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Momism Generation of Vipers

  • By: Paula J. Caplan
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

In his best-selling book, Generation of Vipers, which was first published in 1946, Philip Wylie wrote about mothers scathingly and with undisguised disgust. His essays were also highly critical of American society, often resembling a vitriolic screed rather than a reasoned argument: their deliberate provocation and the scattershot nature of his attacks makes Wylie difficult to take seriously today. He argued that America has become a mother-dominated society in which women rule their husbands and sons, a problem exacerbated because women have excessive time on their hands due to household appliances and smaller families. Mothers have thus become both self-centered and interfering, and are responsible for a decline in masculinity in American society and inhibit the normal development of their male children. Wylie voiced the ...

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