Thanks to a good fairy you were born : An intersectional feminist analysis of ovum donation advertising found in the public space in Barcelona

by Elisabet Tasa-Vinyals

Institution: Linkping University
Year: 2017
Keywords: Ovum donation; Egg donation; Assisted reproduction; New Reproductive Technologies (NRT); In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF); Politics of reproduction; Economy of cells and tissues; Gender Studies; Genusstudier
Posted: 02/01/2018
Record ID: 2170798
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-141619


Gamete donors are actively searched by companies dedicated to assisted reproduction in the Spanish State, and advertising is not only legal but rather common. This thesis provides an overview of the main themes that arise from the analysis of mostly visual materials used to promote ovum donation in public spaces in Barcelona, and critically links them to current debates in intersectional feminist cultural studies of technoscience, bodily theory and visual studies. Conceptual and affective tensions between characterisations of womens bodies, reproductive function and desires are identified and brought forward in terms that imply tropes of sacralisation, reification of cells/organs/tissues, and fragmentation of the bodily reality. It is argued that egg donation advertisements use an imagery that deeply connects with practices well rooted in Western biomedical traditions when it comes to female bodies, physiology and reproductive function, and that such practices are to be understood against the backdrop of neoliberalism. The analysis supports the idea that the publicity discourse of the assisted reproduction industry in Spain actively engages in a legitimation of the desire of biological parenthood as a right, in ways that value lives conceived in different circumstances and geopolitical contexts in radically different ways, and that can be interpreted as paving the way to prosurrogacy and/or eugenic positions. Future research is encouraged and directed towards exploring issues of agency, particularly in vulnerable groups such as migrant, poor, uneducated or racialised women. Further research is needed in order to build the foundations of a feminist ethical reflection on reproductive technologies and particularly of ovum donation.