The Ultimate Control: Using systems and futures thinking to confront “the Pill” as a system of liberation and oppression

Format: Papers, RSD11, Topic: Culture & Society, Topic: Health & Well-being

Alexis Tennent and Angie Fleming

Alexis Tennent Consulting | Healthy Conversations

Informed choice is essential to realising reproductive justice, where people can enact their human right to bodily autonomy to have or not have children in healthy and sustainable communities (SisterSong, n.d.). The dominant system of Western society prioritises the use of hormonal contraceptives as the preferred tool and technology for reproductive justice. While we believe this solution has been revolutionary, it has not been without many unintended consequences that negatively impact women’s fertility, physical health, mental health, sexual health, and quality of life. Simultaneously, the over and early dependence on a solution that shuts off the body’s natural and healthy hormonal cycles prevents people from developing their body literacy and systemic understanding of how their bone, ovarian, and heart health are all interconnected (Hillard, 2014). This leads us to question if birth control not only controls the function of female reproduction but also controls the limitation to body literacy that could be attained by shutting off the completely natural and healthy functioning of one’s body. The purpose of this presentation is to explore the topic of birth control by applying systems thinking and strategic foresight lenses to confront it as both a system of oppression and liberation for female education, health and well-being, and economic prosperity.

KEYWORDS: reproductive justice, body literacy, holistic diagnosis, time, systemic design, future thinking, foresight

Citation Data

Author(s): Alexis Tennent and Angie Fleming
Year: 2022
Title: The Ultimate Control: Using systems and futures thinking to confront “the Pill” as a system of liberation and oppression
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 178
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 20 September 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404

Copyright Information

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (ISSN 2371-8404) are published annually by the Systemic Design Association, a non-profit scholarly association leading the research and practice of design for complex systems: 3803 Tønsberg, Norway (922 275 696).


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Author(s). (20##). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD##. Article ##.

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