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Our Bodies, Our Crimes: The Policing of Women's Reproduction in America (Alternative Criminology) Hardcover – November 1, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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“Bolstered by quotes and firsthand accounts, Flavin delivers eye-opening reports on topics including abortion rights, infant abandonment and battered women, detailing little-noticed or taken-for-granted policies that restrict and remand women. Written in a flowing academic style, Flavin’s attention to historical detail and unfailing moral compass make her progressive reexamination of women’s rights thorough and convincing.”
-Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“Our Bodies, Our Crimes is one of the most compelling books I've read in recent years. Flavin’s writing is exquisite and her documentation is careful and thorough. Whether informing the reader about reproductive freedom, battered women, or incarcerated women, she does so even-handedly and ably captures the complexities and depravities that real women and girls encounter every day in this country. Flavin draws on high profile cases, unknown cases, laws, policies, history, criminology research and much more to explain how her cases are decided by race, gender, class, and sexuality. Her book will help students, legal professionals, gender and legal scholars, and lay people to understand the common themes and threads of violence against women and girls and the sexism, racism, and classism in labeling girls and women deviant and criminals.”
“In Our Bodies, Our Crimes, Flavin traces the life-and-death power that the little-examined patriarchal assumptions informing our common life can have—especially among poor, nonwhite women. Flavin . . . supplies a sobering primer on the laws and social constraints that keep women from fully controlling their bodies. The case studies she surveys in Our Bodies, Our Crimes make it painfully clear that the freedom to decide how and when to reproduce is, for a huge swath of American women, just as important as the much more fervidly discussed question of how and when women can choose not to reproduce.”
“Illuminates the dark corners of a public polity that holds pregnant women accountable for all aspects and outcomes of their reproduction without offering the compassion, education, or control necessary to produce happy endings—or beginnings.”
-Jennifer Reich,author of Fixing Families: Parents, Power, and the Child Welfare System
“At last, a book that recognizes that reproductive rights encompass more than abortion rights. Our Bodies, Our Crimes covers all of the essential and highly controversial topics regarding the intersection of reproductive rights and criminal justice.”
“Our Bodies, Our Crimes is a beautifully written and well researched book that makes an original and important contribution to the emerging social science literature on reproductive politics. I strongly recommend it.”
“Our Bodies, Our Crimes, Jeanne Flavin’s thorough examination of the criminalization of female reproduction in America, is dense yet provocative.”
Top Customer Reviews
Flavin is a postmodern feminist who explores the layered effects of ethnicity, age, gender, and class on the life chances and choices of women. She prompts the reader to consider the unique elements of American women's history and rights as inextricably linked to their reproductive rights. Flavin argues that women's role as mother and caregiver are generationally regulated through en vogue policies that never really expire but progressively build upon themselves. For example, she demonstrates that late eighteenth century eugenics policies never disappeared with elimination of criminal sterilization policies in 1974.
Flavin cites the transition of sterilization and segregationist policies to economic and sentence reducing incentives for poor minority women to utilize permanent or long term birth control measures. The court system offers substantially reduced jail and prison sentences to female offenders who voluntarily undergo Medicaid sponsored sterilization.Read more ›