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Negotiating Lesbian Motherhood: The Dialectics of Resistance and Accommodation 1

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... Así tomando como referencia distintos estudios previos sobre: madres lesbianas y padres gays (Ettorre, 1980;Lewin, 1993;Sullivan, 2004); madres/padres adoptantes (Berebitsky, 2000(Berebitsky, , 2006; Hoksbergen y Laak, 2005;Berástegui, 2005Berástegui, ,2006); mujeres infértiles (Corea 1985;Tubert, 1991;Woollett, 1991) o monomarentales (Roll 1992; González et al., 2008), proponemos revisar aquellos aspectos comunes de las maternidades fuera del marco «tradicional» (pareja heterosexual con hijos/as biológicos/as) comparándolos con los discursos de aquellas a las hemos denominado Maternidades Clásicas (CLA), es decir, mujeres que cumplen con el triple mandato: ...
... En primer lugar, investigaciones sociológicas que teorizan sobre el análisis de la relación entre madres e hijos/as, como es el caso de los estudios de Lewin (1993) ...
... Entre las bimarentales, en cambio, las tareas relacionadas con la crianza y la gestión del hogar aparecen repartidas más equitativamente, y apenas se contratan servicios externos de cuidado o limpieza (Lewin, 1993). No es extraño que dos mujeres entrenadas desde la infancia en la maternidad repartan las tareas según habilidad o preferencia: ...
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Esta tesis propone analizar el significado de la/s maternidad/es en una lógica de capitalismo de consumo. Para ello se lleva a cabo una revisión de las principales propuestas feministas, desde las visiones más esencialistas que definen la maternidad cómo una expresión del empoderamiento de las mujeres, hasta las posiciones más críticas que la interpretan como un instrumento de dominación y control de las mujeres. A lo largo de la investigación se utiliza el término de “nuevas maternidades” para hacer referencia a aquellas mujeres que acceden a la maternidad a través de los mercados reproductivos, esto es, la adopción y la técnicas de reproducción asistida. A través del trabajo empírico, se analiza cómo los grupos de mujeres que tradicionalmente quedaban fuera del mandato maternal: infértiles, solteras y lesbianas, son ahora integradas en una lógica que iguala mujer y maternidad. En el estudio empírico, se analiza cómo la ideología de consumo, basada en la idealización, la competencia y el narcisismo individualizado, actúa sobre un pensamiento maternal profundamente mitificado
... The dialectic between marginality and mainstream conformity has been highlighted as a significant experience for same-sex mothers (Ben-Ari & Livni, 2006;Rippey & Falconi, 2017). This reflects the proposition of Lewin (1994) that lesbian mothers bring a unique challenge to the cultural opposition between 'lesbian' and 'mother'. The experience of this may be emphasized for birth mothers in same-sex relationships through experiencing pregnancy and related practices (e.g. ...
... Goldberg & Scheib, 2015). Inherent in the experience of motherhood for same-sex mothers who conceive children through assisted reproductive technology (ART) is the intentionality of becoming a mother (Lewin, 1994). The initial decision-making stage where couples decide if they would like to have children involves several influences such as experiences of discrimination, stigma, and socio-cultural values (Kleinert et al., 2015). ...
... 'Negotiating the joy and strain' highlights the aspects of the journey as a 'birth' mother while 'Building a united front' highlights aspects of the journey as 'LGBQ+' mother. This supports Lewin's (1994) proposition that lesbian mothers challenge the cultural opposition between 'lesbian' and 'mother.' Findings in the first superordinate theme reflected the negotiation involved at each stage of developing a motherhood identity suggested in Mercer (2004)'s BAM theory. The findings supported previous research indicating how birth mothers often describe positive emotional experiences of childbearing and breastfeeding, including attachment or a 'special bond' and feelings of mastery in relation to their bodies (Appelgren Engström et al., 2019;Raes et al., 2014;Rippey & Falconi, 2017;Ryan-Flood, 2009). ...
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This qualitative study explored how ten birth mothers in same-sex relationships in Ireland experienced becoming a mother. Semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data analysis drew on Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to identify two superordinate themes and related subordinate themes. The first superordinate theme, ‘Negotiating the joy and the strain’ encapsulated the dichotomy of positive and negative experiences mothers encounter in their role. Two subordinate themes, ‘Embracing motherly connection’ and ‘Grappling with motherhood expectations’ captured the positive experiences of attachment with their child and the challenges entailed in being in the ‘stereotypical’ role of the birth mother. The second superordinate theme, ‘Building a united front’ represented the experiences within a couple pertinent to an LGBQ+ family in a heteronormative context. Two subordinate themes, ‘Creating a shared motherhood’ and ‘Uniting as a family in an insecure system’ highlighted how the couple created strength and empowerment within their relationship and family. The findings emphasize the internal and relational processes that impact on the identity formation, couple relationships, and family dynamics of birth mothers becoming a mother in a same-sex relationship. Implications and recommendations for practice and future research are discussed.
