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The Mommy Wars

Books and Articles

Our shared reading list, plus additional articles that may be of interest.

In the summer of 2007, our reading group read and discussed the following three books:

"Get to Work" by Linda Hirshman

"To Hell With All That" by Caitlin Flanagan

"Perfect Madness:  Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety" by Judith Warner

  • A good summary of Hirshman's argument is contained in her editorial:  "Off to Work She Should Go"  by Linda Hirshman  NYT  April 25, 2007
  • A fair summary of some of Warner's points are in her editorial:  "The Full-Time Blues"  by Judith Warner NYT  July 24, 2007


In the summer of 2008, our reading group read and discussed the following books:

"The Feminine Mystique"  by Betty Friedan

"The Feminine Mistake" by Leslie Bennetts

"Opting In:  Having a Child Without Losing Yourself" by Amy Richards

"I Don't Know How She Does It" by Allison Pearson

"The Time Bind" by Arlie Hochschild


Articles on the "Opt-Out" Revolution

[this article is actually irrelevant to the topic of working moms, but is a fun piece about how to mold husbands using techniques from animal trainers]


Women, Parenting, and the Academy


A Women Defends Housewives in the 1970s, then is divorced in the 21st century and rethinks her life choices.  Paging Leslie Bennetts . . .



  • "You Want it Clean?  You Clean It"  by Lisa Belkin, NYT  April 9, 2006
  • "When Mom and Dad Share it All"  by Lisa Belkin  NYT  June 15, 2008.  Article on couples who commit to sharing housework and childcare 50/50
  • "Mad at Dad"  by Martha Brockenbrough, Parenting Magazine.  This might be one for the Journal of Obvious Studies, but a national survey reports 46% of moms get irate at their husbands once a week.  Moms think dads don't notice what needs to be done around the house, and they are clueless about kids' needs, they can't multitask.  Close to 1/3 of moms say that even though dads do chores, on the whole they generate more net work for moms.  The biggest sources of anger seems to be that moms think husbands get more time to themselves.


Working Women Worldwide


Parenting Issues

  • "Good News and Bad News on Parenting" by Bryan Caplan, The Chronicle of Higher Education.  Note:  You must be a subscriber to view this article.  Research on how children are affected by the amount of time parents spend with them.  This study concludes nature trumps nurture, and parenting style (within a reasonable range) and time spent with children have less to do with their eventual success than genetics.
  • "Till Children Do Us Part"  by Stephanie Coontz, NYT, Febr. 4, 2009.  Overspending time with children can be hard on a marriage.


Breastfeeding Kerfluffles

  • "Baby Food" by Jill Lepore, New Yorker, Jan. 19, 2009.  Are breast pumps a technology crutch to avoid true maternity leave?
  • "The Case Against Breastfeeding"  by Hanna Rosin, Atlantic Monthly, April 2009.  Rosin argues that the benefits of breastfeeding have been exaggerated to the point that mandatory breastfeeding is one more way to shame and burden women into putting their lives on hold to overinvest in childrearing.
  • "Ban the Pump"  Judith Warner, NYT, April 2, 2009.  Warner agrees with Rosin.  The comment section contains a wide variety of responses.
by linnm37 — last modified Jun 08, 2012 01:59 PM