Biblography

I’m always looking for good material on infertility, particularly stuff — books, movies, magazine articles — that attacks the topic from a feminist perspective.  Speak up if you have ideas for items to add or if you have thoughts on any of the pieces below. Or if you wrote your undergraduate thesis on morality and conception in the bible, well, send it along!

The Fat Studies Reader has some pretty great articles, but “Fatness (In)visible: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and the Rhetoric of Normative Femininity” by Christina Fisanick, is of particular interest here for its analysis of how this uber-common infertility diagnosis gets constructed in medical discourse. I reviewed this book for Bitch Magazine before I was diagnosed with PCOS, and I appreciate it even more in retrospect. I now know from experience that most medical advice truly harps on weight loss as THE treatment for PCOS.  When I was diagnosed I was of “normal” weight. I followed my doctor’s advice and cut out high carb food and proceeded  to loose so much weight that my BMI bordered on underweight. When he finally noticed he told me to gain it back. My point is that the super strong emphasis on PCOS women’s weight seems to mask the fact that doctors don’t really understand the damn thing.

The Genesis issue of Bitch Magazine featured a bunch of notable pieces, including one on reproductive technology, feminism and the stigma of infertility and another that explores why women of color are so conspicuously absent from the “momoir” genre.

Navigating the Land of IF: Understanding Infertility and Exploring Your Options by Melissa Ford is, as the title suggests, a supremely practical guide to infertility treatment. I appreciated the straightforward description of the various IVF protocols (more helpful than my doctor’s manual, for sure) and the way in which the author incorporates her own experiences.  One tiny gripe: the travel guide metaphor gets a little tired: the chapters are interspersed with tips from the “Land of IF Visitor’ Bureau” and set off in side bars that are shaped like luggage tags. But I’m sure this is something Ford’s editor forced on her.

The Pharmacist’s Mate by Amy Fusselman includes some funny recountings of the character’s experience with IUI, along with pretty touching passages about the death of her father.

Don’t you agree that the illustrated fertility memoir is the most important new sub-genre to shake up the world of comic novels? For proof, read Phoebe Potts’ Good Eggs. This humorous little tome deals with chronic depression, an infuriatingly neurotic mother and the sociology of fertility clinic  waiting rooms.

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