Feminists are known for many reasons, first-wave feminism is upheld for fights for the rights of women. However, waves after that are also widely known for many things including more and more issues such as Patriarchy, LGBTQ, Trans, race, and especially unorthodox and sometimes even strange demands
Lewis demands the abolishment of Family in ‘Full Surrogacy Now’ where she says that gestation is a demanding work that puts a woman under great physical and emotional labor. Also, She refers to pregnancy as an “extreme sport” on many occasions.
Labour of Mother should be borne by everyone
If you listen to her lectures and dive into her book “Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism against Family ”, you would realize that at large with her idea of equality she believes that bearing a child should be rewarded and recognized not only emotionally but even monitorially.
Lewis cites about 1000 people in the United States who die because of pregnancy and childbirth every year. Among these, most are poor women and women of color. She says “This situation is social, not simply ‘natural.’ Things are like this for political and economic reasons: we made them this way.” She tries to relate pregnancy deaths with race and economic background. (However, it is important to note that the number of pregnancy a woman goes through were not taken into account)
Sophie Lewis expects everyone to envisage a future where the toil of birthing a human baby is divided by all of us. This idea means that the mother is no longer a natural progeny, making her replaceable as something everyone can choose.
No more Family, Just A Vast netowrk
Her argument is not to gestate babies that are biologically not yours. Instead, she proposes a practice of ‘ ‘Full Surrogacy” which abolishes the concept of family. She advocates against nuclear families and households while suggesting care inside a broader system that can provide us love and care. Something that she believes is not available in blood relations. Something more organized and centralized can replace the nuclear family that is unorganized, unregulated, and scattered.
In lewis’s utopia, the concept of family as we know does not exist. All humans are surrogates, irrespective of gender we nurture each other like a mother.
Problems with current family situaiton
As per her, the structure of the family boosts capitalism. Passing wealth to descendants is the main reason why it is concentrated in the hands of few at the top position. As per Lewis nuclear family is the reason why people of color and queer children are exploited the most. With this logic, she calls even those who believe that a family is a ‘happy’ unit to sign up for abolishing the family. For the greater good. Caring for blood relations without any rational and consuming products and services as a family is responsible for the present market frame. With abolishing family units, the economy and capitalism both can be controlled allowing socialistic growth of the nations.
Lewis’s Personal Experience on Family
Lewis had to go through the arduous task of commuting back and forth between her home in Philadelphia and the UK where her mother was admitted to a hospital. As per her, if the world had already abolished the family, her mother could have a huge network of folks to care for her instead of depending on mere Lewis and her brother. That way, she could have been spared from the exhaustion. Not only that, but her mother would have received relatively better care.
She said “Nothing could have better illustrated the impossibility, the unjustness, and the structural scarcity—for all concerned—baked into the heart of the private nuclear household,”
“Lewis came to her ideas about family abolition intellectually, but her own family history provides a case study for many of her arguments against the traditional nuclear family,”.Christopher Leaman
Lewis’s opinion on Dateing
When she watched the British reality dating show First Dates she deduced that dating among straight people has great resemblance with the show: “‘Dating,’ as it is currently known and practiced, casts ordinary people as perfectible investment opportunities in competition with each other across myriad platforms” she wrote.
“All of the women are men and all of the men are women,” .Osterweil
It is to note that she is not the first feminist thinker who demanded to abolish the family structure, Donna Haraway and Shulamith Firestone the scholar in second-wave feminism have also proposed several ideas in this vicinity.