edited by Maureen T. Reddy, Martha Roth, Amy Sheldon
Spinsters Ink, 1994
Journeys: Feminists Write About Mothering
is a compelling collection of essays, stories,
poems, and artwork, investigating with clarity,
humor, courage, and sometimes pain the dual issues
of feminism and motherhood.
... we asked feminist
mothers to tell us what the experience of mothering
means to them: how it affects their lives and
their work, how it relates to their politics,
what it is like to mother.
Here feminist mothers
write about abortion, infertility, miscarriages,
the death of children. They also write about the
sensual joys of mothering, the intellectual joy
of discovering another persons growth, and
ultimately the joy of claiming identities as women
In risky, deeply-felt poems,
stories, and memoirs, women reflect on the meaning
of mothering in contemporary North America. As
they interweave personal and political challenges,
daughterly and motherly feelings, their childrens
voices and presence with their own, these writers
offer us a glimpse of what mothering might become
when illumined by feminist consciousness. A wonderful
-Sara Ruddick, author, Maternal Thinking:
Toward a Politics of Peace
Journeys is a powerful antidote for those
who suffer from the misconception that feminism
and mothering are incompatible. It is also affirmation
of those feminist mothers who defy social convention
by their daily existence.
-Patricia Bell-Scott, author/editor, Life
Notes: Personal Writing by Contemporary Black
Women and Double Stitch: Black Women Write about
Mothers and Daughters
Reading this rich and evocative
collection feels like engaging in multiple, impassioned
and courageous conversations with feminist mothers.
So many questions are opened up, so many emotions
aroused, so much I recognize and so much I disagree
with, so much I want to respond to. Mothers and
feminists need this book as together we continue
to build a mother-inclusive feminism and recognize
the need for a committed feminist motherhood.
-Marianne Hirsch, author, The Mother/Daughter
Plot: Narrative, Psychoanalysis, Feminism
Excerpt from Mother
From "Beneath the
Skin," p. 49
In the fifties, "hard"
was good: hard liquor, hard reasoning, hard penises.
My disdain for "girls" went along with
dislike for softness, for the pale, pretty Marie
Laurencin prints in my parents bedroom.
My husband and I were going to do and be hard,
brilliant things. We decided we could fit one
hard, brilliant child into our lives.
What we had, of course,
was a soft wild baby, and I loved her with single-minded
passion. I loved being pregnant and nursing, and
I got pregnant again before our first daughter
was a year old. For the next ten years I stayed
at home, growing, nursing, and rearing three children.
Then I came along with
many other women to a feminist awakening. Talking
about being a woman with other women, for the
first time in my life, changed the way I lived
in my body. I realized at last that there was
no me without it; the body that made love
and got pregnant and bore children was the same
body that smoked and swore and drank and marched
and resolved and wrote.
The amazing thing about
parenthood isnt that adults make children,
but that children make adults. My children had
to go through my maturing process with me, and
no doubt there was wasted pain in it along with
light and warmth and solid growth. But I cant
have it any other way...