- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (April 24 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1443407208
- ISBN-13: 978-1443407205
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 318 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #471,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Conflict Hardcover – Apr 24 2012
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“[A] scathing, controversial and brilliant piece of writing. . . . An essential read, whether or not you plan to have a child.” — EDMONTON JOURNAL
“Ms. Badinter’s polemic is sardonic, urgent and gripping. Sometimes it may sound as if she is advising mothers not even to consider breastfeeding, or encouraging pregnant women to smoke and drink. But she is only trying to re-dress the balance: this is a cry for freedom.” —THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
“A sharp, engaging and iconoclastic writer, Badinter nimbly traces the forces that have combined to glorify maternal sacrifice.” — MACLEAN’S
“One of those rare books with the power to change the way we look at our world and change the choices we make.” — THE GLOBE AND MAIL
“Provocative and rigorous. . . . Badinter’s impressive imperative to own one’s own life, to take rigorous and energetic responsibility, to cast off the silly or cowardly or frivolously domestic ways, seems very appealing, and refreshing and brisk.” — SLATE--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
ELISABETH BADINTER is the acclaimed author of three seminal works on feminism (The Myth of Motherhood, Dead End Feminism and XY: On Masculine Identity), which have been translated into fifteen languages. She lives in Paris, where she teaches philosophy at the prestigious École Polytechnique.
Top customer reviews
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This book addresses how absolutist, naturalistic mothering denigrates fatherhood (if nurturing is hormonal and tied to breastfeeding, men are necessarily left out and "secondary" parents), places artificial burdens on working mothers, pushes women into "the home", and ultimately disincentivizes reproduction for women who are interested in maintaining a professional career.
While she frames the conflict as Romanticism versus individualism or hedonism, I think the anti-science, emotive aspects of these mothering trends lend itself to an Enlightenment (where reason, science and the empirical method guide thought) versus Romantic framework. Many of these trends have little in the way of sound scientific support (see Colen and Ramsey 2014 on breastfeeding), but *feel* right.
Ultimately, I suspect that the rise of the regressive, "natural mothering" movement is not due to a concerted effort to push women back into the realm of hearth and home, even though this may be the objective of the activist groups. Rather, I think these methods have been popularized by stay-at-home mothers as a way of valuing their at-home work. "Full-immersion" approaches to mothering (again, not parenting, as fathers are increasingly excluded, given they must bear the full burden of wage earning and don't have the all-important female hormones) are simply not feasible for moms who have careers. But in reality, neither are these approaches necessary for raising well-adjusted children.
I would recommend reading this book together with "The Feminine Mistake" and "What to Expect When No One's Expecting".
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