Artists who Mother

ROSEGIBBSPHOTOBy Rose Gibbs

According to Sheryl Sandberg, the woman responsible for turning around the fortune of Facebook (1), ‘the number one impediment to women succeeding in the work force is now in the home. Most people assume that women are responsible for households and child care. The majority of heterosexual couples operate on that basis’ (2). Sampson Lee Blair (3), professor at the University of Buffalo, studies the division of labor in families and notes that with families where the woman has a job and a man doesn’t, where one might anticipate a reversal of roles, ‘even then you find the woman doing the majority of the housework’ (4). For childcare the ratio is closer to 5 to 1, no matter who earns the money for the family. Business and institutions are set up without regard for the exigency of parenting an infant, and clearly women take the strain.

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Mother of Invention: A new collection of essays on mothering and feminist subjectivity

racheloneillcropBy Rachel O’Neill

MaMSIE readers may be interested in a new collection of essays on the theme of mothering and feminist subjectivities. Edited by Vanessa Reimer and Sarah Sahagian, Mother of Invention combines feminist theory and life writing to explore the many ways in which mothers – whether or not they identify as feminists – can inspire feminist consciousness in their children. Below is an extract from the final chapter of the book, entitled ‘Impressions of my mother: On willfulness and passionate scholarship’, in which I consider some of the difficulties of writing feminist auto/biography.

On beginning to draft this chapter, I realise that I don’t know how to name my mother in writing. Should I employ the formal ‘mother’, the generic ‘mom’, or do I address her as I do in person, favouring the Irish pronouncement, ‘Ma’? What of her own name? Do I need to be consistent anyway, Read more...