Summary In this article Jennifer Parks brought up three radical feminists; Shulamith Firestone, Gena Corea and Janice Raymond, and their views. Starting with Firestone, who believed that there was another class division (sex class), and spoke of how woman’s roles have been largely influenced by the male dominant culture. Shulamith Firestone understood that assisted reproductive technology could be a way for the masculine capitalist system to have further control over females, however she remained positive and was quoted saying “We shall assume flexibility and good intentions in those working out the change” (22).
Firestone believed that this technology could open may doors that will liberate woman, making them more independent and rely on males less. Fifteen years later, Parks explained, Corea and Raymond had a different view of assisted reproductive technology- arguing that ACT results in the oppression, subordination, and control of women and their bodies. Jennifer Parks looks at the assisted reproductive technology in an entirely different perspective.
Jennifer Parks addresses the question of what constitutes a radical feminist position on assisted reproductive technology and argues that the debate over whether ART liberates or oppresses women is misguided, and that instead the issue should be understood dialectically. Jennifer Parks explains that reproductive technologies are neither inherently liberating nor entirely oppressive: rather, we can only understand the potential and effects by considering how they are actually taken up within a culture.
Parks demonstrates the internal contradictions, tensions, and inconsistencies within ART and the way it is addressed within the law points to a dialectic that resists a simple reductivist understanding. The author explained that the dialectical nature of ART produces two contradictory images of what families are an can be: on one hand, it promotes a family not bound by what society rules as traditional and “age-appropriate” heterosexual limits; on the other hand, it reinforces the primacy of reproductive functioning that one typically associates with traditional heterosexual families (23).
The reason that I chose this article today was because I had very little knowledge on this subject. I had heard of artificial insemination before, however I was not aware of the different studies and technology that was available this day and age. Considering I had no previous understanding of this subject, I read this article with an open mind.
I thought that it the Jennifer Parks did a superb job writing this article, I thought it was interesting how the author brought up, with so many teenage pregnancies, grandmother’s are raising their grandchildren and it appears as though the sight of an older woman with a younger child is now becoming more of a cultural norm, which seems to be broadening societies outlook on assisted reproductive technology. Though I had never thought about this, it makes perfect sense to me. I think that this kind of technology is astonishing and leaves so many possibilities open for us as individuals.
I think that it is encouraging to know that there is the option this day and age to have a procedure done that will give you the ability to have children later on in your life; if a person is too busy with their career, or just not ready for that kind of responsibility yet. Upon reading this article, I saw that a ‘reproductive revolution’ was mentioned a few times, and I thought it was brilliant how, at the end of the article, Parks said that “this ‘revolution’ may be happening right now, despite attempts to stem the tide of political, cultural and familial change” (27).