Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight over Women's Work

PM Pr. Mar. 2019. 240p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781629636382. $19.95; ebk. ISBN 9781629636535. SOC SCI
OrangeReviewStarActivist Brown (former editor, Labor Notes) addresses the complex intersections between women's work and reproductive freedom with a big-picture view of global policies surrounding decreased birth rates around the world. For example, Brown describes how countries such as China and Sweden have implemented paid family leave, child allowances, and universal childcare to counteract the economical thread of a decreased population and suggests that U.S. women could leverage these reforms to promote social change. The author takes a far more involved view of discourses surrounding abortion, access to birth control, and other reproductive health issues, and illustrates her data-driven points with case studies from individuals who speak openly about why and how they decided whether to have children. Brown offers a provocative analysis of women's reproductive labor as metaphor and reality and ends with questions designed to start discussions in conscious-raising groups so that the concepts move from thought into practice.
VERDICT Balancing theory and action, this manifesto presents a refreshing take on reproductive justice.
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