Feminist scholars of motherhood distinguish between mothering and motherhood, and argue that the latter is a patriarchal institution that is oppressive to women. Few scholars, however, have considered how mothering, as a female defined and centred experience, may be a site of empowerment for women. This collection is the first to do so. Mother Outlaws examines how mothers imagine and implement theories and practices of mothering that are empowering to women. Central to this inquiry is the recognition that mothers and children benefit when the mother lives her life, and practices mothering, from a position of agency, authority, authenticity and autonomy.
First in the planned heptalogy, Flight Records of The Northern Julie Mariana Gardner never wanted to hunt criminals. She never needed to know how to shoot or how to find people who don’t want to be found. Content with a second-hand spaceship and a work license, she traveled the stars as a freelance scientist, owing her life to no one. That was before Michael Azrael, the enigmatic bounty hunter with a taste for insurrection, before the job that would land them on death row, before an expensive bailout courtesy of the paramilitary organization Zygna. Indebted to Zygna their release and in the wake of a string of failed missions, Mariana is given one last chance to save her career: travel to Oranos, a planet in the throes of a civil war and assassinate the Chancellor. Fail, and it's back to death row, and after a taste of freedom, neither she nor Azrael intend to go back without a fight. But her ship’s sentient computer missed the memo. And instead of carrying her to Oranos, he has other plans. Namely to gather the soul pieces of the universe’s former most dangerous outlaw... Keywords: strong female protagonist, freebie, bounty hunter science fiction, space cowboy, space pirate, love, space opera, soft scifi, free, time travel
Interdisciplinary and intersectional in emphasis, the Routledge Companion to Motherhood brings together essays on current intellectual themes, issues, and debates, while also creating a foundation for future scholarship and study as the field of Motherhood Studies continues to develop globally. This Routledge Companion is the first extensive collection on the wide-ranging topics, themes, issues, and debates that ground the intellectual work being done on motherhood. Global in scope and including a range of disciplinary perspectives, including anthropology, literature, communication studies, sociology, women’s and gender studies, history, and economics, this volume introduces the foundational topics and ideas in motherhood, delineates the diversity and complexity of mothering, and also stimulates dialogue among scholars and students approaching from divergent backgrounds and intellectual perspectives. This will become a foundational text for academics in Women's and Gender Studies and interdisciplinary researchers interested in this important, complex and rapidly growing topic. Scholars of psychology, sociology or public policy, and activists in both university and workplace settings interested in motherhood and mothering will find it an invaluable guide.
Argues that expectations for mothering include a new core principle of "body work." Winner of the 2016 Outstanding Book Award presented by the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender (OSCLG) The requirements of “good” motherhood used to primarily involve the care of children, but now contemporary mothers are also pressured to become bikini-ready immediately postpartum. Lynn O’Brien Hallstein analyzes celebrity mom profiles to determine the various ways that they encourage all mothers to engage in body work as the energizing solution to solve any work-life balance struggles they might experience. Bikini-Ready Moms also considers the ways that maternal body work erases any evidence of mothers’ contributions both at home and in professional contexts. O'Brien Hallstein theorizes possible ways to fuel a necessary mothers’ revolution, while also pointing to initial strategies of resistance. Lynn O’Brien Hallstein is Associate Professor of Rhetoric at Boston University and the author of White Feminists and Contemporary Maternity: Purging Matrophobia.
Mothers, Sex, and Sexuality talks about things not normally dared spoken out loud—the interconnectedness and conflict between our parental and sexual selves, the taboo of the sexual mother, and why it matters so much to shatter it. What is it about the sexual mother that is incompatible, and at times even disturbing? Why are we threatened by maternal sexuality? And what does this tell us about the structures of gender and power that govern our bodies? Mothers, Sex, and Sexuality presents a rigorous academic analysis of the myriad ways in which the sexual/maternal divide affects women, birthing people, and those of us who assume or are ascribed the title "mother". We examine the way we as mothers talk to our daughters about sex, the way we talk about sex in a cultural context, and the deafening silence around sex in a medical system that overlooks maternal sexuality. We return repeatedly to the impact of both Christianity and Hinduism on the mother as someone to be revered but tightly controlled. We embrace the lost eroticism of mothering and hail breastfeeding as a sexual maternal practice, arguing for a new, broader, feminist understanding of sexuality. We discuss the way fat mothers destabalise the heteronormative maternal model, the way kinky queers are reconfiguring the sexual/maternal divide through erotic role-play, and we explore the strange, intense, and romantic domestic relationship that springs up between mothers and nannies—two heterosexual women trapped together in a homoerotic triangulation of need and desire. In a titillating climax we revel in the sexual maternal as embodied through performance art, poetry, installations, and comedy, disrupting queer readings of bodies as we are invited to both fuck, and fuck with, the maternal. This book boldly provides both a challenge to the patriarchal constraints of motherhood and a racy road-map escape route out of the sexual-maternal dichotomy.
