Bearing the Weight of Pronatal Marginalization
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Informed by childfree literature and pronatal discourses, this thesis explores the lived experiences of childfree women and how they experience marginalization. These instances of discrimination and stigmatisation are sustained by gendered norms and because performances of femininity are synonymized with motherhood. Therefore, people identifying with womanhood that do not opt for motherhood are subject to pronatal pressure and marginalization as they do not fulfill this gendered norm of femininity and therefore fall outside the norm of feminine gender performance. The structures in place such as healthcare institutions, cultural hegemonies, and subjective ascriptions to these gendered norms and pronatal pressures create a dissemination of pronatal discourse. The hegemonic, gendered, pronatal norms subscribed to and perpetuated by society marginalize women that fall out of this norm and lead childfree lives, and their day to day experiences reflect this struggle.