... Además, socialmente se ha considerado a las mujeres cisgénero lesbianas como mujeres estériles e incapaces de ejercer la maternidad, por su preferencia sexual y sus relaciones sexoafectivas. En este sentido, Ellen Lewin nos dice: "reclamar el derecho a ser madre supone el repudio de las convenciones de género que definen 'madre' y 'lesbiana' como identidades inherentemente incompatibles, la primera natural e intrínseca a la mujer, organizada en torno al altruismo, la segunda antinatural y organizada entorno al egocentrismo" (Lewin, 1994: 350, citada en Imaz, 2003. Asimismo, como señala esta misma autora "vivir como una madre significa crear otras opciones, y estas opciones rescriben la oposición entre 'madre' y 'lesbiana'" (Lewin, 1994: 350, citada en Imaz, 2003. ...
... En este sentido, Ellen Lewin nos dice: "reclamar el derecho a ser madre supone el repudio de las convenciones de género que definen 'madre' y 'lesbiana' como identidades inherentemente incompatibles, la primera natural e intrínseca a la mujer, organizada en torno al altruismo, la segunda antinatural y organizada entorno al egocentrismo" (Lewin, 1994: 350, citada en Imaz, 2003. Asimismo, como señala esta misma autora "vivir como una madre significa crear otras opciones, y estas opciones rescriben la oposición entre 'madre' y 'lesbiana'" (Lewin, 1994: 350, citada en Imaz, 2003. En nuestro contexto, Silvia Donoso (2002) destaca que "lo que la ideología de parentesco gay-lésbico rechaza es la naturalización de los lazos familiares poniendo en ecuación la conexión biológica con el parentesco per se " (2002: 172). ...
Article
En este artículo se presentan algunos ejemplos etnográficos sobre las experiencias de parejas de mujeres lesbianas que acuden a clínicas privadas para poder acceder a su proyecto de maternidad. Sus proyectos de maternidad surgen de sus deseos de ser madres a partir de la experiencia corporal de la gestación de una de ellas. El enfoque de género permitirá explorar la visión binaria y heterosexista que atraviesa los protocolos y la atención biomédica en estos casos y la forma en que las mujeres lesbianas dan significado a sus experiencias de maternidad y cómo gestionan dos identidades que tradicionalmente han sido pensadas como contradictorias: la de madre y la de lesbiana. En esta investigación se abordó la complejidad de las maternidades desde una posición feminista que contempla con otra mirada las relaciones materno-filiales y, al mismo tiempo, rechaza la “institución materna”. El artículo se basa en una investigación etnográfica en Catalunya sobre las maternidades lésbicas a partir de técnicas de reproducción asistida. Se hace un recorrido desde el momento en el que las mujeres se imaginan ser madres hasta el inicio de los tratamientos de fertilidad y la consecución de un embarazo.
... At the same time, these technologies have made new reproductive options available to groups who previously felt themselves excluded from this aspect of social life. These include the diverse family forms that have emerged as a result of increased single parenthood, late mothering, and gay and lesbian families (Lewin 1993(Lewin ,1999Weston 1991), as well as the sometimes extraordinary efforts required to sustain traditional family arrangements in the face of unprecedented changes in reproduction (Casper 1998;Franklin 1997;Lewin 1993;Ragone 1994;Stacey 1990; Strathern 1992). It could be argued that this increasing self-consciousness and manipulation of the categories of kinship and biology is part of a more general ethos of postmodernity. ...
... At the same time, these technologies have made new reproductive options available to groups who previously felt themselves excluded from this aspect of social life. These include the diverse family forms that have emerged as a result of increased single parenthood, late mothering, and gay and lesbian families (Lewin 1993(Lewin ,1999Weston 1991), as well as the sometimes extraordinary efforts required to sustain traditional family arrangements in the face of unprecedented changes in reproduction (Casper 1998;Franklin 1997;Lewin 1993;Ragone 1994;Stacey 1990; Strathern 1992). It could be argued that this increasing self-consciousness and manipulation of the categories of kinship and biology is part of a more general ethos of postmodernity. ...
