BirthStrike for Climate was a UK-based movement whose members “striked” against having children, to demonstrate the desperate need for political action on climate change. In this article, I engage with the Listening Guide (Gilligan & Eddy, 2017) to hear, trace and construct “I poems” with BirthStrike members’ testimonial statements, which were published online between 2019-2020. My analysis focusses on how BirthStrike stories articulate the psychosocial impacts of climate change, particularly in relation to questions about having (and not having) children in times of environmental and social crises. I provide an iteration of how the Listening Guide can be applied to non-spoken texts. As I will show, even in the absence of research participants, the listening process for me was a relational encounter: the stories moved me, stirring up strong affective resonances which in turn informed my hearing and writing process. My analysis is therefore an effort to give access to the affective flow I felt in response to the stories, as a process of both listening and being called to respond from an intersubjective location.


BirthStrike, climate change, reproduction, the Listening Guide, Carol Gilligan

Author Bio(s)

Leola Meynell is a PhD candidate in the School of Psychology, Massey University. She engages with feminist theory to research how climate change is affecting women’s feelings and decisions about having children in post-industrialised contexts. Please direct correspondence to leola.meynell@gmail.com

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