Lecture on feminist debates on egg-donation

No2Eggsploitation will be holding an informal meeting after this lecture, all are welcome to attend.

‘It’s my body and I’ll do what I Like with it’ Bodies as possessions and objects
Anne Phillips, Professor of Gender and Political Theory, LSE

A Gender Institute and Department of Government Public Lecture

* Wednesday 29 September, 2010
* 6.30pm
* Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE
* Chair: Professor Emily Jackson, Department of Law, LSE
* Open to all – no booking required. Followed by an informal drinks
reception at the Gender Institute, 5th Floor, Columbia House.

Click here for more details:

We commonly use the language of body ownership as a way of claiming personal rights, though we do not normally mean it literally. Most people feel uneasy about markets in sexual or reproductive services, and though there is a substantial global trade in body tissues, the illicit trade in live human organs is widely condemned. But what, if any, is the problem with treating bodies as resources and/or possessions? Is there something about the body that makes it particularly inappropriate to apply to it the language of property, commodities, and things? Or is thinking the body special a kind of sentimentalism that blocks clear thinking about matters such as prostitution, surrogate motherhood, or the sale of spare kidneys?

The related question is whether there is something about feminism that makes it particularly resistant to the body as property. The critique of
objectification suggests there is, but there is also an influential strand
that defends the commodification of sexual and reproductive services and
queries the idea of the body as special. In this lecture, Anne Phillips defends the idea that the body is special, but argues that debates about body ownership are best understood as debates about market relations, not
simply claims about the body per se.

For speaker biographies and a list of all forthcoming Gender Institute
events, visit

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around campus, please visit

The Gender Institute (LSE) was established in 1993 and brings together
social sciences and humanities approaches in order to address key problems
in gender studies transnationally. We provide a leading role internationally
in combining innovative theory and epistemology with policy concerns. We
provide a vibrant research environment and train the largest number of
postgraduates qualifying in Gender Studies anywhere in Europe.


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