Gestational Labor Pains
A Discussion of Sophie Lewis's "Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family"

A panel on social reproduction, gestation as labor, family abolition, and struggles for reproductive justice, and sex worker rights.

The surrogacy industry is worth over 1 billion dollars a year, and many of its surrogates work in terrible conditions, while many gestate babies for no pay at all. Should it be illegal to pay someone to gestate a baby for you?

Rather than making surrogacy illegal or allowing it to continue as is, Sophie Lewis argues we should be looking to radically transform it. Surrogates should be put front and center, and their rights towards the babies they gestate should be expanded to acknowledge that surrogates are more than mere vessels. In doing so, we break down our assumptions that children necessarily belong to those whose genetics they share.

Sophie Lewis is a writer, translator and feminist geographer living in Philadelphia. Her translations include Communism for Kids by Bini Adamczak, A Brief History of Feminism by Antje Schrupp and Unterscheiden und Herrschen by Paula-Irene Villa and Sabine Hark. Lewis is a member of the Out of the Woods collective and an editor at Blind Field: a Journal of Cultural Inquiry. She has published her work in Boston Review, Viewpoint Magazine, Signs, Dialogues in Human Geography, Jacobin, The New Inquiry, Mute, and Salvage Quarterly.

Natasha Lennard is a contributing writer for the Intercept, and her work has appeared regularly in the New York Times, Nation, Esquire, Vice, Salon, and New Inquiry, among others. She teaches critical journalism at the New School for Social Research, and co-authored Violence: Humans in Dark Times with Brad Evans.

Jules Joanne Gleeson is an academic worker, comparative gender historian, queer phenomenologist, Hegelian Marxist, and Londoner. She's currently based in Vienna, and researching the normative exclusion of eunuchs from early Mount Athos. She enjoys long walks and late '90s R&B.

Moderated by McKenzie Wark, the author of "A Hacker Manifesto, Gamer Theory," "50 Years of Recuperation of the Situationist International," "The Beach Beneath the Street," and "Capital Is Dead: Is This Something Worse?," among other books. They teach at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College in New York City.

Sponsored by Verso Books.

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