! Hear!” at this point in the talk). But capitalism values production and devalues reproduction. As a result, the female body lacks in value and women easily sacrifice their health to accommodate the needs of others and the demands of capital.

My own individual case is not about that but about individual pathology of severe psychological problems. But many women delay childbirth not because they suffer from mental issues but because of the phenomenon this scholar described.

In short, women, screw capital and don’t forget that the longer you wait to have your first child, the more expensive it will be in terms of your greatest and least replenishable resource. 

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One thought on “Neoliberal Logic of Reproduction

  1. Shakti on said:

    I get that. But it seems to me that throughout history, most societies have devalued the female body.

    The better a woman is inscribed into the logic of neoliberalism, the readier she is to privilege the convenience of others (especially the ease of capital reproduction) and pay for that with the damage done to her own body.
    This could easily be said about societies in which having children is considered economically valuable and which are less capitalist.

    But capitalism values production and devalues reproduction. As a result, the female body lacks in value and women easily sacrifice their health to accommodate the needs of others and the demands of capital.
    You can easily say the same thing about women and girls having children when their bodies are too young (ie young to mid teenagers) or too close together.

    The demands of capital is such a nice way to phrase, “ha ha fuck you systematically if you want to have a kid before the age of 30 and be ‘responsible’ about it. Good luck accessing the resources needed or teaming up with someone your age.”(Biologically speaking, the clock ticks against men in terms of fertility and also the older the male partner the larger the potential problems with the baby.)

    Like

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