Video

Born to Be Sold: Martha Rosler Reads the Strange Case of Baby S/M

Martha Rosler

1988, 36:00 minutes, colour, English

TAPECODE 143.08

Martha Rosler's and Paper Tiger TV's brilliant analysis of surrogate motherhood examines class, gender and assigned social roles as determining factors in the current fragmentation and commodification of the female body. Surrounded by conventional icons of the nursery, Rosler 'reads' the case of Baby M as a legal, technological and cultural drama which pits women's personal decisions and desires about childbearing against forces which seem increasingly to go beyond individual control: capital, class ownership and patriarchal institutions like the media and the state. The video cogently outlines what is at stake for women, contrasts the financial rewards of male professionals involved with those of the surrogate, unravels the contradictions of the court decisions, and places surrogacy and parenthood within a larger political analysis of the world we live in. - Paula Treichler, Ph.D.

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