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Feminism and Mothering

  • By: Amber E. Kinser
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Feminists are often criticized as being antimotherhood, but while this may apply to a few radicals of the 1960s, scholars such as Lauri Umansky argue that while some emphasized the oppressive nature of motherhood in society and preferred to forgo the experience themselves, organizations such as the National Organization for Women emphasized the importance of mother-friendly practices, such as affordable daycare, as part of women's liberation. Others feminists advocated that women should taking back control of the birth process—from what they saw as a male-dominated, overly technological medical profession—through means such as midwifery and the Lamaze technique. By the 1980s, many feminists were writing about their experiences as mothers and using it as motivation for their activism; by the 1990s, the concerns of mothers ...

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