Motherhood as Unexpected: Stories That Defy the Mold of Being a Mother

Part memoir, part sociological study, (M)otherhood: On the Choices of Being a Woman is an intimate exploration of author Pragya Agarwal’s own experiences as a mother, first unexpectedly and then through the use of a surrogate. She brings forth voices, thoughts and realities often kept behind closed doors.

She highlights the ways in which women are discouraged from understanding and knowing our own bodies and the ways language around pregnancy and fertility remain gendered, biased and patriarchal.

What “My Octopus Teacher” Says About Parental Paid Leave, Child Care in America and More

In film and in daily life, mothers are expected to sacrifice themselves for their families—so much so that it has become socially acceptable for women to be torn apart by sharks if that is what is required for modern families to function.

“Instead of focusing on the magical connection between octopus and human found in ‘My Octopus Teacher,’ we could focus on the fact that only through a mother’s demise was a father able to connect with his own child in a new way.”