New Criticals

Such capitalist trajectories are also notably gendered. Women’s bodies and their reproductive labor in the global South are some of the most exploited resources for the processes of capitalist valorization and accumulation. There is an extensive body of Marxist-feminist literature that seeks to expose the ways that Third World women have been violently forced, at various point in history and to varying degrees today, to give up sovereignty over their bodies and reproductive capacities. These capacities and the labor connected with them has been expropriated, transported to the developed world and put to the service of capitalist accumulation. Examples range from such overt instances as slavery and sex trafficking to more complex phenomena such as global care chains, mail order brides, sweatshop labor, and sex tourism.

I want suggest here that profound changes have occurred in the ways that capitalism expropriates women’s bodies and their reproductive capacities today, however. This is due to the rapid development of biotechnology and the corresponding growth of biocommercial activity.