- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; First Edition edition (January 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805066195
- ISBN-13: 978-0805066197
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 57 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,171,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World is Still the Least Valued Paperback – January 1, 2002
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"A bracing call to arms...Crittenden rows against the ideological current and has the temerity to suggest a mind-blowingly sensible alteration of America's present parenting arrangements."-Ben Dickinson, Elle
"Fascinating...shows how women have been consistently denied social and, more importantly, monetary equality for raising their families."-Susan Straight, Los Angeles Times
"A scathing indictment of policies that cheat mothers...Crittenden turns out a fresh, persuasive argument. Sure to inspire vigorous debate."-Megan Rutherford, Time
"Powerful and important"--The New York Times
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More than convincing, and more than infuriating (though you won't want to stop), because with every page you realize that all the things you never really paid attention to or thought was fair (a wife getting less than half of her ex-husband's assets, etc.) are really just another subtle way our current system reinforces women's secondary place in society. I never really considered myself a feminist (even though I have taken numerous courses on sociology, anthro, and the like, and read up quite a bit on the subject) because I thought the idea was more or less outdated. We women have come a long way, have we not? I have certainly been convinced that I was wrong and short-sighted, and that there is another crucial step toward true equality, and other countries already have successful models of it in place (countries whose economies Americans envy - this is not a coincidence). I encourage everyone to read it. It will without a doubt open your eyes, and you will never see motherhood in the same light again.
As I read through the first half of the book I became angry at maternal social injustices and was inspired by the baby-passion that encourages mothers to raise their own children anyway. But in the second half of the book I felt profound disappointment. Ms. Crittenden seems to come to the conclusion that any form of motherhood is worthy of financial remuneration, it matters not if a mother's child is in round-the-clock day care. The myths of feminism's working woman are (inadvertently?) reinforced over the unrecognized contributions and sacrifices of career mothering.
There are however seeds of a greater truth scattered within the pages of this book: a mother breastfeeding her baby, a mother caring for an aging family member, a mother who manages the household, volunteers her time, and homeschools her children should be acknowledged and valued (page 66). We know the price of motherhood, the rewards are less understood, and a deeper question remains. How can we, as a society, best support, protect and value motherhood?
"Labor is prior to, and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves a much higher consideration." Abraham Lincoln