Why We Romanticize Motherhood, Indian Women Going Childfree And More With Amrita Nandy

Oct 31, 2022


In this episode, researcher Amrita Nandy talks to us about the romanticisation of maternal sacrifice, perceptions of voluntary non-mothers, and the imposition of caregiving on women.

‘In Perspective’ is The Swaddle’s podcast series where academics reveal little-known facts about Indian history, society and culture. 


01:01:20- Why is the mother seen as the “epitome of femininity and womanhood?” What kind of mother do moralistic narratives around motherhood centre, and who do they exclude as a corollary to that? 

11:11:20- What is maternormativity? How has the notion of motherhood been romanticised in Indian society, and how does it get linked to notions of the nation and morality?

15:10:10- How is voluntary non-motherhood treated in society, and does the choice to not be a mother actually enable more freedom and autonomy for women?

19:18:08- What are the challenges that voluntary non-mothers face in society? What does it mean to emphasise being ‘childfree’ rather than the negative connotations that come with the idea of being childless? 

24:32:22- What socio-economic and gender dynamics play out in an unmarried couple’s abortion decision-making process in India and how does shame and stigma shape a man’s involvement in his partner’s abortion? 

31:12:24- What is the context behind a lot of early marriages, where women voluntarily elope and marry their partners? Why are punitive legal responses harmful in such cases? 


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