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Mount Orégano
Sue Burke
July 10th, 2019 
Let me see..
The Science of HerselfThe Science of Herself by Karen Joy Fowler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This slim volume contains three outstanding short stories, one entertaining interview, and the essay “The Motherhood Statement,” which gave me a lot to think about. For a science fiction story to “burn the motherhood statement,” it should avoid affirming “the conventional social and humanistic pieties, e.g. apple pie and motherhood.”

That’s fine, Fowler says, but conventional societies don’t particularly affirm motherhood. Mothers are blamed for loving their children too much or too little, or lawmakers try to enforce motherhood by denying abortion and birth control, and childless women get their own kind of reproach. Maternity becomes a means to discredit women. Recently, a woman was charged with the death of her fetus because someone shot her while she was pregnant.

So, Fowler concludes, which motherhood statement do you want to burn, and when you’re done, can we craft a new, better one?

-- Sue Burke


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