Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged motherhood

The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World is Still the Least Valued

Like many of my generation, I am a child of divorce. I watched as my newly single mother struggled to work, find and pay for childcare, and afford lawyers that could compete with my father’s during endless days of court. I watched as we plummeted into poverty while my wealthy father’s lifestyle barely changed. I am the daughter of a woman who chose to sacrifice her career to raise me, and who was subsequently penalized by a system that encouraged her to do precisely that.

The Last Pretence

In the South Indian town of Machilipatnam, Mallika gives birth to twins, Tara and Siva. Emotionally and psychologically damaged when her daughter dies during childbirth, Mallika finds herself unable to love Siva who is a constant reminder of Tara’s death. Pretending that Siva is Tara, both Mallika and Siva embark on a downward spiral of self-destruction that ends in tragedy.

Twenty-first Century Motherhood: Experience, Identity, Policy, Agency

Motherhood is often a topic of confusion or contention among feminists. The process of birthing demonstrates just how awesome and powerful women’s bodies are. However, the institution of motherhood is constructed in ways that oppress women and privilege certain classes, races, and sexualities.

The Monster Within: The Hidden Side of Motherhood

Psychiatrist, mother, and grandmother Barbara Almond's provocative new study makes a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate about what she terms “the dark side of motherhood.” The negative feelings a mother inevitably has toward her child, however loving she may be, and the painful conflicts these feelings can engender, is a topic still too often taboo in American culture.

Poverty, Charity, and Motherhood: Maternal Societies in Nineteenth-Century France

The Society for Maternal Charity, a women-run organization, survived more than one hundred years through wars, revolutions, and changes of government. The group began because the large numbers of foundlings, abandoned due to poverty, were not only expensive for the State but had a very high mortality rate. The women’s societies were viewed as better bargains than orphanages and an extension of the women’s domestic sphere. Besides, France needed population for cannon fodder in its many wars.


With the popularization of blogs and personal websites in the past decade, there has been a sharp decline in the zine phenomena. I have longed for the days when the magazine rack at independent bookstores was lined with photocopied feminist zines, daring to say the things mainstream magazines cannot. Thankfully, there are still some zinesters willing to invest the time and money needed to undertake the taxing task of putting out a zine.

Mothers Who Deliver: Feminist Interventions in Public and Interpersonal Discourse

While the field of mothering studies is approximately thirty years old, there’s no question that the experience of motherhood and the accompanying discourse and silence that surround it has existed for far longer. In this academic anthology, Stitt and Powell cast a wide net into this interdisciplinary field, bringing back articles that speak to everything from the “mommyblogging” revolution to single mothers’ groups and how they operate on university campuses.

Poverty, Charity, and Motherhood: Maternal Societies in Nineteenth-Century France

The women-run organization The Society for Maternal Charity survived more than a hundred years of wars, revolutions, and government changes. Initially the group began because of the number of children being abandoned due to poverty. Not only were these foundlings expensive for the state, but they also had a very high mortality rate. Women’s societies were viewed as more ideal than orphanages and seen as an extension of the women’s domestic sphere.

The Desires of Letters

In 1994, poet Bernadette Mayer published The Desires of Mothers to Please Others in Letters, a collection of loosely structured and un-posted letters written over a nine-month period while she was a new mother in New York in 1979.

Knocked Up, Knocked Down: Postcards of Miscarriage and Misadventure from the Brink of Parenthood

This book is not just for those that have experienced a miscarriage. Let’s make that clear. Yes, Knocked Up, Knocked Down: Postcards of Miscarriage and Other Misadventures from the Brink of Parenthood is all about the journey of healing from the great loss of being pregnant, physically caring for this baby within, then suddenly having parenthood ripped from beneath you. It’s a horrendous experience.

Entre Nos

Mariana and her children, Gabriel and Andrea, are stranded in New York City. Two weeks after her husband Antonio asked them to leave their native Colombia and join him in Queens after a lengthy separation, he left $50 in an envelope, headed for Miami, and stopped answering his phone. A family friend tells Mariana that he isn’t coming home. Undocumented and completely broke, Mariana tries to sell homemade empanadas on the streets while also accepting random jobs as they come.

Motherhood and Feminism

I doubt any role is more judged than mother. Add sexuality, class, and race into the equation and, for some of us, we will never be a "good" mother. But what are we really comparing ourselves to? We are trying to live up to a myth. A myth of Biblical proportions that has been around for less than sixty years.

Kill Your Darlings: Issue One

Kill Your Darlings has a lot to live up to. In its inaugural issue its editor, Affirm Press’ Rebecca Starford, says the journal’s mission is to "reinvigorate and re-energise" Australia’s literary scene.

The Blue Orchard

I can't remember the last time a tale of fiction grabbed me and wouldn't let me go. I finished The Blue Orchard by Jackson Taylor over a week ago and it still haunts me during those quiet moments of my day. What drew me in to say 'yes' to reviewing this book was that it is a tale of a nurse in pre-Roe America who is arrested for performing illegal abortions.

