In this episode, I talk with Associate Professor of Sociology Dr Kystale Littlejohn about her book, Just Get on the Pill. A keenly researched and incisive examination, Dr Littlejohn investigates how birth control became a fundamentally unbalanced and gendered responsibility.
Though it takes two people to make a pregnancy, prevention is seen almost entirely as a woman’s responsibility. In Just Get On The Pill, Dr Littlejohn breaks this down, unpacking how this gendered approach encroaches on reproductive and bodily autonomy and poses obstacles for preventing disease.
Some topics of discussion include:
- Society’s ideas about gender, the phenomenon of ‘gendered compulsory birth control’ and the need to see pregnancy prevention as yet another form of domestic labor
- The importance of language, and the problem with words like male and female condoms, and also ‘stealthing’... which should really just be called sexual assault
- How poor women are blamed for causing unintended pregnancies instead of recognising that poverty is a reason people might label their pregnancies as undesired in the first place
- How gendering birth control alienates trans, intersex and gender nonconforming people
- What a more liberating approach to birth control looks like
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The quotes you will hear read during the interview are taken directly from the book, Just Get on the Pill.
Transcription is available here
Mentioned in the episode:
- Children of Blood and Bone - Tomi Adeyemi
- Killing the Black Body - Dorothy Roberts
- Sexual Justice - Alexandra Brodsky
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