Archives de catégorie : Feminism

THE GOOD MOTHER MYTH de Nancy Reddy

Timely and thought-provoking, Nancy Reddy unpacks and debunks the bad ideas that have for too long defined what it means to be a « good » mom.

THE GOOD MOTHER MYTH:
Unlearning Our Bad Ideas About How to Be a Good Mom
by
Nancy Reddy
St. Martin’s Press, January 2025

When Nancy Reddy had her first child, she found herself suddenly confronted with the ideal of a perfect mother—a woman who was constantly available, endlessly patient, and immediately invested in her child to the exclusion of all else. Reddy had been raised by a single working mother, considered herself a feminist, and was well on her way to a PhD. Why did doing motherhood « right » feel so wrong?

For answers, Reddy turned to the mid-20th century social scientists and psychologists whose work still forms the basis of so much of what we believe about parenting. It seems ludicrous to imagine modern moms taking advice from midcentury researchers. Yet, their bad ideas about so-called “good” motherhood have seeped so pervasively into our cultural norms. In The Good Mother Myth, Reddy debunks the flawed lab studies, sloppy research, and straightforward misogyny of researchers from Harry Harlow, who claimed to have discovered love by observing monkeys in his lab, to the famous Dr. Spock, whose bestselling parenting guide included just one (1!) illustration of a father interacting with his child.

This timely and thought-provoking book will make you laugh, cry, and want to scream (sometimes all at once). Blending history of science, cultural criticism, and memoir, The Good Mother Myth pulls back the curtain on the flawed social science behind our contemporary understanding of what makes a good mom.

Nancy Reddy‘s previous books include the poetry collections Pocket Universe and Double Jinx, a winner of the National Poetry Series. With Emily Pérez, she’s co-editor of The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood. Her essays have appeared in Slate, Poets & Writers, Romper, The Millions, and elsewhere. The recipient of grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Sustainable Arts Foundation and a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, she teaches writing at Stockton University and writes the newsletter Write More, Be Less Careful.

THE GOOD MOTHER MYTH de Nancy Reddy

Blending history of science, cultural criticism, and memoir, THE GOOD MOTHER MYTH pulls back the curtain on the flawed social science behind our contemporary understanding of what makes a good mom.

THE GOOD MOTHER MYTH
Unlearning Our Bad Ideas About How to Be a Good Mom
by Nancy Reddy
St. Martin’s Press, January 2025

When Nancy Reddy had her first child, she found herself suddenly confronted with the ideal of a perfect mother—a woman who was constantly available, endlessly patient, and immediately invested in her child to the exclusion of all else. Nancy had been raised by a single working mother, considered herself a feminist, and was well on her way to a PhD. Why did doing motherhood “right” feel so wrong? For answers, Nancy turned to the mid-twentieth century social scientists and psychologists whose work still forms the basis of so much of what we believe about parenting. It seems ludicrous to imagine modern moms taking advice from mid-century researchers. Yet, their bad ideas about so-called “good” motherhood have seeped so pervasively into our cultural norms. In THE GOOD MOTHER MYTH, Nancy debunks the flawed lab studies, sloppy research, and straightforward misogyny of researchers from Harry Harlow, who claimed to have discovered love by observing monkeys in his lab, to the famous Dr. Spock, whose bestselling parenting guide included just one illustration of a father interacting with his child. This timely and thought-provoking book will make you laugh, cry, and want to scream (sometimes all at once).

Nancy Reddy is a poet and essayist. She’s the author most recently of Pocket Universe, and co-editor, with poet Emily Pérez, of the anthology The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood.

LAST TO EAT, LAST TO LEARN de Pashtana Durrani

From young Afghani activist and Amnesty International Global Youth Ambassador Pashtana Durrani, a deeply inspiring memoir about the power of learning and the value of educators in their many forms – from teachers, mentors, and role models, to fathers, mothers, and any one of us with the drive to stand against ignorance.

LAST TO EAT, LAST TO LEARN
My Life in Afghanistan Fighting to Educate Women
by Pashtana Durrani, with Tamara Bralo
Kensington, March 2024
(via The Martell Agency)

LAST TO EAT, LAST TO LEARN is the remarkable memoir of Pashtana Durrani, a 23-year-old Afghan woman, who has pursued her passion for educating the “disappearing girls” of the remote, contested rural tribal regions, amidst all the turmoil, violence and oppression that has enveloped her country – and her family — over a generation.

