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Editors’ Note

HOW CAN WOMEN possibly be free if they must carry the burden of reproductive labor? In her The Dialectic of Sex (1970), radical feminist Shulamith Firestone raised this question and argued that technology could provide a promising answer: artificial wombs would provide a way out of a world of gender hierarchies. With the proliferation of assisted reproductive technologies such as egg freezing and surrogacy, it might look like we are making progress.

Merve Emre, our guest editor and lead author, is not so sure. “People’s bodies,” she observes, “are unruly sites for politics.” Technoutopias may have their attractions, but they flatten human life. Drawing on personal narratives, Emre explores how technologies shape real experiences of reproduction and care, and how they obscure and sometimes worsen inequalities—in time, money, kinship, and access to healthcare. Such stories are heterogenous, individual, particular to place and person. Can an egalitarian and maximally inclusive feminism emerge from these stories? What would it look like?

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About Boston Review

From the breast pump to egg freezing, new technologies have long promised to “liberate” mothers, but the results are often uneven, freeing some women while worsening the oppression of others. Once and Future Feminist considers how technology offers women both advances and setbacks in the realms of sex, career, and politics. In the age of Silicon Valley, these issues are more pressing than ever, and this collection pushes readers to consider not only whether emancipatory feminism is possible today, but what it might look like.