The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women
In the pathbreaking tradition of Backlash and The Time Bind, The Conflict, a #1 European bestseller, identifies a surprising setback to women's freedom: progressive modern motherhoodElisabeth Badinter has for decades been in the vanguard of the European fight for women's equality. Now, in an... show more
In the pathbreaking tradition of Backlash and The Time Bind, The Conflict, a #1 European bestseller, identifies a surprising setback to women's freedom: progressive modern motherhoodElisabeth Badinter has for decades been in the vanguard of the European fight for women's equality. Now, in an explosive new book, she points her finger at a most unlikely force undermining the status of women: liberal motherhood, in thrall to all that is "natural." Attachment parenting, co-sleeping, baby-wearing, and especially breast-feeding—these hallmarks of contemporary motherhood have succeeded in tethering women to the home and family to an extent not seen since the 1950s. Badinter argues that the taboos now surrounding epidurals, formula, disposable diapers, cribs—and anything that distracts a mother's attention from her offspring—have turned childrearing into a singularly regressive force.In sharp, engaging prose, Badinter names a reactionary shift that is intensely felt but has not been clearly articulated until now, a shift that America has pioneered. She reserves special ire for the orthodoxy of the La Leche League—an offshoot of conservative Evangelicalism—showing how on-demand breastfeeding, with all its limitations, curtails women's choices. Moreover, the pressure to provide children with 24/7 availability and empathy has produced a generation of overwhelmed and guilt-laden mothers—one cause of the West's alarming decline in birthrate.A bestseller in Europe, The Conflict is a scathing indictment of a stealthy zealotry that cheats women of their full potential.
Publish date: April 24th 2012
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
Pages no: 224
Edition language: English
, Cultural Studies
, Social Science
, Gender And Sexuality
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A resounding "eh." Not nearly as compelling as the title suggests, and not that well organized or written.
I'm not sure what to say about this book. Badinter brings up important issues, but doesn't offer much in the way of viable answers. And some of the points she brings up are, well, kind of pointless. What on earth do painkillers or lack thereof for laboring mothers have to do with "the status of wome...