Pashtana Durrani was the first recipient of a grant from Malala’s Fund, and the founder of Learn NGO, an organization that was ruthlessly targeted by the Taliban. She conceived and developed a brilliant program for getting educational materials directly into the hands of girls and young women in the form of solar-powered tablets preloaded with lessons for grades K-12.

Pashtana escaped from Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover and will soon be in the U.S., with a two-year residency at Wellesley College to continue her critical work for girls’ education. Malala wrote one of two letters to the U.S. government to petition for Pashatana’s safe evacuation to the U.S. Pashtana is a highly sought-after expert in the on-going international advocacy struggles, a figure of hope and promise for all those determined not to cede ground in the battle for women’s education and autonomy in Afghanistan and beyond.

Tamara Bralo is an award-winning journalist who worked for BBC, CNN, and Al Jazeera English, and spent years covering war zones around the world, including Iraq, Libya, and Syria.

FEMONOMICS de Corinne Low

A radical framework for understanding and improving the lives of women, using a data-driven approach to overcoming the structural, economic, and biological factors that force and constrain women’s choices and limit their potential for wellbeing.

FEMONOMICS
Winning the Bread and Baking It Too: A Data Driven Approach to Happiness in Work, Life, and Home
by Corinne Low
Flatiron, Fall 2025
(via Park & Fine Literary and Media)

Where mostly male behavioral psychologists have previously dominated the categories of happiness and optimization, Corinne, a professor at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, applies economic principles to uniquely female concerns. Teaching readers how to use concepts like personal utility function (how we individually maximize profit and joy) and constrained optimization (making the best choice within external limits) to think about decisions and tradeoffs like the cost of a biological clock, Corinne will arm women with the tools they need to ask for more: from their partners, from their bosses, and from the system itself.

Because Corinne researches the key decisions that shape women’s lives, she finds herself most often answering surprisingly everyday (and existential!) questions from students during office hours, colleagues at conferences, and journalists behind the scenes. Questions like:

  • Should I break up with my boyfriend?
  • What kind of career gives me the life I want?
  • How should I pick a partner?
  • What kind of parent do I want to be?
  • When should I consider freezing my eggs?
  • Why should I fight to get the house in the divorce?

This book is not about optimizing — women are already optimized. It is about moving beyond the work-life binary to help women enjoy a better deal at work, in life, and at home.

Corinne Low is an Associate Professor of business Economics and Public Policy at the Wharton School, specializing in labor and development economics. Her research brings together applied microeconomic theory with lab and field experiments to understand the determinants of who gets how much across gender and age lines. Corinne received her PhD in economics from Columbia University and her undergraduate degree in economics and public policy from Duke University.

THE MOST de Jessica Anthony

A tightly wound, consuming tale for readers of Claire Keegan and Ian McEwan, about a 1950s American housewife who decides to get into the pool in her family’s apartment complex one morning and won’t come out.

THE MOST
by Jessica Anthony
Little, Brown & Co, July 2024
(via Sterling Lord Literistic)

It is an unseasonably warm Sunday in November 1957. Katheen, a college tennis champion turned Delaware housewife, decides not to join her flagrantly handsome life insurance salesman husband, Virgil, or their two young boys, at church. Instead, she takes a dip in the kidney-shaped swimming pool of their apartment complex. And then she won’t come out.

A consuming, single-sitting read set over the course of eight hours, The Most breaches the shimmering surface of a seemingly idyllic mid-century marriage, immersing us in the unspoken truth beneath. As Sputnik 2 orbits the earth carrying Laika, the doomed Soviet dog, Kathleen and Virgil hurtle towards each other until they arrive at a reckoning that will either shatter their marriage, or transform it, at last, into something real.

Jessica Anthony has been a butcher in Alaska, an unlicensed masseuse in Poland, and a secretary in San Francisco. In 2017, while writing Enter the Aardvark, Anthony was working as Bridge Guard, guarding the Maria Valeria Bridge between Sturovo, Slovakia and Esztergom, Hungary. Normally, she lives in Maine and teaches at Bates College.