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FractureAdventures of a broken body$
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Ann Oakley

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861349378

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861349378.001.0001

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Two in one

Two in one

(p.114) (p.115) 8 Two in one

Ann Oakley

Policy Press

There are three human conditions which challenge the one brain/identity-one body philosophical tradition of Western thought: conjoined twins, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. It's rare for conjoined twins to request separation because they don't feel trapped by their bodily configuration — conjoinment is part of their concept of themselves. Pregnancy, on the other hand, disturbs the one brain/identity-one body philosophy because it disrupts dualistic thinking. In the body of a pregnant woman, there is at least one other body, and the point of its emergence is the most extreme splitting of one into two. Breastfeeding is the third paradoxical condition which challenges our normal assumption of one body/one identity. Breastfeeding is offensive in suggesting that different bodies are biologically tied to one another, and that parts of women's bodies are regularly used by children rather than by men in some kind of antediluvian and unnecessary resistance to modern technology.

Keywords:   conjoined twins, pregnancy, breastfeeding, modern technology, conjoinment

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