Download From motherhood to mothering : the legacy of Adrienne Rich's by Andrea O'Reilly PDF

By Andrea O'Reilly

Within the years because the ebook of Adrienne Rich's Of lady Born, the subject of motherhood has emerged as a primary factor in feminist scholarship. Arguably nonetheless the simplest feminist publication on mothering and motherhood, Of lady Born isn't just a wide-ranging, far-reaching meditation at the that means and adventure of motherhood that attracts from the disciplines of anthropology, feminist idea, psychology, and literature, however it additionally narrates Rich's own reflections on her studies of mothering. Andrea O'Reilly gathers feminist students from varied disciplines equivalent to literature, women's experiences, legislations, sociology, anthropology, artistic writing, and significant thought and examines how Of lady Born has expert and stimulated the best way feminist scholarship "thinks and talks" approximately motherhood. The individuals discover the various ways that wealthy presents the analytical instruments to check and file upon the that means and event of motherhood.

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Extra info for From motherhood to mothering : the legacy of Adrienne Rich's Of woman born

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Of Woman Born reflects Rich’s conviction that motherhood as experienced by women over the centuries in no way represents the “natural” order of things. Arguing that “for most of what we know as the ‘mainstream’ of recorded history, motherhood as institution has ghettoized and degraded female potentialities” (13), Rich explores the possibility that there existed a prehistorical, prepatriarchal “golden age ruled by women” (73). While acknowledging at one point that we cannot know whether such an age existed (73), Rich paints a glowing picture of “ancient motherhood” as “filled with a mana (supernatural force)” (67): [t]hroughout most of the world, there is archeological evidence of a period when Woman was venerated in several aspects, the primal one being maternal; when Goddess-worship prevailed, and when myths depicted strong and revered female figures.

Paragraph 34). In Dobson, Cory J. concluded that because “[e]verything the pregnant woman eats or drinks, and every physical action she takes, may affect the foetus” (770), “[t]here is no rational or principled limit to the types of claims which may be brought if . . a tortious duty of care were imposed upon pregnant women” (771). Thus, placing a legal duty of care on a pregnant women with regard to her fetus would be far more onerous that any other legal duty-ofcare relationship. The dissenting judges in Winnipeg Child and Family Services were much less worried about the dangers of increased surveillance and control of pregnant women.

The masculine imagination has had to divide women . . as polarized into good W H AT I T M E A N S T O B E “ O F W O M A N B O R N ” 37 or evil” (34). Some feminists6 have suggested that society also tends to create two extreme images of motherhood: the nurturing, selfless, “good” mother, and the self-centered, irresponsible “bad” mother, and that “what is widely accepted as ‘good mothering’ by ‘good mothers’ is socially constructed and has political implications and consequences” (Phoenix and Woollette, 25).

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