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Since a few years egg freezing (or human oocyte cryopreservation) is available in The Netherlands for women without a medical indication. Egg freezing provides women with more time to have children. Possibly this serves a meaningful emancipatory goal. In both public and scientific debate most arguments concern the question whether or not egg freezing should be permitted and on what (ethical/medical) grounds. These discussions tend to focus on the relationship between time and gender. This paper aims to provide a new angle to this discussion by drawing attention to the role of technology. The hermeneutically oriented philosophy of Bernard Stiegler relates a phenomenological view on time at a fundamental level to technology, or rather technics and culture. This paper discusses his philosophy and on that basis examines arguments pro and contra egg vitrification. Underlying assumptions about nature, time, technology, and gender are discussed. Many of these assumptions are related to an instrumental view of technics and a vision of time as an empty, measurable category. The argument is put forward that the impact of egg vitrification on time and gender is thereby overlooked. The point is made that egg freezing is offered merely as a consumer product available only to socially and economically limited groups. From Stieglers point of view, individualisation of consumers (both users and non-users) may increase the link between gender identities and socio-economic positions and possibly even to a loss of (phenomenological) time. To reap the benefits of egg freezing regarding a possible enhancement and multiplication of the possibilities for gender as related to reproduction, it should be more widely available.
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Keywords: Stiegler; eicelvitrificatie; gender; individuatie; tijd; vruchtbaarheidsverzekering

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Myrte van de Klundert (1989) studeerde humanistiek aan de Universiteit voor Humanistiek te Utrecht (cum laude) en volgt momenteel een master filosofie aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. Zij werkte in het onderwijs op de UvH (2010-2014) en de EUR (2014-2015). Momenteel is zij als stagiaire (redacteur) verbonden aan de UvH en hoofdredacteur van Partage Student Journal. Voor haar filosofische scriptie over het thema ‘thuis’ a.d.h.v. Sloterdijk doet ze momenteel kwalitatief onderzoek naar zwangere vrouwen die van plan zijn thuis te bevallen.

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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  • Het Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies is het forum voor de wetenschappelijke problematisering van sekse in relatie tot andere vormen van discriminatie en uitsluiting zoals etniciteit, seksualiteit, klasse of leeftijd. Er worden artikelen in gepubliceerd over gendervraagstukken vanuit alle relevante disciplines die een wetenschappelijke bijdrage leveren aan debatten over gender en intersectionaliteit in Nederland en Vlaanderen. Het tijdschrift is een interdisciplinair medium op het kruispunt van maatschappij-, cultuur-, geestes-, gezondheids- en natuurwetenschappen. Het verschijnt vier keer per jaar en biedt wetenschappelijke artikelen en daarnaast ook interviews, boekrecensies, discussiedossiers en opiniërende artikelen in het Nederlands en Engels. Artikelen worden dubbelblind beoordeeld door externe deskundigen.

    The Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (Journal of Gender Studies) is a Dutch language forum for the scientific problematisation of gender in relation to ethnicity, sexuality, class, and age. The journal aims to contribute to debates about gender and diversity in the Netherlands and Flanders. The journal is an interdisciplinary medium operating at the intersection of society, culture, the humanities, health and science. The editorial staff is open to articles about gender issues from different disciplines, and also accepts English articles. As well as publishing articles, the journal includes essays, columns (short topical and polemical articles), interviews, reviews, summaries of dissertations and conference reports. Articles are subjected to a double blind peer review process.
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