What we're reading - Spring 2011

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Publication Date: 
Thu, 2011-03-31

Recommended resources from our library

Feminist Counselling

Edited by Lynda R. Ross  (Women’s Press, April 2010)The evolution of feminist therapy involves the reconstruction of therapeutic goals, values, frameworks, and theory, as well as an acknowledgement that there is no single reality, no one “right” feminist theory or epistemological position about women. This collection of original articles addresses a range of topics relevant to understanding contemporary Canadian women’s experiences. The contributors are, like the women who enter into counselling relationships, from diverse backgrounds and experiences, and speak in a variety of voices.

Beyond Expectation:
Lesbian/Bi/Queer Women and Assisted Conception
Jacquelyne Luce (University of Toronto Press, 2010)

An in-depth study of lesbian, bi, and queer women’s experiences of thinking about and trying to become a parent, Beyond Expectation draws on eighty-two narrative interviews conducted during the late 1990s in British Columbia. Jacquelyne Luce chronicles these women’s experiences, which took place from 1980 to 2000, during a period that saw significant changes to the governance of assisted reproduction and the status of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parents and same-sex partners.

Beyond Expectation looks closely at the changing contexts in which women’s experiences occurred and draws attention to complex issues such as ‘contracting’ relationships, mediating understandings of biology and genetics, and decision-making amidst various social, legal, and medical developments. Luce skillfully juxtaposes the stories of her interviewees with the wider public discourses about lesbian/bi/queer parenting and reproductive technology and highlights gaps in existing legislative reforms. Most importantly, Beyond Expectation foregrounds the lived experiences of lesbian, bi, and queer women as they negotiate kinship at the intersection of reproduction, technology, and politics.

The Madness Of Women
Myth and Experience

Jane Ussher (Routledge, Taylor & Francis, March, 2011)

Why are women more likely to be positioned or diagnosed as mad than men?
If madness is a social construction, a gendered label, as many feminist critics would argue, how can we understand and explain women’s prolonged misery and distress? In turn, can we prevent or treat women’s distress, in a non-pathologising women centred way? The Madness of Women addresses these questions through a rigorous exploration of the myths and realities of women’s madness.
Drawing on academic and clinical experience, including case studies and in-depth interviews, as well as on the now extensive critical literature in the field of mental health, Jane Ussher presents a critical multifactorial analysis of women’s madness that both addresses the notion that madness is a myth, and yet acknowledges the reality and multiple causes of women’s distress. Topics include:
- The genealogy of women’s madness – incarceration of difficult or deviant women
- Regulation through treatment
- Deconstrucing depression, PMS and borderline personality disorder
- Madness as a reasonable response to objectification and sexual violence
- Women’s narratives of resistance

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