Feminist Mothering

SUNY Press
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Feminist Mothering goes beyond critiques of patriarchal motherhood to locate and investigate feminist maternal practices as sites for women’s empowerment and social change. The contributors see “feminist mothering” as practices of mothering that seek to challenge and change the norms of patriarchal motherhood that are limiting and oppressive to women. For many women, practicing feminist mothering offers a way to disrupt the transmission of sexist and patriarchal values from generation to generation. Contributors explore the ways in which women integrate activism, paid employment, nonsexist childrearing practices, and non-child-centered interests in their lives—and other caregivers into their children’s lives—in order to challenge existing societal inequality and create new egalitarian possibilities for women, men, and families.
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About the author

Andrea O’Reilly is Associate Professor in the School of Women’s Studies at York University and Director of the Association for Research on Mothering. She is the author and editor of many books on mothering, including From Motherhood to Mothering: The Legacy of Adrienne Rich’s Of Woman Born and Toni Morrison and Motherhood: A Politics of the Heart, both also published by SUNY Press.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Pages
295
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ISBN
9780791477786
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Feminism & Feminist Theory
Social Science / Women's Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Susan Douglas first took on the media's misrepresentation of women in her funny, scathing social commentary Where the Girls Are. Now, she and Meredith Michaels, have turned a sardonic (but never jaundiced) eye toward the cult of the new momism: a trend in American culture that is causing women to feel that only through the perfection of motherhood can true contentment be found. This vision of motherhood is highly romanticized and yet its standards for success remain forever out of reach, no matter how hard women may try to "have it all."
The Mommy Myth takes a provocative tour through the past thirty years of media images about mothers: the superficial achievements of the celebrity mom, the news media's sensational coverage of dangerous day care, the staging of the "mommy wars" between working mothers and stay-at-home moms, and the onslaught of values-based marketing that raises mothering standards to impossible levels, just to name a few. In concert with this messaging, the authors contend, is a conservative backwater of talking heads propagating the myth of the modern mom.
This nimble assessment of how motherhood has been shaped by out-of-date mores is not about whether women should have children or not, or about whether once they have kids mothers should work or stay at home. It is about how no matter what they do or how hard they try, women will never achieve the promised nirvana of idealized mothering. Douglas and Michaels skillfully map the distance traveled from the days when The Feminine Mystique demanded more for women than the unpaid labor of keeping house and raising children, to today's not-so-subtle pressure to reverse this thirty-year trend. A must-read for every woman.
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