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Motherhood Movement

  • By: Caroline Gatrell
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

The term motherhood movement refers to the empowerment of mothers and the prioritization, by mothers, of the interests of mothers and children within society. Feminist and other groups have been concerned with mothers' interests since the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, for example, argued that mothers should have interests of their own.

However, the motherhood movement in its contemporary form was born out of late 20th-century resistance to both the notion of motherhood as an institution that was supposedly central to women's identity, and also to the medicalization of childbirth. The motherhood movement both in its earliest its contemporary form is characterized by a combination of activism and scholarship.

The First Stirrings of the Movement

The beginnings of the motherhood movement ...

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