In essays written over the course of multiple rounds of IVF and surrogacy, Kimball points out how most feminist thought dismisses or ignores the problems of infertility -- and who loses out when infertility is seen as an elite white women's condition. This version of reproductive choice, on the other hand, acknowledges that having the choice to bear a child is just as important as having the choice not to.
— From The Seed
In pop culture as much as in policy advocacy, the feminist movement has historically left infertile women out in the cold. This book traverses the chilly landscape of miscarriage, and the particular grief that accompanies the longing to make a family. Framed by her own desire for a child, journalist Alexandra Kimball brilliantly reveals the pain and loneliness of infertility, especially as a lifelong feminist. Her experience of online infertility support groups -- where women gather in forums to discuss IVF, surrogacy, and isolation -- leaves her longing for a real life community of women working to break down the stigma of infertility.
In the tradition of Eula Biss's On Immunity
and Barbara Ehrenreich's Bright-sided
, Kimball marries perceptive analysis with deep reportage -- her findings show the lie behind the prevailing, and at times paradoxical, cultural attitudes regarding women's right to actively choose to have children. Braiding together feminist history, memoir, and reporting from the front lines of the battle for reproductive rights and technology, The Seed
plants in readers the desire for a world where no woman is made to feel that her biology is her destiny.