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Policing the National Body: Sex, Race, and Criminalization
Synopses & Reviews
Aggressive law enforcement is devastating women of color and their communities. Yet the mainstream reproductive rights movement, largely dominated by white women and consumed with protecting the right to abortion, has failed to respond adequately to the policing, criminalization, and incarceration of large numbers of poor people and people of color.
Policing the National Body places issues of race, class, and gender at the center of its reproductive rights and social justice agenda by focusing on a key concern among women of color and poor communities today: the difficulty of maintaining families and sustaining community in the face of increasing criminalization.
Women of color have independently articulated a broad reproductive rights agenda embedded in issues of equality and social justice, while keenly tuned to the state's role in the reproduction and regulation of women's bodies. In an effort to protect their reproductive rights, they have challenged coercive population policies, demanded access to safe and accessible birth control and asserted their right to economic and political resources to maintain healthy children.
Policing the National Body discusses the policing of bodies by examining the experiences of women prisoners, women with AIDS in correctional facilities, women in systems of prostitution, immigrant women, women of color, and young women with a keen awareness of their multiple identities and oppressions. This groundbreaking anthology is one the few works to link the reproductive rights and anti-enforcement violence movements.
Jael Silliman teaches at the University of Iowa, and is co-editor of Dangerous Intersections: Feminist Perspectives on Population, Environment and Development. Anannya Bhatacharjee teaches at New York University and is a co-founder of SAMAR (South Asian Magazine for Action and Reflection). Both belong to the Committee on Women, Population and the Environment (CWPE), a multi-racial alliance of feminist activists, health practitioners and scholars.
Book News Annotation:
Intending to highlight issues of race, class, and gender in discussions of reproductive rights and social justice, Silliman (women's studies, U. of Iowa) and Bhattacharjee (program officer, Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program) present an anthology of writings focusing on how increasing surveillance and criminalization measures in American society are having a detrimental impact on people's abilities to maintain families and communities. All of the contributors are members or supporters of the Committee on Women, Population, and the Environment and their 11 essays reflect their rejection of a neoliberal emphasis on individual rights alone in discussions of reproductive choice. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This anthology explores the ways in which women of color are monitored, criminalized and regulated.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Policing the national body : sex, race, and criminalization / Jael Silliman — Private fists and public force : race, gender, and surveillance / Anannya Bhattacharjee — Killing the Black community : a commentary on the United States war on drugs / Judith A.M. Scully — Speaking out against state violence : activist HIV-positive women prisoners redefine social justice / Cynthia Chandler and Carol Kingery — Abortion in the United States : barriers to access / Marlene Gerber Fried — Better dead than pregnant : the colonization of native women's reproductive health / Andrea Smith — Just choices : women of color, reproductive health, and human rights / Loretta J. Ross et al. — The gendered assault on immigrants / Syd Lindsley — Put in harm's way : the neglected health consequences of sex trafficking in the United States / H. Patricia Hynes and Janice G. Raymond — Superpredator meets teenage mom : exploding the myth of the out-of-control youth / Anne Hendrixson — The changing faces of population control / Betsy Hartmann — Greening the swastika : nativism and anti-Semitism in the population and environment debate / Rajani Bhatia — Afterword. Reflections on post-September 11 America : an interview with Angela Y. Davis / Anannya Bhattacharjee and Jael Silliman.
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