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"The mommy mystique"

post #1 of 3
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http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/200.../index_np.html

The mommy mystique
A new book faults the media, politicians and all those perfectly coiffed celebrity moms for making mothers feel like dirt.

I had very mixed feelings about this article. I guess I'll have to read the book to make up my mind.
post #2 of 3
Moving this to the Books forum.
post #3 of 3
I'm reading it now. It's great for exposing the revisionist history that says that feminism was all anti-mothering, anti-family, militant child-free stuff. In fact, the women's movement of the 1970s consistently recognized that work in the home was underappreciated, undercompensated and basically kept our society going. There were a few who claimed that liberation was incompatible with motherhood, and unsurprisingly the media focused disproportionately on them.

The book has a somewhat snarky tone, though, that I guess makes it seem zippier, less academic (even though it is written by two academics) and more palatable for the mass market. The propensity to hyperbole sometimes undermines the credibility of what the authors are saying.

I think folks at MDC may have a problem with the book b/c it is very critical of "intensive mothering"--a concept that includes AP--and posits it as a form of lacklash against feminism. But ultimately I think the book aims to help parents put their labors in context--not to feel they have failed miserably b/c they were impatient or allowed some television viewing or junk food. There should be some common ground, too, because the book concludes that much of the pressure on parents is generated by a desire to sell stuff to them.

Beth, Mom of Benji and Maggie
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