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This might be your mother's feminism

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'Opting In' to Progressive Parenthood: A Personal Challenge to Modern Mothers [May. 21st, 2008|04:34 pm]
This might be your mother's feminism


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'Opting In' to Progressive Parenthood: A Personal Challenge to Modern Mothers

Anyone read this?

Here is an interview with the author:


A few years later, third-wave feminist icon Amy Richards is trying to bend the buzz toward a more truly radical revolution: opting in -- to whole, authentic, feminist mothering, that is. In her new book, Opting In: Having a Child Without Losing Yourself, she challenges contemporary mothers to remake their lives to match their feminist philosophies and not get caught up in competition and control. In some ways, it is as simple as that old adage, "Don't sweat the small stuff." In others, it is as complex as the feminism Richards helped relaunch into public consciousness with her co-written first book, Manifesta (2000). AlterNet managed to catch up with her and ask some questions about the next feminist installment in our long legacy (Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Betty Friedan, Adrienne Rich, and more recently the work of Judith Warner, Leslie Bennetts and Linda Hirshman) of politicizing the personal.


[User Picture]From: kcobweb
2008-05-21 09:43 pm (UTC)
Sounds interesting - I've added it to my extra-lengthy, ever-growing reading list. Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: ailbhe
2008-05-22 12:05 am (UTC)
I think I need to skip this one. I can feel my blood pressure ganging up on me just thinking about it.
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[User Picture]From: ailbhe
2008-05-22 10:08 am (UTC)
One argument I make in Opting In is that I'm sympathetic to women who want to "just stay home." It's the societally accepted choice, and it makes sense that people would be seduced by it. I don't think this makes your life easier, but I think you have to explain yourself less.

She is clearly not living anywhere I've lived. Where I am, "not going out to work" is the choice one has to repeatedly justify and explain. It's called "not working" and seen as both lazy and anti-feminist.

Of course, she does also say I think the traditional feminist approach to challenging this was to simply make women more masculine, a la Hillary Clinton, but that didn't do much to change the general status of women and thus we had to look at how to make the feminine, in itself, valuable. And that's something I do believe is important...
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[User Picture]From: bosssio
2008-05-22 03:40 pm (UTC)
this is where I thought the conversation was interesting. how do we support women making vastly different choices in their lives, some of which include embracing "traditional women's roles" (in quotes since the actual implementation and power dynamic around the roles may be far from traditional).

I said it earlier, that at least in the US, not working when your children are young (infants/toddlers) is socially acceptable choice for mothers, but working for pay outside the home and full time is the socially acceptable choice for women. Too bad we are all both...
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[User Picture]From: ailbhe
2008-05-22 10:14 am (UTC)
Uhoh, I read the comments. So much dumb. Ow.
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[User Picture]From: bosssio
2008-05-22 03:37 pm (UTC)
yeah, I tend to avoid comments. Reminds me why some people get paid to write and others don't...
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