Article
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This article tracks the growth of medical anthropology in the United States in the decades since the 1970s, as it has intersected the expansion of feminist activism and scholarship. I argue that feminist attention to embodied inequalities quickly focused on reproduction as a site of investigation and intervention. Medical anthropology has benefited from feminist concern with stratified reproduction, especially its interrogation of nonnormative and stigmatized fertility and childbearing. When reproduction becomes problematic, it provides a lens through which cultural norms, struggles, and transformations can be viewed. Examples drawn from prenatal diagnosis are particularly revelatory of the diverse interests and stakes we all hold in reproduction, [feminism, stratified reproduction, stigma, genetics]
... Desde que en la década de los 90 las familias homoparentales comienzan a ser objeto de investigaciones sociales en diversos contextos académicos europeos y norteamericanos (Cadoret 2002;Lewin 1994;Ricard 2001) hay una pregunta recurrente en los discusiones y planteamientos de los autores: ¿las familias constituidas en torno a dos figuras parentales del mismo sexo son una alternativa y un nuevo modelo respecto a la concepción al parentesco? o por el contrario ¿nos encontramos ante formas familiares que responden a los valores tradicionales y en ese sentido las familias homosexuales mediante las tecnologías reproductivas y transformaciones jurídicas intentarían acercarse a los modelos normativos de familia de los que anteriormente estaban excluidos? ...
Article
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Una constante en las investigaciones sobre las lesboparentalidades es la insistencia por parte de las protagonistas en que las dos mujeres son y se sienten igualmente madres, independientemente de que el hijo o hija tenga vínculos biológicos con solo una de ellas o que el reconocimiento jurídico de madre sea individual y no de la pareja. Las dos mujeres compartirían en la misma medida y en igual modo el rol maternal, el cuidado cotidiano y los vínculos afectivos con las criaturas. También durante mi trabajo de campo en torno a familias lesboparentales en el País Vasco está presente esta idea de igualdad que se refleja en el uso recurrente del verbo " compartir " utilizado tanto en relación con la vida cotidiana, como también en relación con el uso de tecnologías reproductivas como forma de acceso a la maternidad. En este artículo quiero detenerme en el papel que lo biológico, lo jurídico y lo cotidiano ocupan en el reconocimiento de una misma y de los demás como madre en el caso de las lesboparentalidades, para acercarme así a las representaciones de la maternidad, de la relación de pareja y de la relación materno-filial que pueden estar constituyéndose en estas familias. Palabras clave: homoparentalidad, maternidad, tecnologías de reproducción asistida, nuevos modelos familiares, parentalidad, parentesco. A constant issue in research on lesbian parenthoods is the insistence by the two women involved that they are both equally mothers, even if the child has biological ties to only one of them or if only one of them is legally recognized as the parent. The two women see themselves as sharing the role of mother equally, along with the child's daily care and emotional ties. I found this idea of equality in the course of my field work with lesbian parent families in the Basque Country, an idea that is reflected in the recurring use of the verb " to share " when speaking of both everyday life and reproductive technologies as a means for accessing motherhood. In this article, I focus on the role played by biological, legal, and daily aspects in terms of a woman being recognized as a mother, in the case of lesbian parenthoods, in her own eyes as well as in the eyes of others. This focus enables me to then take a close look at the representations of motherhood, couple relationships, and mother-child relationships that are formed in this type of family.
... There are many mothers who fall outside the club of "good motherhood" as defined by dominant motherhood ideologies. A number of scholars have noted the relegation of teenage mothers (Bailey, Brown, & Wilson, 2002), older mothers, single mothers, and lesbian mothers (Lewin, 1994) to the bottom rungs of the hierarchy of motherhood (DiLapi, 1989). A number of researchers have addressed both the historical and contemporary exclusion of African, Asian, and Latina American mothers from the cult of domesticity that defines American motherhood (Collins, 1994;Dill, 1988;Glenn, 1992). ...
Article
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The purpose of this study is to identify prevalent motherhood ideologies and myths in contemporary women's magazines. The results indicate that contemporary magazines promote a traditional motherhood ideology, yet perpetuate motherhood myths that undermine mothers who stay home. Traditional motherhood, which excludes Women of Color and employed mothers, is promoted. Mothers are almost exclusively presented in the domestic, rather than the public or integrated domestic–public, contexts. Myths that employed mothers are busy, tired, and guilty, and that employed mothers neglect and are unattached to their children, are not upheld. However, negative myths that at-home mothers are confused, overwhelmed, and interested only in superficial topics are upheld in the magazines analyzed. The implications of these results on the perpetuation of patriarchy are discussed.
