New feature: Why feminists shouldn’t have to keep mum

// 4 December 2008

A feminist challenge to sexism within the current cult of motherhood is needed, argues Victoria Dutchman-Smith

Before I became a mother myself, among my favourite works of feminist literature were The Women’s Room and The Feminine Mystique. These remain favourites of mine, even though the views they put forward on motherhood are pretty negative, to put it mildly. Personally, becoming a mother was the best thing that’s ever happened to me, yet I still think Betty Friedan and Marilyn French are spot on in their attacks. Then again, that may be because I see a real difference between our current cultural construct of motherhood, and what it’s actually like to be a woman who’s had a child. It disturbs me that an attack on the former is so often misrepresented as an attack on the latter.

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