Mothering Queerly, Queering Motherhood
Resisting Monomaternalism in Adoptive, Lesbian, Blended, and Polygamous Families
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: State University of New York Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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I wrote this book between 2009 and 2012, but in many ways the proj-ect started long before this. Since becoming a mother, I have been immersed in thinking about motherhood and for fifteen years I have been writing about it. Some of the ideas contained here have their roots in earlier work presented or published elsewhere. Chapter 2 originates ...
Introduction: Mothering Queerly, Queering Motherhood
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What does it mean to mother queerly? And how might such practices, if taken seriously, queer the study of motherhood? As someone who mothers outside of heteronormative contexts, I have been struck by how infrequently the scholarship of motherhood questions the hetero-normative boundaries of kinship and maternal practice. Too often, stud-...
Part I: Triangulating Motherhood
Chapter 1: Querying a Straight Orientation: Becoming a Mother (Twice, Differently)
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I begin this book by examining my beginnings as a motherâonce through adoption and then, shortly thereafter, through pregnancy and birthâas my journey toward querying and queering motherhood began with the juxtaposition of these two different routes to âhavingâ chil-dren. As I subsequently argue, adoption is a potentially queer form of ...
Chapter 2: The Adoptive Maternal Body: Queering Reproduction
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Queer, as a marker of both identity and politics has always signified in opposition to heterosexuality as denoting not only different-sex object choice but also [opposition to] an ethos of reproduction and familialism; hence the pejorative term âbreedersâ that queers apply to straights, a term that ridicules and denounces the heterosexual ...
Chapter 3: Queer Orphans and Their Neoliberal Saviors: Racialized Intimacy in Adoption
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The adoption of a child, domestically or from abroad, is obviously a material and affective enterprise of great magnitude. In unpacking its political implications and psychic effects, . . . the relentless debates on the erosion of âfamily valuesâ . . . must give way to a sustained discussion of both the ethics of multiculturalism in a ...
Chapter 4: Making Room for Two Mothers: Queering Children’s Literature
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Unlike conservative narratives of family preservation, I believe that a childâs interests are best served by âmaintain[ing] as many . . . paren-tal connections with adults who wish to maintain these bonds as is . . . feasible in any given caseâ (Narayan 1999, 85).1 Protecting a childâs best interests thus requires a serious adjustment of child custody ...
Part II: Resisting Domestinormativity
Chapter 5: Queer Assemblages: The Domestic Geography of Postmodern Families
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...description . . . has to do with the way it has the potential to open up new life narratives and alternative relations to time and space. To this point, I have focused largely on the triangulated motherâchildâmother relationship within adoptive and other nonbiocentric families and the queer affective geographies to which it gives rise. The domestic ...
Chapter 6: Control Freaks and Queer Adolescents: There’s No Place Like Home
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Our family is weird, Mom . . . and I wouldnât have it any other On Christmas Day, the first winter holiday following the separation of her parents, my younger daughter proclaimed her family strange and gave us her blessing. Present at the moment of my daughterâs procla-mation and blessingâin addition to myselfâwas my new partner, my ...
Chapter 7: Queering Familial Solidarity: Polymaternalism and Polygamy
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May 2010: It is Motherâs Day. I am having lunch with my partner and visiting friends from Switzerland. My own daughters are not with me (I will be driving to their fatherâs house after lunch to meet them for a movie date). Our lunch companions have a preschool-aged child with them, however, and our conversation turns toward parenting. When ...
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November 2010: Tomeka has locked herself in the bathroom again. This time, we are at my partnerâs house. I have called my ex-husband and his partner here as wellâto stage an intervention. Tomeka is now eighteen, but still without a high school diploma or a job and she is pregnant. I am not ready for this. Nor, we are trying to convince her, ...
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Page Count: 318
Publication Year: 2013