the mask of motherhood: susan maushart

September 16, 2006

I picked up this book from the library when I was wandering around in a confused kind of state. If I were a tapestry maker in 16th century France I would pretty much know who I was and my role in life. But I’m not, and I sometimes work and I mostly look after children. I love looking after children but sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t be doing something more, with the children. That is whether I and the children ought to be more a part of a greater whole, rather than just boddling around on the floor together.

Anyway I digress. The book, I mostly disagree with. I was quite keen to read it because according to the jacket, it discusses “how motherhood changes everything” well I couldn’t agree more, but I thought it was going to talk about some of the beneficial changes. It’s also written by an Australian academic, which I found promising. I think this book is thought provoking and raises some very good points, and almost comes close to explaining certain issues about motherhood in a contemporary context. I also think it is quite interesting to write a response to a book you disagree with about a subject you care about.

One very sad comment inside this book is that “Motherhood is not intrinsically rewarding”. Mostly, that is sad for the children of the author, I hope they don’t read it. And her conclusions are overwhelmingly negative. She doesn’t have much positive to say, and I am afraid that just reflects her own issues rather than any “objective’ scientific research. I am coming to realise more and more that people generally create their research to back up their original view and then say it’s objective.

Here’s a few reviews of the book on amazon to start wtih.

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