Rivkin-Fish, Michele R. (2013). Conceptualizing Feminist Strategies for Russian Reproductive Politics: Abortion, Surrogate Motherhood, and Family Support after Socialism. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 38(3)
This article explores the conceptual challenges of devising viable feminist strategies for reproductive politics in contemporary Russia. It analyzes three issues—abortion, surrogate motherhood, and family support politics—and the distinct cultural, historical, and institutional politics that make these issues sites of gendered inequality. Inspired by Nanette Funk’s argument that feminist critiques of Anglo-American liberalism cannot be readily exported to Eastern and Central Europe, the article inquires into the value of liberal concepts of individual autonomy and a private sphere for promoting women’s interests on these matters. It also explores the question of how to conceptualize a feminist approach to family support in a context where dependency on the state has been a long-standing source of domination. The article demonstrates how the politics of reproduction reveals the need to link feminism in Russia with both the promotion of women’s autonomy and the strengthening of families and other units of caregiving. Hybrid approaches melding liberal and ethics-of-care concerns to establish feminism’s relevance to Russian women’s interests are most urgent.
Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society
Rivkin-Fish, Michele R.