Reproduction in the (m)Anthropocene : exploring the roots and implications of environmentally friendly restrain from childbearing
Abstract: This thesis departs from scientific literature which suggests to “have one fewer child” as the most effective individual lifestyle choice to reduce one’s contribution to (and even actively fight against) climate change. By employing critical discourse analysis of this literature, I explore how childbearing and carbon emissions have been coupled, and what the implications of this phenomenon are. Throughout this work I seek to show that quantifying an unborn child in emissions savings and suggesting to restrain from them must be understood in the socio-political and historical context which drives the individualization of climate causes and solutions; gives authority to “value-neutral” science to produce and naturalize reproductive recommendations; and ignores the patriarchal history of reproduction within capitalism. I essentially argue that “have one fewer child” conceals the gendered nature of reproduction in capitalism, accelerates the instrumental treatment of both childbearing and the climate crisis, and implies that female bodies and sexual life should serve a greater purpose and thus remain manageable. I also suggest that the latter is likely to get a grip in the (m)Anthropocene – a human-dominated era in which human has become the biggest threat.
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