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Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of…
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Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption,… (edition 2002)

by Rickie Solinger (Author)

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603309,036 (4.19)None
An impassioned argument for reproductive rights In the late 1960s and early 1970s, advocates of legal abortion mostly used the termrightswhen describing their agenda. But afterRoe v. Wade,their determination to develop a respectable, nonconfrontational movement encouraged many of them to use the wordchoice--an easier concept for people weary of various rights movements. At first the distinction in language didn't seem to make much difference-the law seemed to guarantee both. But in the years since, the change has become enormously important. InBeggars and Choosers,Solinger shows how historical distinctions between women of color and white women, between poor and middle-class women, were used in new ways during the era of "choice." Politicians and policy makers began to exclude certain women from the class of "deserving mothers" by using the language of choice to create new public policies concerning everything from Medicaid funding for abortions to family tax credits, infertility treatments, international adoption, teen pregnancy, and welfare. Solinger argues that the class-and-race-inflected guarantee of "choice" is a shaky foundation on which to build our notions of reproductive freedom. Her impassioned argument is for reproductive rights as human rights--as a basis for full citizenship status for women.… (more)
Member:ncarbell
Title:Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption, Abortion, and Welfare in the United States
Authors:Rickie Solinger (Author)
Info:Hill and Wang (2002), Edition: 1st, 308 pages
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Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption, Abortion, and Welfare in the United States by Rickie Solinger

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I can't even begin to tell you how startling I found this book. The number of topics to which I had devoted little or no thought previously. How well she documented and expressed opinions that I did have. Which is not to say that I agreed with her every point, nor that her every point was groundbreaking. Many of the arguments my sister found shocking I found reasonable (though mostly because we drew different conclusions from them). A good word to sum up this book is: eye-opening. Rather than supporting a view I already had, this book challenged me to think more about the subject. And especially to read more on the subject. ( )
  greeniezona | Dec 6, 2017 |
This book was hard for me to rate because while parts of it are phenomenal, there are sections where I wished she would have pushed the theoretical issues a little bit more. Overall though, this is a phenomenally important book that everyone should read. Sollinger explores the ways in which the language of reproductive "choice" works to constrain reproductive "rights."
highlights:
-"Given the popular definitions of good choice makers and bad, I believe it is crucial to consider the degree to which one woman's possession of reproductive choice may actually depend on or deepen another woman's reproductive vulnerability." From page seven
-Sollinger's analysis of the iconic figures of the Back Alley Butcher and the Welfare Queen
-exposition of the deep paradoxes inherent in US policy toward motherhood: forcing poor single, mothers of infants to go to work (without providing subsidized day care), while simultaneously giving tax credits to middle class women to stay home; foster mothers are given 2/3 more money to care for children than the children's mother's receive from welfare, etc.

Things I wish she would have pushed further:
-feminist theory of motherhood: Sollinger describes the difficulties Concerned United Birthmother's had getting the support of second-wave feminists, because these feminists were reacting against the idea of biological motherhood as the defining characteristic of a woman's life. How can we create a feminist theory of motherhood that recognizes a woman's right NOT to be a mother while recognizing the profound psychological effects that separating a child from its birthmother has on that mother? Sollinger quite thoroughly explores the ways in which United States' culture has been reconstructing motherhood as a consumer activity, but seems at the same time to suggest that there is some essential motherhood that exists beyond culture. How do we respect cultural differences in constructions of motherhood without Othering poor and third world mothers as 'illegitimate' mothers? ( )
  TinuvielDancing | Jan 19, 2010 |
This is a great prochoice book that anyone who calls themselves prochoice should read. It focuses on the politics of both adoption and abortion and it's an easy read. Highly recommend it! ( )
  Angelic55blonde | Jun 29, 2007 |
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