Tag Archives: mothering

Suspicious Eyes: The Uneasy Relationship Between Feminism, Male Parenting, and Child Molestation Laws

Katharine Bartlett reviews Camille Gear Rich’s Innocence Interrupted: Reconstructing Fatherhood in the Shadow of Child Molestation Law, 101 Calif. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2013), over at Jotwell: Family Law (click for link to review).

This is an interesting read. Rich argues that while dominance feminists created the laws which generated the problem, liberal feminists have failed to confront the consequences:

I argue that until we fundamentally change our understandings regarding the role fathers should play in intimate care we will suffer negative social,economic and structural effects, stunt the evolution of parenting roles, and prevent the practice of parenting from being a driving force that challenges the evolution of gender itself.

Camille Gear Rich is a Professor at USC Law where one of her research and teaching interests is feminist legal theory.  Among her many publications is Race-ing Motherhood, a response to Unsex Motherhood, available here:


However, when one fully instrumentalizes Rosenblum’s concept of primary parent, one sees how deeply the model of white, middle class motherhood shapes his understanding.  His expectation is that a primary parent either opts out of labor market participation (particularly in the child’s early years) or retains a much smaller role in the world of paid work in order to perform this primary parent role.  Yet as feminists well know, even under a regime that ensures that one does not lose wages during this period, a primary parent suffers certain opportunity costs, as the decision to develop a childcare specialty prevents her from developing other more broadly marketable skills during this period.

The Jotwell Reviewer, Katharine T. Bartlett of Duke, is the co author of the leading gender law casebook in the US and recently published Feminist Legal Scholarship: A History Through the Lens of the California Law Review.

The article and the review help me sort out my own concerns about the implications of dominance feminism’s willingness to engage state regulation, particularly criminal law and punishment, as part of feminist method.  They also further our efforts to illustrate the variation within the category “feminist” and encourage us all to make efforts to define, refine and critique our own feminist commitments.  Are you a dominance feminist? eco-feminist? liberal feminist? radical feminist? one of Rich’s “post-dominance feminists”? …. Leaving “waves” aside for now, this kind of scholarship reflects a maturing field which can critically examine it’s own histories.



CFP (deadline July 1): Mothering and Reproduction Conference Motherhood Initiative for Research & Community Involvement

The Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement is holding the MOTHERING AND REPRODUCTION CONFERENCE featuring an embedded conference on the topic of MOTHERING, SCIENCE, AND TECHNOLOGY October 18-20, 2012, Toronto, ON, Canada.  For consideration, please send a 250-word abstract and a 50-word bio by July 1, 2012 to info@motherhoodinitiative.org ** TO SUBMIT AN ABSTRACT FOR THIS CONFERENCE, ONE MUST BE A MEMBER OF MIRCI: http://www.motherhoodinitiative.org/membership.html

Topics may include but are not restricted to:
Bioethics and fertility; abortion, birth control and assisted fertility in a cross cultural context; reproductive technologies
and the interplay of religion; mothering in families of high order multiple births; mothering on the blogosphere; queer
engagements with reproduction; motherhood and the technological womb; modern childbirth and maternity care;
(mis)educative experiences teaching and learning about menstruation and reproduction; re/productive roles mothers play
in de/constructing embodied understandings of reproduction; surviving traumatic birth experiences; mothers in
academe/research; mothering and the workplace, how technology permeates the work/home barrier; attachment with
adopted and biological children; birth plans; how science and technology inform social justice issues; assisted
reproductive technologies, state policy, and federalism’s impacts on women in the United States and around the world;
reproductive decisions and a politics of location; impact of social media on opinions regarding reproduction; “mothering”
from a distance; the experience of egg donation; mothers’ changing relationship with “the experts” regarding birthing, infant
care in the age of infectious diseases, baby books and birth control; reproductive rights and wrongs, including rise
of contraceptive technology alongside state-coerced sterilization; mothering in the Information Age; maternalist political
rhetoric in favor of labor rights; mothering bodies; pre and postnatal bodies and reconstructive surgery; eating disorders
and reproduction; reproductive consciousness and politics of reproduction; outcomes associated with
scientific/technological intervention; outsourcing of reproduction to developing nations; maternal and erotic/maternal
eroticism; history of reproductive technologies; Indigenous mothers and mothering; cross-cultural perspectives on
reproduction including reproductive technologies.


h/t Bita Amani, Carys Craig

CFP: East Asian Mothering: Politics and Practice

In the aftermath of the Tiger Mom debates (see here for an earlier IFLS post)  Demeter Press is issuing a CFP (East Asian Mothering CFP (pdf)  Can you imagine the variety of legal angles on this?

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
Popular and media representations of East Asian mothers; transnational adoption and the experiences of both adoptive and birth mothers (including the invisibility of Asian birth mothers); the politics of citizenship for East (including Southeast) Asian mothers; race, gender, and migration; oppression, resistance, and empowerment in East Asian mothering; feminist approaches to East Asian mothering; mothering and overseas contract work; stories of diaspora; queer and trans East Asian mothering; mothering in mixed-race and multiracial families; bicultural identity; motherhood in immigrant and refugee communities; cultural practices and norms; reproductive justice for Asian Pacific and East Asian women; motherline and matroreform; filial piety; preference for male sons; analyses of Amy Chua’s Tiger Mother; and Asian Pacific and East Asian mothering in the academy.
Submission Guidelines:
Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words, and include a brief biography (50 words) and citizenship.
Deadline for Abstracts: March 15, 2012
Accepted papers will be due February 1, 2013
All inquiries and submissions should be sent to both:
patti.duncan@oregonstate.edu, and gwongwylie@gmail.com
Demeter Press
140 Holland St., West, PO 13022
Bradford, ON