Creating a Life: The Memoir of a Writer and Mom in the Making

Some books are pure pleasure, an escape, and others give us more to ponder. Some books allow us to reach down deep to the hidden place of our most private thoughts.


Director Jennifer Steinman’s debut, Motherland, is a poignant documentary about six American women who have lost their children (and a brother) and find themselves together on a quest of healing.

Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You: Kids, Carbs, and the Coming Hormonal Apocalypse

Sassy southern belle Anita Renfroe’s sharp and charming wit weaves together a series of essays on everything from body image, motherhood, and the holiday season in Don't Say I Didn't Warn You. The book is the kind of happy, light read you just cannot put down. Without bombarding you with a barrage of jokes like so many other books by comedians, Renfroe shares the lighter side of her world, and you laugh alongside her.

Prospect Park West

Brooklyn’s famously high-end and yuppie Park Slope neighborhood is nearly a character itself in Amy Sohn’s Prospect Park West. The book follows the lives of four women living in the neighborhood. There is Melora Leigh, a troubled actress, who joins the neighborhood co-op for good PR. Her time there ties her to Karen Shapiro, an overly protective mother and social climber desperate for a new apartment in the best school district.

Resistance Through Writing: An Interview with Victoria Law

Feminist Review recently interviewed writer and activist Victoria Law on her book Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women.

In Her Own Sweet Time: One Woman's Unexpected Adventures in Finding Love, Commitment, and Motherhood

I read this book in one day. It, like the author, and like the problems she explores, is not perfect. Like the author, In Her Own Sweet Time is lovable and I eagerly devoured it for the stories she tells, the problems she outlines, and the social phenomena she identifies. The question “What is the impact of new reproductive technologies (NRTs) on feminism?" is a recurring motif within this book.

Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do

Wednesday Martin lists Step-Dilemma Number One as “The Myth of the Blended Family” in this emotionally charged look into the real experiences of stepmothers: Stepmonster.

My Mom is My Hero

If you're searching for a warm, soothing bowl of soup for the soul, look no further. This collection of lovely essays on the importance of mothers is sure to strike a chord with every reader. Each of the fifty authors of My Mom is My Hero has contributed a very personal piece, describing key events, special memories, or extraordinary displays of love from Mom.

Old World Daughter, New World Mother

Taking us from her childhood to the present, Maria Laurino explores what it’s like to be an Italian American woman through the lens of identity, feminism, ethnicity, motherhood, pregnancy, and economics in Old World Daughter, New World Mother_. Laurino unveils the restrictions she faced as a feminist daughter, as well as all that a traditionally Italian upbringing entails.

The Little Book on Meaning: Why We Crave It, How We Create It

The Little Book on Meaning is truly a salve of a book; it is a positive and inspiring message for anyone with questions about life—and that’s pretty much everyone, right? Laura Berman Fortgang, “personal coach” and author of several motivational books, addresses the human need for meaning in our existence and the struggle to discern what that meaning might be.

Feminist Art and the Maternal

As a teen, I imagined I would someday grow up to be an artist. As an eager feminist and first year university student, I took an art history course taught by an incredibly self-important professor. In all of his slide shows, I only remember two images being attributed to women artists.

Mama PhD: Women Write about Motherhood and Academic Life

At the beginning of the second year of my MA program in English, I found out that one of my advisors was pregnant. I’ll never forget what she said to me: “You know, you would think that academia would be a supportive place to have a kid.

Labor Pains and Birth Stories: Essays on Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Becoming a Parent

There is no older and greater story than childbirth. Pregnancy. Fertility. Life. For women, who carry the impossible miracle of bringing life into the world, birth and labor reflect the diverse experiences of our lives and livelihood. Our process through medical care, partners, health, choice, and mystery are as different as the children we birth. Labor Pains and Birth Stories is a small mirror of that richness.

Through the Storm: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World

When the news first hit that Lynne Spears, mother of Britney & Jamie Lynn Spears, was planning on writing a book, everyone seemed to have an opinion. Rumor had it that she was writing a book of parenting advice. Everyone scoffed. Parenting advice from a woman with a pregnant 16-year-old and a pop star whose fall from grace was playing out in the tabloids day by day? Yeah, right. Given the media storm going on around her daughters at that time of the books planned publishing date (remember Britney's hospitalizations? The vagina-flashing?

Between Here and April

Deborah Copaken Kogan’s novel Between Here and April begins with Elizabeth Burns, a modern New York journalist and mother of two young girls, recalling her first-grade friend April Cassidy’s sudden disappearance.

Reclaiming Feminist Motherhood

In 2003, _The New York Times Magazine _published “The Opt-Out Revolution,” by Lisa Belkin, a now nearly infamous contribution to the never-ending “mommy wars” collection of work. The cover story asserted that the nation’s most educated career women were “opting out” of their professional lives to become full-time stay-at-home moms.