Using a variety of critical and theoretical approaches, the contributing scholars to this collection analyze culturally specific and globally held attitudes about mothers and mothering, as represented in world cinema. Examining films from a range of countries including Afghanistan, India, Iran, Eastern Europe, Canada, and the United States, the various chapters contextualize the socio-cultural realities of motherhood as they are represented on screen, and explore the maternal figure as she has been glamorized and celebrated, while simultaneously subjected to public scrutiny. Collectively, this scholarly investigation provides insights into where women’s struggles converge, while also highlighting the dramatically different realities of women around the globe.
Surrogate motherhood is expanding all over the world. Debates rage over how public policy should consider the signing away of the parental rights of birth mothers in favor of a 'commissioning' couple or an individual. In this book, Daniela Danna describes the situation in English-speaking countries and worldwide, from California to Greece, presenting the legal alternatives regulating (or not) these peculiar exchanges. Should surrogacy remain a private agreement? Should it be treated as an enforceable contract? Are surrogate mothers workers? What happens inside the countries that have chosen different ways of handling this new and controversial matter? And, the most important question of all: How can we live in this era of new techno-medical possibilities and try to stay human? Can we resist commodification in the field of human relations concerning procreation? Contract Children discusses the different ways available to obtain a child through surrogate motherhood. It is fundamental reading for anyone wanting to be involved in the surrogacy process. It gives prospective surrogate mothers and infertile couples the background information necessary for their own informed decision. It is also an essential instrument for policy makers and activists in the field of women's rights, social justice, and children's rights. The question of how to publicly deal with surrogate motherhood touches upon our social vision of motherhood, ultimately marking the position of women in contemporary society.
Women and Depression: Recovery and Resistance takes a welcome look at women’s experiences of living well after depression. Lafrance argues that the social construction of femininity is dangerous for women’s health, and ultimately, central to their experiences of depression. Beginning with a critical examination of the ways in which women’s depression is a product of the social, political, and interpersonal realities of their everyday lives, the analysis moves on to explore an often ignored aspect of women’s experience – how women manage to ‘recover’ and be well after depression. The book draws on extensive in-depth interviews with women who have been depressed, as well as on previous research and on analyses of representations of women’s health practices in the media. In this way Lafrance critically examines how women negotiate and actively resist hegemonic discourses of femininity in their struggles to recover from depression and be well. Threaded throughout the analysis is the exploration of a variety of subjects related to women’s distress and health, including: negotiating identity the medicalization of women’s misery women’s narratives of resistance the material and discursive context of women’s self-care In exploring the taken-for-granted aspects of women’s experiences, Lafrance sheds light on the powerful but often invisible constraints on women’s wellbeing, and the multiple and creative ways in which they resist these constraints in their everyday lives. These insights will be of interest to students and scholars of psychology, sociology, women’s studies, social work, counseling, and nursing.
As various contemporary groups use the language of motherhood to advance their political causes, maternal rhetoric has become very visible in the American political discourse of late. Yet while it has long been recognized that women have invoked their political status as mothers to organize and authorize their political action in the past, scholars have only just begun to examine the recent reemergence of this frame. This book describes the wide variety of political causes that mothers are organizing to address, and analyses whether ideologically conservative organizations are disproportionately represented among groups using motherhood to mobilize women. Stavrianos examines the use of maternal discourses in closer detail through a comparative case study of five groups using motherhood as their primary frame for collective political action: Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Million Mom March, Mothers Against Illegal Aliens, Mainstreet Moms Organize or Bust, and Mothers in Charge. Scholars interested in women and politics, interest group politics, social movements, political behavior, women’s studies, motherhood studies, and framing strategies will find this book noteworthy, as it adds to a growing body of literature exploring the use of motherhood as an emerging political frame, and to the interdisciplinary discussion of contemporary discourses of motherhood.