When IVF fails: Feminism, infertility and the negotiation of normality

02 September 2014
Volume 22 · Issue 9

The book ‘When IVF Fails: feminism, infertility and the negotiation of normality’ is a long overdue and absolutely vital piece of writing. Karen Throsby has drawn on her background in sociology to examine the gendered ideologies and feminist dialogues which underline the idealised role of woman as mother. The book also discusses the technologies and support networks in place to assist women in pursuing that goal, when nature or circumstance mean that assistance is required.

It has been said that you cannot be a midwife without being a feminist, as women are at the heart of our profession. The focus on, and examination of, feminist narratives of assisted fertility, the role of the woman as creator, and technology and medicine as part of the patriarchal framework, runs through all of the chapters of the book, and is central to the themes as examined. Feminism as an ideology is not above assessment and criticism in Throsby's work, and it is all the more balanced for this.

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