... Les travaux sur les maternités lesbiennes s'accordent pour reconnaître l'insistance, de la part des membres du couple, à revendiquer l'égalité des deux femmes. L'idée que les deux femmes sont mères à part égale a déjà été mise en évidence dans des études pionnières sur la lesbo-maternité à la fin des années 1980 et au début des années 1990 aux États-Unis et en Grande-Bretagne [Lewin, 1994] ; elle est confirmée par d'autres travaux ultérieurs portant sur différents pays comme l'Espagne [Imaz, 2016 ;Donoso, 2012]. Quelle que soit l'origine ou la façon d'arriver à former ce groupe familial, il s'agit d'une maternité qui veut être partagée de manière égale entre les deux mères, indépendamment du rôle que l'une d'elles a pu avoir durant la gestation ou du fait que l'une d'elles a transmis ou non ses gamètes. ...
Article
Shared Maternity among Lesbian Couples In this article, based on research carried out in Spain on lesbian parent families, I show how the desire among lesbian partners to share motherhood often includes not only sharing day‑to‑day life and the legal recognition of parenthood, but also the reproductive process itself and breast feeding. The increasingly more common tendency among lesbian couples to resort to assisted reproductive technology methods that entail using their own genetic or biological material, beyond other ways of accessing parenthood, prompts a reexamination of the value placed on biology in the representation of motherhood, the conjugal relationship, and family which is emerging in these couples.
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Chapter
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The purpose of this study was to explore how mothers construct their worker–parent identity within a cultural context of competing mothering ideologies. We used narrative data from interviews with 95 married mothers with at least 1 child under the age of 5 to compare the construction of intensive mothering expectations by middle-class full-time employed mothers, part-time employed mothers, and at-home mothers. Although previous research has shown that mothers alter work status to live up to intensive mothering expectations, our results show that mothers also alter their construction of intensive mothering expectations to reconcile these demands with their work status choices. The results also suggest that mothers with different employment decisions differ in their construction of Y. Elvin-Nowak and H. Thomsson's (2001) 3 discursive positions—accessibility, happy mother/happy child, and separation of work and home.
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Neste artigo, a evolucao do meu trabalho de pesquisa torna-se uma estrategia narrativa para conhecer as multiplas dimensoes que a maternidade lesbica, como objeto de investigacao, pode ter ao longo do tempo. Ao mesmo tempo, este tour pretende recapitular as mudancas que ocorreram na percepcao da maternidade lesbica na Espanha nos ultimos dez anos, passando da invisibilidade ao reconhecimento legal, contando hoje com uma vasta gama de possibilidades de acesso a parentalidade.
Chapter
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Chapter
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Chapter
The stories of mothers in prison actively shape and account for their changing situations, roles and identities. However, often constrained by contradictory mothering narratives, constructing stories can be problematic. After discussing the feminist narrative approaches adopted within the research, I introduce the narrative of ‘challenge’, ‘repair’ and ‘fracture’. These narratives are offered as types of stories that I identified through listening to and analysing the women’s stories. As I present each of these narratives, I consider how the women construct and negotiate between them and explore their possibilities and limitations and the implications of their telling.
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This work examines the sociohistorical account of the institutionalization of motherhood from the precolonial up to the contemporary period in the Philippines. It explains the changing cultural and social values in the notions of motherhood that contributed to the entrenchment of the ideal - the maayong inahan. It also elucidates on prevailing maternal discourses in order to explain the changes in the cultural status and functions of motherhood.
Chapter
Academic disciplines from gender theory, media research and motherhood studies have overlooked the topic of infertility and non-traditional family building in the media. So too, feminist movements have been accused of ignoring the needs of those affected by an infertility diagnosis. In short, we live in a pronatal period in which motherhood is assumed to be a ‘normal’ element of adulthood and indeed a ‘natural’ part of a woman’s life. With this in mind, this chapter foregrounds how little fertility issues are discussed in society, before making the case for a much-needed analysis of infertility and adoption in the media, with a justification for employing phrases that cite controversy such as pregnancy loss, involuntary childlessness and miscarriage.
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As women make their first journeys into motherhood, their relationships and discussions with other women, especially other mothers, can be of vital importance. I argue that as women journey into motherhood, they also journey into what might be called a culture of motherhood-a discursive and symbolic realm shared by all mothers. Through interactions among mothers, information, resources, and advice are shared; hierarchies of authority within the community of mothers are established; and women are given opportunities to discursively explore and construct their maternal identities, for example, through the sharing of birth stories. These symbolic, ritualistic, and communicative dimensions of the journey into motherhood can differ between lesbian-identified and heterosexual-identified women. Lesbian mothers can be suspect or marginalized and, at times, feel the need to be circumspect in their interactions. On the other hand, coupled lesbians make the journey into motherhood, into maternal identity, and into the community of mothers, together as a couple. This is not the same for heterosexual women whose most intimate female companions on the journey tend to be friends, sisters, and mothers. Based on research with 53 Canadian mothers, I compare the journeys into motherhood of lesbian and heterosexual women.
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