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To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife Paperback – May 8, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Originally she quit her teaching gig to write a novel, and when she couldn't successfully do that she decided to have kids instead. The premise here seems to be that since she was failing at writing a novel and couldn't bring herself to just go back to teaching, she'd have kids because that would give her an "excuse" to not have to worry about the novel or deal with the feelings that failure held for her...it'd be OK if she found some measure of success as a parent. She might not have turned out a novel, but she DID squeeze out a kid...the logic is unfathomable. In reading the first few chapters, I didn't get the feeling that she wanted to be a mother, I got the sense that being a mother was a means to the end of continuing to stay at home...an excuse not to go back to work or find something else more meaningful to do with her time.Read more ›
Flanagan, the anti-feminist, has set out to convince us that the women's movement has done women a disservice in showing that women might be dissatisfied with merely performing perfunctory household duties. Being a housewife should be celebrated, she says; women should be glad to fix dinner and do the laundry. Child-rearing has been elevated to an art and needs to be scaled back a notch, back to the days when being a wife was first and foremost and the children a mere by-product.
Excuse me? She really expects me to believe this tripe?
And she is the poster child?
Flanagan writes of the evils of nannies, the amount of discomfort they can bring to a household. And this in the same book where she devotes an entire chapter to the relationship she has with -- you guessed it -- her nanny. The woman she hired to care for her children for three years when she wasn't even working. It is the noblest thing to be home with one's children, she says, and points out that she stayed home with her children. But in the same breath she tells us that she had a 9-5 nanny and that she was practically paralyzed, unable to function, between 7 and 9 a.m. before the nanny's arrival. She makes it clear that children need their mother their when they're sick in the night ... but that she did not actually put the sheets in the washer -- that was the nanny's job.
She talks of the amount of satisfaction a woman should get from taking care of her home and her family. Then tells you of the maid and gardener who actually do most of said housework.
Sometimes it seems as if her point is to make it clear that she is a woman of privilege -- she can afford to be home, to pay all this household help.Read more ›
For the rest of us, though, "To Hell with All That" is a curious look at stay-at-home motherhood through the eyes of a wealthy anti-feminist who has the time and the energy to actually consider following Martha Stewart's over-the-top housekeeping suggestions.
I found myself agreeing with Flanagan in some places and snorting disapprovingly in others, while being entertained throughout much of the book. At the very least, Flanagan writes beautifully. And her larger-than-life persona has helped land her a segment on the Today Show. If only she were speaking for us.
If you're looking for validation in your choice to stay home with your kids, you won't find much of it in this book. Flanagan likely has never endured a toddler temper tantrum in the post office, wondered if she can afford to buy a brand name cereal without a coupon or volunteered to make cupcakes for 500 kids at the school rally.
If you want to find out how the other half live, though, enjoy this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I picked up this book in galley form and read it out of curiosity: the author is a well-known critic of feminism, whose views win her a lot of media. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Anne-Marie
I'm not really sure what this book is about. I picked it up because I am always interested in any discussion of domesticity and social context. Read morePublished on March 4, 2013 by Ro Howard
Clever, witty, and actually made me laugh out loud several times. Excellent blend of memoir, scholarly study, and pop culture read. Read morePublished on February 16, 2013 by Kochava
I struggled with this book immensely. While I agreed with [what I discerned to be] some of her core points - that the housewife decision is not one to be ashamed of, that not all... Read morePublished on February 4, 2013 by Tiffani
To Hell With All That is a rambling, confused chronicle of a privileged woman who pretends to struggle with motherhood, feminism, sexuality in marriage, and marriage itself. Read morePublished on March 9, 2012 by Leah83
If you've read the other reviews you know that Mrs. Flanagan wants to lecture about housework and motherhood when she herself had/has a maid and a nanny. Read morePublished on May 4, 2011 by Kindle Customer
Okay, so this author quit work to stay at home taking care of her husband and kids. Except she hired a nanny and a maid. Read morePublished on December 4, 2010 by Marija Sanderling
Ms. Flanagans writing style is very fun, witty-of course, and flavorful or should I say palatable? I enjoyed the reading and thought provoking questions at the end. Read morePublished on June 13, 2010 by K. S. Conklin
I love self help books, and lately I have especially liked books about the transition the modern woman is making into motherhood. Read morePublished on December 12, 2009 by E. Harris