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Liberating Motherhood: Birthing the Purplestockings Movement Paperback – 25 May 2016
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Liberating Motherhood is an important contribution to a vital debate of our times. Vanessa Olorenshaw speaks with warmth, wit and clarity, representing lives and voices unheard for too long.
Shami Chakrabarti, author of On Liberty, former director of Liberty and formerly ‘the most dangerous woman in Britain’
Lucid and riveting, this book sweeps you along to a realization that we are at a turning point in history. That even feminism hasn’t asked big enough questions. Our humanity depends on re-elevating the nurture of young lives to our most primary purpose. Olorenshaw speaks for a generation of young women who are refusing to have their hearts numbed and their yearnings suffocated for corporate greed and a feedlot existence. This is The Female Eunuch of the 21st century.
Steve Biddulph, international bestselling author of Raising Boys and Raising Babies
Through her eloquent way of phrasing modernist questions, Vanessa is propelling herself forward as the symbol of the ultimate phase of the women’s liberation movements ... Read Liberating Motherhood from the beginning to the end and you’ll appreciate the talent Vanessa has developed in phrasing inevitable new questions.
Michel Odent, obstetrician and author of Birth and Breastfeeding
A fierce and funny new voice — exploding with revolutionary verve. Olorenshaw puts motherhood firmly on the map. Bravo!
Dr Oliver James, Sunday Times bestselling author of Affluenza, They F**k you Up, and Not in Your Genes
Vanessa Olorenshaw’s stimulating and timely book gives centre stage to both motherhood itself, and our confusion over it. And not before time ... Women and men, left and right, should pay attention: mothers truly are our future.
Alison Wolf (Baroness Wolf of Dulwich), author of The XX Factor
Sharp, uncompromising and witty, Liberating Motherhood relocates maternal experience at the centre of feminist praxis, offering a rallying cry for mothers — and daughters.
Glosswitch, New Statesman
Olorenshaw is immersed in her subject, impassioned but without anger, and oozing compassion and respect for mothers and children alike. Her exploration of maternal feminism is inclusive and compelling. She reveals the vulnerability of tenderly holding family life within an unforgiving economic climate and bothers not to dress up the betrayal of maternal freedoms as anything other. If you want to be reminded of why your mothering is beautifully but strangely revolutionary, read this book.
Michelle Mattesini, Attachment Parenting UK
A witty and forensic discussion of the politics and economics of motherhood. Olorenshaw goes beyond both the religious fetishisation of mothering and the ‘feminist’ fetishisation of jobs to build a solid case for an economy built around care — for ourselves, each other and the world we live in.
Barb Jacobson, Basic Income UK
This ground-breaking book is essential reading for anyone who cares about women and children. With passion, wit, intelligence, righteous anger and scrupulous research, Vanessa Olorenshaw lays bare not only the truth about how our society is deliberately shaped to require the exploitation of female unpaid caring and domestic labour, but the truth about the power, strength, skill, dedication and joy of mothering too.
Esther Parry, founder of All Mothers Work
Liberating Motherhood is an important and heartfelt analysis of the misogyny underpinning Western culture and our disastrous devaluation of the maternal: read it.
Antonella Gambotto-Burke, author of Mama: Love, Motherhood and Revolution
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1) I was very fortunate to be able to breast feed beyond the first year with all my little ones but this has not been the typical experience in my circle and nor is it statisticaly typical within our sociaty. This book talks ALOT about the value of breatfeeding which might feel upsetting to mothers who didnt make this choice/ for whom breast feeding didnt work out. Given the vast quantity of writing already out there on the value of breast feeding by LLL it seems a pitty to me that the autor of this book seemed to weaken the argument for liberating women to chose motherhood by pegging it to mothers roles in nursing, although I do belive the authers argument is that all mothers should be respected and able to chose motherhood regardless of weather they breast feed.
2) In a couple of places the auther makes brife negative comments regarding transgender MtF people these comments dont appear to add anything to the book and seem based on miss understanding rather than phobia, however I felt they could be seen a quite offensive and would thus be reluctant to recommend this in my friendship circle of people who may find such comments quite wrong.
The book overall is a mix of the autors own experience, her own opinions, some astute observations and some well researched data it helps to have a view of which is evidence and which is opinion as you are reading through.
But why does the fact that they're my children mean that someone else will get paid 2000pounds a month to look after them - and I get paid nothing. Why am I not valued for looking after my own children - when the children themselves clearly prefer it?
The author talks about the double-bind that mothers face. That we are given no recognition or support from doing our role - in fact government policies actively discourage us from doing our role. But that we are harshly punished when we do it badly. It is such a sad, frustrating situation for so many mothers, but one that is rarely talked about.
I completely commend Vanessa Olorenshaw for taking it upon herself to champion the cause of the mother in such an influential way - and I am certainly joining her Purple-Stocking movement!
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