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on November 19, 2008
This book is a call for progress. It includes realistic situations, but I felt like something was missing from it. Perhaps the tone was too radical for my liberal taste, as I would have preferred more from the other side. But the book is definitely pro-family in that it's manifesto includes a lot of points that benefit families. Maternity and paternity leave, flexible leave time, healthcare, childcare, realistic and fair wages, television options, etc.
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on August 13, 2017
Awesome read. This was for one of my child development classes.
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on March 10, 2018
What a fantastic, and encouraging book. Finally, writers in this area, who understand systemic, and 3rd order effects. I wanted to stand up and cheer, when I read this book. And this book even champions two parent families, some. Children really do need two parents. Here are a few reasons why: 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census). · 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes. · 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes. (Source: Center for Disease Control). · 80% of rapist motivated by displaced anger come from fatherless homes. (Source: Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 14, pp. 403-26). · 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. (Source: National Principals Assoc. Report on the State of High Schools). · 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home. (Source: Fulton County Georgia jail populations, Texas Dept. Of Corrections, 1992). These statistics mean that children from fatherless homes are: · 5 times more likely to commit suicide · 32 times more likely to run away · 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders · 14 times more likely to commit rape · 9 times more likely to drop out of high school · 20 times more likely to end up in prison.

One thing I would have thought would add a lot of value, is that men in marriages generally get no respect at all, any more. My father recalled the days before WW II, when fathers got an incredible amount of respect. It really meant something, to be a father- AND a mother. The incredible disrespect that fathers get nowadays drains energy from them- that could be going into those families. Let us also consider the effects of divorce courts. One only has to listen to Tom Leykis. Tom's show was the top of any media outlet, in the markets it was in, for male listeners. Tom says that children are indeed much better off in a 2 parent family- but that there are NO benefits to being a man, in such a family, and MANY reasons why this is becoming an increasingly worse idea. This book is Really Good! I just want to expand on its good points.

A Navy retiree at work estimates that 30% of births now are due to the woman "forgetting" to take the pill. A lot of men tell me the end of the "patriarchy" is good for men, who often don't want children anyway. Now, women can do it all on their own. They can go to school, go to work, raise their own babies, fight wars, do their own housework and mow their own lawns – all with minimal or no support from men. Thankfully, my ‘mistakes’ were aborted, so I’m 100% behind women’s abortion rights. I have a high paying job, great education, own my own home and have zero responsibilities to anyone except myself. Feminism gave me all that. In days past, because of patriarchal societal beliefs, I would have had no choice but to become a father in support of a family, or life with constant shaming. Now, thankfully, there’s no pressure to become a husband or father. I don’t even have to worry about marriage with regard to sex. Guys – it doesn’t get any better than this! Think about it!
If women want all that BS for themselves, let them have it! They’re right with regard to ending the patriarchy. It not only means freedom from oppression for them – it also means freedom from oppression for us dudes. As a man, I’m grateful for feminism. You’ve made my life delightfully simple. Thank you feminists! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! A patriarchy which oppresses men, is no patriarchy, if it benefits women & children only. If you study "primitive" tribes, women in most of them did well, and had more privileges than most men.
Men have always marched off to war, to protect women & children. Some want to talk about ‘peter pan’, ‘man up’, ‘where’s them goooood men’ stuff. I did the Sound of Music tour, in Austria, decades ago. The tour guide complained about the high prices in stores, and said [I could not make this up] he really missed the Jewish store owners, who knew how to merchandise, and sell at reasonable prices. But the Austrians exterminated them. And they aren't coming back. Men never really fit the Romance Novel model, of course. But there is a Gresham's law in effect- many women like and choose bad boys, and ignore nice guys. Brooke Medicine Eagle cited a native american eldress- female elder- who noted that women create men's characters, by whom they choose to sleep with. And women do have a time clock, a "sell by" date. One sees hot women, that have played around for a while, suddenly hit the "wall", and decide to get serious about getting married... only to find out the potential husbands they had pictured in mine aren't there. Then there are the women in their 40s, 50s, who are all looking for their "soulmate", who will accept them just as they are, even with 80 extra pounds on, and extreme inability to be pleasant. I don't have the heart to tell them that their soulmate was one of the 60% of men falsely accused of rape, as in that Air Force study, or he got hung up in the divorce court slaughterhouse, to bleed out, was obliterated financially, lost custody of his kids, and won't even look at women any more. I find more and more men in MGTOW monasticism, because they don't want to be FishBicycles. 40% of books in print are romance novels. Really think about that. It tells you that this is a visceral thing. The Quran says women have 9 times the sexual drive of men [I'm not Muslim], and I see that. Demographics are the future. America will be a lot more Hispanic, Black, and Muslim, in a few decades, because they reproduce at much higher rates. MGTOW is an expression of Knights Templar- who swore off sex completely. Men are capable of this, and are doing so, more and more. One of the reasons mothers- and fathers- aren't treated very well, is that there are fewer of them. Disrespect for fatherhood soon bleeds over into disrespect for motherhood. Respect is the center of the circle of community, as native american elders tell me. From respect grows rapport, from rapport, cooperation. Cooperation is how humans survive. We need to foster a lot more cooperation. When a young man realizes that more than half of all marriages end in divorce, that over 70% are initiated by women... he realizes that marriage is a lottery with a 1 in 2 chance of losing at least half his income, possessions, and all of his children. The number of married people in the population is at a 100 year low. This book is very useful... I just wanted to expand the perspective some.
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on November 30, 2010
This book is full of stories and statistics supporting the fact that multiple social policy changes need to be passed through Congress in order to demonstrate support of America's families.

