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Shattered: Modern Motherhood and the Illusion of Equality by [Asher, Rebecca]
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Shattered: Modern Motherhood and the Illusion of Equality Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Length: 272 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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"Should be required reading for policy makers and new parents alike"--Time Out

"This is a polemical book... is gripping enough to read through the night. It left me fired up with reformist zeal"--The Mail on Sunday

"I was utterly gripped. This is powerful stuff. Rebecca Asher's take of the culture of parenting is radical, original and refreshingly spirited, a heartfelt call for change"--The Daily Telegraph

"An intelligent, thoroughly researched and highly readable contribution to a debate that urgently needs to be aired in the corridors of power, as well as through gritted teeth over snatched cups of bitter coffee in baby and toddler groups"--The Sunday Herald

"Asher wants a revolution, and her conviction is invigorating... there is a great deal to be said for [her] model, and it deserves to be discussed and debated widely"--The Guardian

"Excellent and readable"--The Economist

Book Description

A manifesto for achieving a new equality between the sexes in family life, drawing on international research and case studies.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 710 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (31 Mar. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004SOYWU8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #87,651 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Shattered is non-fiction at its best, well researched and well referenced but humanised by first-hand accounts and enlivened by Asher's very convincing argument that the division of parenting in the UK leaves a lot to be desired. Asher's premise is that in the UK the vast majority of day to day parenting is still left to women and that, as a result, mothers tend to become marginalised in the work place while fathers are sidelined at home and children short-changed.

In the UK girls outperform boys at school and enter the workforce with an expectation that they can get as far as men. Following the birth of their first child however a huge number of women find, if they return to work at all, that their careers have to adapt to fit around childcare and household management. In contrast, few fathers in the UK change their working patterns in any significant way. On the contrary, if anything, they often increase their effort at work to provide for their families. This, argues Asher, is a situation implicitly supported by government and employer attitudes from the moment a woman becomes pregnant.

While maternity leave in the UK has become more generous over recent years, paternity leave and paternity pay remain laughably inadequate. As dads are forced back to work, it is the mother who gets to really understand the child and who typically becomes more expert at addressing its needs. When maternity leave ends it then seems natural to many families that it is the mother who considers reducing her hours or stopping work altogether. Asher acknowledges that this suits some women but argues that the impact for many and for society as a whole is strongly disadvantageous, reducing financial independence and the opportunities for self expression and professional fulfilment.
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Format: Paperback
I loved this book (and stayed up late into the night reading it)!
Having read a couple of reviews, I expected it to be fairly insightful but what surprised me was how readable it was. Actually, it was pretty funny in parts and I loved the bits where the author explains her own conflicted feelings and experiences. It helped me make sense of the disconnect between my expectations as a proffessional woman and my experience as a new mother. As a thirty-something, my own mother's generation fought to ensure I had choices beyond her own horizons and I worked bloody hard to reach a level in my profession where I could realise my own ambitions before starting a family (which proffession, incidentally, is legal so I knew my rights and shouldn't be worried about telling my boss I wanted 12 months maternity leave, right? Ha!). So, this book really resonated with my personal experience.
I was interested, on a proffessional and personal level, in how other countries handle these issues (how come our German and Scandinavian neighbours always seem to have a more balanced perspective on these things than us Brits?) and there were lots of really useful comparisons with other European countries. It wasn't just the bald facts and figures or legal rights (interesting though this was); the author recorded the personal experiences of various mothers and fathers in her case studies. Actually, that was one of things that I really liked about the book; it wasn't some "woe is me" female diatribe but very balanced; she considered the male perspective and experience just as much as the female one (so much so that my husband is now reading this book!).
I don't know whether to be depressed by the book's compelling argument that inequality is alive and well (to the detriment of men as well as women) or encouraged by the fact that there are writers out there who are not afraid to confront this issue with wit and refreshing honesty.
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Format: Paperback
Since having my first child five years ago, the most frequent topic of conversation with other new mums has been the disparity between our own roles and those of our partners. Why did we suddenly transform from being equals to living lives that were poles apart? How could life not have moved on from the 1950s? This insightful book gives voice to women's frustrations about their place within the family and society at large. Alongside the often amusing, sometimes heartbreaking testimony of hundreds of mums and dads, Rebecca Asher looks at the root causes of this inequality and, more importantly, puts forward practical steps that the government, employers and individuals can take to help redress the balance. I would urge all new mums and dads to read this book if they care about creating a fairer society for their children.
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Format: Paperback
I guess the title I gave this review sums it up really. I have read a few Feminist books but a number of these were written some time ago and were therefore somewhat out-dated in their views or were written by American authors focussing on the US (not a bad thing of course, but there are differences between the situation in the UK and that of women in the US).

I picked this book up and thought it looked interesting- not only is it fairly recent but it is also written with a focus on the situation of women in the UK. Rebecca is a good writer who keeps the reader engaged throughout, she also provides sound evidence for her arguments with no shortage of references.

The topic of modern motherhood is an exceptionally important one as it effects all of us, whether we are parents or not. This is an area where we must continue pushing for equality for men and women. This book makes a solid argument for an equal society (NB: she does not man bash at all - which is great as I would have binned the book if she did!)and is an excellent contribution to an important discussion that we as a society need to engage in.

This is a great book, I cannot recommend it enough!
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