Centralizing Reproductive Justice
Call for papers: Centralizing Reproductive Justice
We are pleased to invite submissions for the joint issue of Kohl: a Journal for Body and Gender Research, and The A Project, slated for publication in December 2018. Young activists, independent researchers, graduate students, and fresh graduates are particularly encouraged to apply. We also welcome submissions from seminal contributors in the field.
Within the framework of UN agencies, state and ministries statistical reports, and the privatization of health and healthcare, gender is often understood as “women” and reproductive health is mostly concerned with heterosexual marriage. Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) historically constituted an opening into a globalized discussion around women’s rights, thus bearing the potential to expose heteropatriarchy, heteronormativity, and other systems of oppression. However, on the one hand, much of the work around reproductive rights is still partly guided by the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators. On the other hand, the focus on a rights-based approach puts the weight of responsibility and decision-making on an individual “agency” that becomes a process of monolithic negotiation and that looks at struggles in isolation with one another. Born at the same time as the reproductive rights discourse, the reproductive justice movement, central to indigenous and women of color, was never made to be a global discussion. Reproductive justice, then, looks at the intersections of reproduction with other systems of injustice, such as race, migration, disability, mental health, class, citizenship status, desire, and economic and ecological violence among others, redefining it as indivisible from other struggles.
In this issue of Kohl and the A project, we call for a further understanding of reproductive justice in the West Asia and North Africa regions, challenging the pathologization of bodies, the shallow approach to access to health, and the stigmatization of the agency of women and trans* people. We aim for the “single issues” that activists, NGOs, and donors rally around to extend into the reproductive justice narrative they belong to. Moving them away from sustaining structures of violence would avoid legitimizing certain bodies, practices, and lives at the expense of others’, as these points of rupture contribute to the absenting of reproductive justice from certain communities.
We are looking for papers centered in feminist, queer, and intersectionality theories that explore the multifaceted connections among socio-economic, state-sponsored, and discursive factors in defining what reproductive justice is. We are interested in exploring how different power structures constrain consent, agency, autonomy, and access to accurate information, services, and spaces, and how these structures perpetuate hegemonic and patriarchal understandings of what “healthy” sexualities and “functional” reproduction ought to be.
Possible topics include but are not limited to:
- The medical patriarchy: its reflection on access to health and sexual health services and its influencing of discourses around reproductive justice
- Consumer capitalism and private ownership in the health sector and its effects on desire, pleasure, and autonomy
- Critiques of SRHR within a rights-based model
- Critiques of SRHR programs and services within humanitarian aid models
- The invisibility and/or tokenization of lesbian sex and non-normative sexual behaviors and practices
- Consent and non-consent in sex: rape as a “respectable” reason for abortion
- Illicit abortions and religious/legal institutions as means to maintaining a consumerist, normative family structure
- Problematizing the concept of agency in single issue organizing
- The relationship between compulsory heterosexuality (monogamous, able-bodied, unpaid) and other forms of hierarchy, such as compulsory motherhood, hetero- and homonormativity, and vanilla sex
- The political economy of reproductive labor under capitalism and compulsory heterosexuality
- The perception of HIV/AIDS as a “gay male” problem
- Pinkwashing: how the health and rights framework fails Palestinians and populations living under settler colonialism
- Demographic warfare: constraining reproductive choices of refugees and forced sterilization of migrants
- Pleasure, sexual sovereignty, and “citizen”/class privileges
- The pervasive cultural pathologizing, desexualizing, and fetishizing of differently/dis-abled bodies
- State demographic politics and state feminism: sex work as illicit and legal
- Standards of legitimacy: trans* bodies as imperatively sterile and the imminence of transition
To submit a paper, please send your blinded piece to email@example.com as a .doc or .docx file, with “Submission Issue 8” as the subject of your e-mail.
We accept work in progress, provided full drafts are submitted. If accepted for inclusion, please note that your paper will be translated to a second language by our team.