Accepted Paper:

Egg freezing: new technological reproductive 'choices' and corporate 'freedoms'  

Author:

Maureen McNeil (Lancaster University )

Paper short abstract:

This paper will explore the emergence of new technological choices being offered to women in the form of access to egg freezing for ‘social’ reasons. It will also consider the significance of corporate sponsorship (Apple and Facebook, 2014) of this technological reproductive choice and pathway.

Paper long abstract:

This paper will explore the emergence of new technological choices being offered to women in the form of access to egg freezing for 'social' reasons. It will also consider the significance of corporate sponsorship (Apple and Facebook, 2014) of this technological reproductive choice and pathway. The extension of this practice has been described as 'the best fertility insurance policy', a technological intervention which can 'stop women's biological clocks', 'giving women reproductive choice or control' and as an 'empowering tool'. Moreover, recent corporate sponsorship elicited the assessment that 'thousands of women in the tech industry are likely to take this option'. This paper will investigate what precisely is being offered to women through this technological option both corporeally and socially, and it will trace the forms of investment it entails. It will ask: What are the benefits and risks of this practice? How might it alleviate or intensify reproductive/fertility anxiety? What is at stake in the extension of this technological practice? Who stands to gain from this? This paper will also place this emerging technological practice in a broader context: juxtaposing it with other recent developments in technological reproductive control and situating it with reference to related technological practices. Methodologically and theoretically, the paper will examine notions of 'technological choice', technologically enabled 'reproductive freedom' and high-tech workplace cultures.

Panel T100
Feminist Technoscience Studies in Unexpected Places: (Intra)Activism and Social Justice