In Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner?, Katrine Marçal describes the way in which foetal scans both reflect and influence our contemporary view of how human beings are formed and how they relate to one another:
The baby floats, an independent astronaut, with only an umbilical cord connecting it to the world around. The mother doesn’t exist. She has become a void – the already autonomous tiny space hero flies forth. […] The picture don’t show any relationship between mother and child: we are born complete, self-sufficient individuals.
Of course, this isn’t true. The foetus depends on the gravida for sustenance and growth, and the baby would die if no one bothered to feed it and keep it warm. But it’s a nice image. Dependency, we are taught to believe, is for losers.
And yet all of us are dependent on others, not just as foetuses, but as adults. And we’ve…
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