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Sons and Mothers

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

“Few subjects so provoke anxiety among feminists,” Robin Morgan writes, “as the four letter words sons.” “We've thought and talked about, written and read about mothers and daughters,” Robin continues, “but with a few notable exceptions we've averted our eyes from the The Other Touchy Subject. Yet that subject goes to the heart of practicing what we claim to believe, that the ‘the personal is political.’ It goes to the crux of power and of patriarchy—even though it also grazes the living nerves of love.”

Indeed, the topic of sons and mothers is a relatively new field of study in feminist scholarship. As compared to the far more popular topic of mothers and daughters, only a handful of publications have examined mother and son relationships, and ...

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