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In a world where women have more choices than ever, society nevertheless continues to exert the stigma and pressures of less enlightened times when it comes to having children. We define women by whether they embrace or reject motherhood; whether they can give birth or not. Behavioural Scientist Pragya Agarwal uses her own varied experiences and choices as a woman of South Asian heritage to examine the broader societal, historical and scientific factors that drive how we think and talk about motherhood. She looks at how women's bodies have been monitored and controlled through history, and how this shapes the political constructs of motherhood and womanhood now.
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Emotions can be difficult things to define, yet we all recognise them when we feel them or see them in others. How we interpret those emotions and act on them has been heavily gendered, as far back as Ancient Greek and Roman times and - despite the improvements in societal equality - continues to be today. We've all heard the sayings that girls should be 'sugar and spice and all things nice', while 'boys don't cry'. In Hysterical, Pragya Agarwal dives deep into the history and science that has determined the gendering of emotions to ask whether there is any truth in the notion of innate differences between the male and female experience of emotions. She examines the impact this has on men and women - especially the role it has played in the subjugation of women throughout history - and how a future where emotions are ungendered might look.