Today all politics are reproductive politics, argues esteemed feminist critic Laura Briggs. Economic realities mean we are always at work, and there’s little time to care for dependents and communities. The consequences include later childbearing, growing use of in vitro fertilization, widening racial disparities in infant mortality, and dependence on risky marriages and mortgages for semblances of security. Meanwhile, immigrant workers (who are more female than male) care for US households while leaving their own kids back in their home countries. This brilliant book outlines how all current political issues stem from or are directly related to reproduction. From Republican and Democrat stories of Black “welfare queens” and Latina “breeding machines” that helped destroy the so-called nanny state to stagnant wages in rising McJobs, and from a queer turn to same-sex marriage to the blame game for the subprime crisis, Laura Briggs shows how from the 1980s to Trump and beyond, our current woes are anything but our fault.
“This book is a tour de force that highlights the failures of neoliberalism for many American families. With intensity and verve, Laura Briggs reveals the crisscrossing binds that constrain women, particularly women of color, queer women, and poor women. Readers will come away convinced by myriad examples that all politics are reproductive politics.”—Alexandra Minna Stern, author of Eugenic Nation
and Telling Genes
“Move over Sheryl Sandberg and Anne-Marie Slaughter. Here comes Laura Briggs, who shows how questions of care—who can, in which ways, and with what resources—stand at the center of all politics. Whether examining abortion, elder care, gestational surrogacy, or ‘work-family balance,’ Briggs unmasks the racialized, classed, and gendered politics of this neoliberal moment with verve, sophistication, and vision.”—Eileen Boris, coauthor, Caring for America: Home Health Workers in the Shadow of the Welfare State
“Books that offer a comprehensive intersection of reproductive politics and nonbiological public policies are rare. Laura Briggs offers an extensive examination of how all governments use and misuse reproductive bodies, a critical and timely analysis for all reproductive justice activists and scholars.”—Loretta Ross, coauthor of Reproductive Justice: An Introduction
“In the United States, we talk narrowly around reproduction. This bold book instead pushes us to connect it to a wide range of political issues. Understanding incisively how neoliberalism, culture wars, and race have transformed reproduction, Briggs shows us how we can use reproductive justice seriously to influence policy.”—Dána-Ain Davis, coauthor of Battered Black Women and Welfare Reform
“Laura Briggs is one of our most important thinkers and writers on the subject of reproductive politics. The arena she inscribes is rich, complex, and profoundly consequential, affecting the lives of everybody. In this book, as in her previous work, Briggs offers us startlingly new ways of thinking about fundamental matters, while relying on a logic that makes her arguments feel utterly clear and correct. We are very proud to have How All Politics Became Reproductive Politics in the Reproductive Justice series.”—Rickie Solinger, Senior Editor, Reproductive Justice book series, and coauthor of Reproductive Justice: An Introduction