reproutopia deposited A comradely politics of gestational work: Militant particularism, sympoetic scholarship and the limits of generosity on Humanities Commons 5 years ago
In response to the four commentaries on ‘Cyborg uterine geography’, in which I argued normatively for reorganizing gestation on the basis of comradeliness, I grapple with three overlapping conceptual areas highlighted: the ethical and political affordances of the term ‘generosity’ in relation to care and pregnancy; the methodological question of bringing insights from the uterine field of ‘sympoeisis’ (‘making-with’, Haraway 2016) into the practice of scholarship; and the desire for more place-based specificity in the mapping of uterine geographies (plural, rather than singular; ‘normal’, as well as ‘queer’). Throughout this reply, I tie my remarks back to the core framework I advance in my piece, of gestation being work which, as such, has no predetermined gender, is subject to transformation through struggle, should not be romanticized (for instance, by identifying it with ‘the biological maternal’). Firstly, I rethink what it means to valorize gestational relationality in terms of generousness, from an antiwork perspective. Secondly, I engage the question, ‘can uterine geographies also create a methodology of engagement’? while seeking to qualify the proposed embrace of ‘indeterminacy’. Thirdly, I respond to concerns about the ‘universality’ in my piece by considering some contemporary examples of uterine politicization, specifically around abortion, that suggest to me that specificity has served as the matrix through which a ‘militant particularism’ can emerge in the form of geographically far-flung Reproductive Justice solidarities.