I was already convinced that changes needed to occur prior to reading this book, but that feeling has been cemented after reading this book. America lags far, far behind the rest of the world when it comes to caring for its families. We need to catch up, and it will take a grassroots movement of moms, ... (show more)

This book is full of stories and statistics supporting the fact that multiple social policy changes need to be passed through Congress in order to demonstrate support of America's families.

I was already convinced that changes needed to occur prior to reading this book, but that feeling has been cemented after reading this book. America lags far, far behind the rest of the world when it comes to caring for its families. We need to catch up, and it will take a grassroots movement of moms, dads, and grandparents uniting together to show Congress that paid family leave, flexible work schedules, liveable wages, TV that we choose, better afterschool programs, and quality, affordable childcare are not optional. They are necessities in this day and age.
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on June 29, 2008
Reading this book made me really, really, unbelievably sad...but then, all books of this nature tend to do that to me. I am of two minds on this one...part of me really liked it, but the rest of me loathed it. I do think that probably all women who are in their early twenties, at the start of their career track and considering "having it all" (the career, the husband and the kids) should read this, because there is a harsh reality that comes with being a mom (or dad) AND working full time...and the alternative of one parent staying home requires sacrifices that are just as great (unless you're lucky enough to have a spouse that actually does make enough to support this...and fewer and fewer do anymore). Reading something like this would have been a real eye opener for me ten years ago...and I probably would have made different choices than I did in having our children...I went into it blindly, thinking it would all work out because we decided to undertake parenting as a joint venture, but the reality is quite different than what one might think. Parenting is expensive and hard...but mostly the expense is hard to deal with (the rest has its rewards and is therefore easier to take).

The book stresses that families NEED two full time working parents to make ends meet and doesn't seem to take into account people who choose to do with less (like one car instead of two, second hand instead of new, ect...) to have one parent stay at home and the other work full time...but the reality is that for the way most people live and the wages they can realistically pull down, both do need to work just to make a basic living wage with no bells or whistles. What got my dander up is that the book proposes that mothers WANT (or need) so much and they should get it just because they are mothers and it's the right thing to do...without any REAL ideas on how these changes could be brought about realistically. The reality is that unless you already are at a job (that has a family friendly staff) you're probably not going to be able to negotiate flex time or bring your kid to work (and how many single, or non parent people...or even parent people) WANT someone's kid at work all the time (or even occasionally)...I know when I worked, I hated it when people brought their kids in to hang out while they worked...it's disruptive even when the kids ARE well behaved...and most aren't.

