What is the impact of motherhood on feminism? Should one ever feel compromised as being a feminist and a mother? These are some of the questions answered over the course of five chapters throughout this book. Motherhood and Feminism highlights women’s place they have in society as mothers and how feminism is related to motherhood. One major key point I found while reading this book is the author, Amber Kinser explains the growth
All life stems from the mother. This is one of the indisputable facts of life and it ties all of humanity together. Adrienne Rich has said that women “are assigned almost total responsibility for children” and that humanity learns about “love and disappointment, power and tenderness” through the mother (xi). Because the mother’s role is so important to the cycle of life, every religion and society from the Western to the Eastern hemisphere has developed an idealized version of the mother. The standard belief is this: the ideal mother is a woman who sacrifices all she has for her children while also allowing them enough space to be independent.
As a mother, a woman is expected to raise up and educate her children, teaching them how to behave in society. Being a mother is perhaps the most rigorous of the three titles, but perhaps the most rewarding as well. By giving the woman three different roles and titles, she is showing how a woman is complex, not tied to one title alone. A woman is complicated, with many different talents and expectations. Because of this, Wollstonecraft is urging readers to see women as not merely one thing.
Much later, Adrienne Rich distinguishes between the institution of motherhood, that is, what women are programmed to expect out of motherhood and their actual experience. She makes a very crucial statement when she asserts that the experience of maternity and the experience of sexuality have both been channelled to serve male interests. “Institutionalized motherhood demands of women maternal instinct rather than intelligence, selflessness rather than self-realization, relation to others rather than the creation of self”
The issue of motherhood considered essential among local people of Bottom, so the person who refuse it, face social critics. Eva represents a great example of motherhood in the story when she decided to look after her children after her husband abandoned her. Furthermore, she was concerned when she fed Plum with her milk, and said “something must be wrong with my milk” (Morrison33). Feeding a child with mother’s milk was a vital aspect of motherhood, especially among black inhabitants of the Bottom. However, Sula refused the issue of motherhood completely.
Sexton clubs the feeling of her separation from her adult daughter along with the cherished maternal dream to see her daughter grow into a ‘happy women,’ contrary to all the kind of speculation associated with the snapping of the mother daughter bond. Sexton envisages her presence in her daughter’s life as, “I am here that somebody else an old tree in the background .” Though any relationship involves deep psychology and emotions, the mother - child relation moves the rough and entire gamut of emotions, but then the society receives and individual who is properly initiated into it, and therefore help create harmony and good relationships. Another poem that depicts the delight of motherhood is Dharker’s poem ‘Living Space’, where she projects the maternal instinct for protection and survival of the children against all odds. The poem compares and contrasts the sharp line technique of the first stanza to the second stanza of the poem that reflects the precarious condition of “these eggs in a wire basket” the poem opens on the note; There are just not
Although the republican motherhood’s intentions were to make women and men equal they still had their limits. Women still felt the need to apologize for their forthrightness, because the men considered women to be submissive and irrational and therefor unfit for citizenship.
Since working-class African American mothers practice empowered mothering by engaging in full-time work, they take advantage of their extended family networks who help care for their children. This mothering practice challenges the individualization commandment of the patriarchal institution of motherhood which requires a biological mother to have the sole responsibility of raising her children without any assistance from family or friends (O’Reilly, “Introduction” 4). Working-class African American mothers instead acknowledge that raising children alone is not always convenient and so they co-parent with “othermothers, women who assist bloodmothers by sharing mothering responsibilities” (Dow, “Racial Distinctions” 24). Othermothers can comprise