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The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of…
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The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined…

by Susan J. Douglas

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
One of the more important books of this century for those wishing to counteract the bright, shining stories of the "opt out" revolution. The authors do a good job of looking at the history and evolution of the myth of the feminine motherhood instinct, and include a thorough examination of that nasty piece of business thrown at all women in their 30s (no matter how many children they already have): the biological clock. A good corrective to relentless pro-natalism. ( )
  Devil_llama | May 9, 2011 |
It made a lot of good points, especially about how mothers are portrayed in the news media (the topics of crack babies and child safety in particular), but I really didn't like their major beef with Attachment Parenting. I don't see anything anti-feminist about understanding that babies need the best, most compassionate care we can give them. ( )
  pjlioness | Sep 13, 2009 |
This was definitely an interesting read for a women's studies major headed to college in about a month. It looked at media treatment of mother and motherhood over the past thirty years or so. It covered a variety of topics from celebrity moms, to the "mommy wars," to toy marketing. I found the chapter on toy marketing to be fascinating, as well as the sections on Susan Smith and Andrea Yates, It is quite interesting to compare their treatment by the media. Overall, a fascinating read. ( )
  yankeesfan1 | Jul 23, 2009 |
This is a nice introduction to the ways in which the motherhood mystique hurts women and children (and sells products). It's sort of Ann Crittendon's The Price of Motherhood lite. Crittendon is better, but this is not a bad place to start looking into the issue. ( )
  lilysea | Jun 25, 2008 |
This book did a wonderful job of getting my blood boiling. I wish it contained more suggestions on how to improve, things though. I still read parenting and women's magazines with a jaded eye (when I read them at all). I'd always wondered when the switch from "moms make their kids feel guilty" to "moms feel guilty about everything" happened, and Douglas helps analyze that. I need to reread this book when I have more time to concentrate on it, though-but I'm a mom, so that doesn't really happen. ( )
  kaelirenee | Mar 17, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743260465, Paperback)

Does Martha Stewart make you feel like you never do enough for your kids? Do "celebrity mom" profiles leave you feeling lumpen and inadequate? That's because they're supposed to, say Susan Douglas and Meredith Michaels, authors of The Mommy Myth and self-professed "mothers with an attitude." Both scathing and self-deprecating, their pop-culture critique takes on "the new momism," the media's obsession with motherhood and the impossible standards which that obsession promotes. Today's ideal mom makes June Cleaver seem like a layabout: she may work outside the home, but never too much, always looks at the world through her children's eyes, makes sure to buy only educational, age-appropriate toys, and includes a loving note with each hand-prepared lunch. Meanwhile, the news media hype stories about child abduction, politicians excoriate so-called "welfare queens," and parenting experts advocate wearing your child in a sling until he moves out on his own. Romanticized, commercialized, sensationalized, and demonized by turns, today's mothers are damned if they work and damned if they don't; what’s more, the idea that the government might do something to help their plight has come to seem almost quaint. As a history of motherhood in the media from 1970 to the present, The Mommy Myth makes a fun and thought-provoking read. Yet close readings of episodes of thirtysomething don't create quite the call to arms the authors seem to have in mind; no woman likes to think of herself as a media dupe, particularly the kind of woman who will be reading this book. Straightforward policy critiques like their chilling chapter on childcare fare much better, illuminating a culture that seems to have forgotten public institutions' power to correct social ills. --Mary Park

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:23 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"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."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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