Cover for FIXMER-ORAIZ: Homeland Maternity: US Security Culture and the New Reproductive Regime. Click for larger image

Homeland Maternity

US Security Culture and the New Reproductive Regime

Motherhood and motherland in contemporary America

In US security culture, motherhood is a site of intense contestationóboth a powerful form of cultural currency and a target of unprecedented assault. Linked by an atmosphere of crisis and perceived vulnerability, motherhood and nation have become intimately entwined, dangerously positioning national security as reliant on the control of women's bodies.

Drawing on feminist scholarship and critical studies of security culture, Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz explores homeland maternity by calling our attention to the ways that authorities see both nonreproductive and "overly" reproductive women's bodies as threats to social normsóand thus to security. Homeland maternity culture intensifies motherhood's requirements and works to discipline those who refuse to adhere. Analyzing the opt-out revolution, public debates over emergency contraception, and other controversies, Fixmer-Oraiz compellingly demonstrates how policing maternal bodies serves the political function of securing the nation in a time of supposed dangerówith profound and troubling implications for women's lives and agency.

"I love Homeland Maternity. It's brilliantly conceived, broadly interpretive and intersectional, wisely written, politically astute, and very useful. I wanted to underline nearly every sentence. Fixmer-Oraiz has crafted an extremely smart and scary book."--Rickie Solinger, coauthor of Reproductive Justice: An Introduction

"In this clearly written and cogently argued book that ranges across a broad array of public discourse, Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz brings into focus the disturbing intersections between reproductive politics and national security in the post-9/11 era. Historically and theoretically informed, Homeland Maternity makes clear that the regulation of womenís bodies is a key weapon in struggles over nationalism, nativism, and the meaning of security."--Bonnie J. Dow, author of Watching Women's Liberation, 1970: Feminism's Pivotal Year on the Network News

"A must-read for scholars interested in contemporary motherhood and/or the rhetoric of security. In Homeland Maternity, Fixmer-Oraiz offers an incisive analysis of an eclectic set of texts to illuminate how the long-standing connections between discursive constructions of motherhood and the nation function in the post-9/11 United States."--Sara E. Hayden, coeditor of Mediated Moms: Contemporary Challenges to the Motherhood Myth


Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz is an assistant professor of communication at the University of Iowa.

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