The rest of it, well there are so many women (and men) out there who are vehemently opposed to any type of benefits for parents, because, well, how dare mothers or fathers demand (and get) benefits that singletons wouldn't get...and why should they have to pay for or support parents and their evil spawn...there is such a backlash against mothers out there that I am seeing seething out there these days...I don't see the manifesto being well received by men or women in general...and especially by those who have chosen not to have children. In some ways I can understand this, as ALL people parents or not, deserve to earn a living wage, have healthcare and all that stuff too, and I can see where the idea of implementing universal child health coverage would get the dander up in single people or childless couples, the same way paying taxes for schools they don't need and will never use does NOW. The same people that don't want to pay taxes for your kids to go to school, certainly won't want to pay taxes for your kids to have universal healthcare coverage.

Overall, I think it's a good book, but the reality of DOING what this book suggests is just mind-bogging. I don't see it happening anytime soon...my advice, unless you have a fantastic support system of child friendly family and friends...or a super high paying job that you're guaranteed not to lose in the next twenty years...seriously reconsider having children. Without one or the other (or, even better, both) becoming a parent will be a significant financial drain and you really will have a hard time properly parenting your kids...just read through the child care section in this book or talk to a few minimum wage working mothers with kids in substandard daycare situations if you don't believe me. Oh, yea...and I'm serious about the child-friendly part of my above statement...just because they are your family and friends doesn't mean they will actually want to help you or support you in your parenting emotionally or by offering supplemental child care and babysitting. Heck, we had a few friends that refused to socialize with us after our daughter was born...SOCALIZE, not watch our kids, just come and have dinner or play games or hang out...yea, that's right, you might actually LOSE friends by having kids because there ARE people who don't want to deal with them at all and/or who feel that somehow they'll be roped into helping with the rugrat...it does happen. I give the book B-...great ideas but I don't see the ieas here being easy to implement or widely accepted.
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on September 22, 2012
Joan Blades and Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner appear to have inadvertently left the word "working" out of their book's subtitle. Intrigued by the titular promise of "The Motherhood Manifesto: What America's Moms Want - and What To Do About It," I dove in to discover what is essentially a lengthy policy paper on necessary institutional reforms for employed mothers. Don't get me wrong, I'm behind these ladies every step of the way. The vitally necessary work described by the authors has yet to be done. That said, the book's statistics and summaries of law and practice are outdated just six years post-publication, the authors don't address remedies needed to support single paycheck American families (e.g., flex-time for fathers), and the anecdotes sprinkled throughout aren't illuminating or well-written enough to justify the reading time standing alone. For anyone interested in the topic of women (and families) attempting to "have it all," I recommend starting with Anne Marie Slaughter's recent Atlantic Monthly article instead.
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on April 24, 2006
As a writer who feels like it's time to move beyond the so-called "Mommy Wars," I eagerly awaited the chance to read "The Motherhood Manifesto." I was not disappointed--this is truly the book that I have been hoping that someone would write. Blades and Rowe-Finkbeiner describe the substantial problems that familes face, and lay out proactive steps that mothers can take to work toward a just and equitable society for all of us. The book is extremely well researched. My impression after reading the first few chapters was to feel angry that there is so little U. S. public policy that truly supports parents, and also very sad that we have thus far settled for such a pathetic situation. Thinking parents, women and men: it is a matter of economic strategy as well as compassion to support familes with flexible work schedules, benefits, and fair wages. Joan Blades and Kristen Rowe-Finkbeiner have incredible credentials to launch a new movement. Read this book, [...] to find out what you can do to join their call to action.
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on June 28, 2006
This book is very well researched, its claims are backed by trustworthy data from various sources, and it is well written.

The wonderful thing about this book is that besides laying out the problems faced by mothers and their families, it offers the path to the solutions of these problems. Not only mothers should read this, but anyone who is part of a family, which, I guess, includes pretty much all of us.
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on May 5, 2006
... but, we all know we've got the A-Team of Family Values in The White House so not to worry. Mr. Family Values himself, appointed by The Family Values High Moral-Grounders Religious Right, would never short-change Mothers. Just look around, haven't things become so much better, especially for working-class moms, since our "born-again" president took over?
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on September 15, 2006
For me and for the women in a local reading/action group to which I belong, this book provided important information on issues about which we are concerned and introduced us to a network of like-minded women. It prompted important discussions about which issues we consider most pressing (we all agreed on the urgent need for universal, quality healthcare and childcare), and helped us think about how to translate those concerns not only into support and votes for particular candidates, but also into direct action in our community.
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