February 23, 2015
Our upcoming issue will take on the topic of Moms. Send us a short pitch by March 6, 2015.
Every single person on earth spent some time growing within the body of another human being. And that person, that body, is full of meanings. Primordial, abject, loving, vengeful, gendered, nurturing, oedipal, absent, unattainable, unbearable: this is a world full of mommy issues.
For many of us, thinking critically about the lives and decisions of our own mothers and grandmothers is an early introduction to feminist modes of thinking: Why are their lives the way they are? When did they become who they are now? What did they accomplish, sacrifice, and lose? And as we hit a reproductive age, the possibility of parenting can raise many questions about gender roles, reproductive options, family dynamics, and personal ambition.
Motherhood was once seen as part and parcel of feminist visions of change; in Canada in particular, suffragist politics emphasized the distinct ability of mothers to care for and shape society. While the role of mothers is still relevant to feminist discourse today, second- and third-wave activism decentered motherhood’s defining place in the movement. By fighting for women’s right to work outside the home and access birth control, the feminist movement secured women more autonomy in their reproductive and working lives.
These days, questions of motherhood, parenting, reproduction, and work are often framed in terms of personal lifestyle preferences. But the possibility of “having it all” also brings certain judgments: no matter what path they take, mothers (and non-mothers) can be accused of insufficiency, self-involvement, betrayal of feminist values, bad parenting, and so on, ad infinitum. As in so many other areas, the language of choice can work to obscure economic, political, and social factors that impact our lives and well-being.
At the same time, motherhood is a political and social identity that is at once revered and demeaned. While the image of the mother, that tender pillar of strength and reproductivity, is used time and again as a central propagandistic symbol, the political demands of actual mothers are given short shrift.
In this issue, we’re looking for personal stories: about being or not being a mother, about having or not having a mother, about what motherhood means to you. We want to talk about moms—be they biological, chosen, or otherwise. We’re also looking for works that critically interrogate the idea of “motherhood” and the systemic forces that define it.
Possible topics might include:
- Talk about your mother, grandmother, or maternal figure—their lives, your relationship, their role in your family
- Queer, non-heteronormative, trans*, conceptions and experiences of motherhood and/or parenting
- Intersecting influences of race, class, and environment upon parenting (reproductive justice, population control, etc.)
- Reproductive health (pre/post-natal health, postpartum health, birth control, fertility/sterility, etc.)
- Colonialism and motherhood
- The childcare crisis in Canada
- Domestic work, nannies, and paid caregivers
- The meanings of motherhood (political, propaganda, religious, occult, historical, environmental, etc.)
- Feminist foremothers
- Feminist childrearing
- The myth/truths of “becoming your mother”
- Becoming/being pregnant
- “Bad” moms
- Mom’s bodies
- To parent or not to parent?
- Surrogacy, technology, and assisted reproduction
- Workplace and legal policies regulating parenting
- “Women’s work” and the wage gap
GUTS accepts literary essays and reviews, long form journalism, interviews, letters, and fiction. GUTS also encourages the submission of images, videos and new media relevant to our theme. Please look over our past issues to get a sense of the kind of work we’re looking for.
Submit a short pitch (max 300 words) describing your proposed project no later than March 6, 2015 to email@example.com. We are happy to consider quickly written and casual proposals, but please include a link to or copy of a writing sample that you feel adequately represents your work.
Final submissions (500-4,000 words) will be due on April 10, 2015
Compensation will be provided for contributors selected for the issue.
For further information about the submission guidelines, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org