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The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most…
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The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World is Still… (utgåvan 2010)

av Ann Crittenden (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
261678,696 (3.77)2
In this book, Ann Crittenden argues that although women have been liberated, mothers have not. Drawing on hundreds of interviews from around the country, as well as the most current research in economics, sociology, history, child development and law, she shows how mothers are systematically disadvantaged and made dependent by a society that celebrates the labor of child-rearing but undervalues and even exploits those who perform it. The price of motherhood is everywhere apparent. College-educated women pay a "mommy tax" of more than a million dollars in lost income when they have a child. Family law deprives mothers of financial equality in marriage. Most child care is excluded from the gross domestic product, at-home mothers are not counted in the labor force, and the social safety net leaves them out. With passion and clarity, Crittenden dismantles the principal argument for the status quo: that it's a woman's "choice." She demonstrates, on the contrary, that if mothers had more resources and respect, everyone--including children--would be better off. The price of motherhood reveals the glaring disparity between the value created by mothers' work and the reward women receive for carrying out society's most important job.… (mer)
Medlem:abeaman92
Titel:The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World is Still the Least Valued
Författare:Ann Crittenden (Författare)
Info:Picador (2010), Edition: 10th Anniversary Edition, 336 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:****
Taggar:sociology, parenting, motherhood, feminism

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The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World is Still the Least Valued av Ann Crittenden

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I read this book while I was pregnant and kept thinking, "What the hell did I get myself into?!" It is an excellent breakdown of almost every myth that motherhood is the best thing ever. It points out policy and societal flaws that must be changed in order for motherhood to be a state where caring for children is not just a realm for mothers, but for fathers, friends, and neighbors.

  roniweb | May 30, 2019 |
The book was a well-researched exploration of motherhood. I found her discussion of the split in the feminist movement. One part affirmed that certain types of work were beneficial and deserved compensation. This included cooking, child education and nursing. Another segment of feminists, tended to regard womens' work as completely unimportant and inherently demeaning. The latter force tended to have prominence in the '80's creating a large rift between working women and those who stayed at home.
The book seemed a bit out of date in that this rift has gotten better in recent years. Women who grew up knowing they could go into any profession tend to want greater work-life balance and some companies now do a better job of offering it (some of them). Also now that a generation has grown up with no one learning home-ec, it's easier to recognize it's importance.
Her chapter on divorce was truly terrifying. The financial impact on women is large and often leaves them using welfare as a form of "unemployment benefits" when they have to stop work suddenly to care for children.
At the same time, I understand why a man would want to start a second family. The courts might be bad at enforcing child support, but they're also bad about enforcing visitation rights. If a woman is able to force her husband to be secondary in her children's lives, they will almost always choose to care for the parent who they saw more on a day to day basis in old age. This creates a large incentive for men to provide for children who they are able to be around and who are more likely to care for them in their old age. This intangible source of wealth also could be considered.
Most of her solutions were unrealistic, but informative none-the-less. Reforming social security so that both partners got an equal share while they were married could work if it ever got out of committee. ( )
  marikolee | Aug 30, 2010 |
Very thought-provoking. ( )
1 rösta Yestare | Jan 18, 2010 |
What you get in The Price of Motherhood is an interesting look at what has become a "hot topic" among what seem to be an endless stream of women leaving high-paying jobs to devote more time to raising their children...they are discovering what the rest of us already know and they aren't any happier about it than the rest of us. Crittenden presents us with information drawn both from her personal experience and from those of dozens of women all over the world and she looks at systems that support (or fail to) women and children in countries the globe over. Distilled, Crittenden's message is that women who have children in the United States sacrifice at least some level of professional advancement, societal status, leisure time, and economic security and/or independence. She believes that college-educated women, who have (or had) the best shot of "having it all", lose the most. If a highly educated women leaves the workforce to have a child, Crittenden cites data that estimates she will lose about a million dollars in overall lifetime earnings; additionally, she will not be economically compensated for parenting and running a household. In this end, she will receive no social security benefits for the work she does at home; she faces an inflexible job market that offers minimal opportunity for adequately paid part-time work; and if she divorces, most state laws will deny her family assets because divorce laws do not count unpaid work.

The Price of Motherhood is interesting and informative while also managing to be deeply depressing. Above all else, I think it is a book all young women should read...this one or one VERY like it. The message that becoming a mother basically incurs a penalty for the rest of a woman's life whether she has "career aspirations" or not is one that I don't think enough young girls and women get. We're all led to believe that motherhood is the highest calling, that it and keeping a solid household is something that's inherently women's work and this work, while being touted as all important, is largely undervalued and unappreciated. Girls and Women everywhere should be going into motherhood with more foreknowledge of what it really means for their long term career goals.

I like that the book acknowledges that the wage gap between single, childless men and women is all but non-existent and that it really doesn't come into play for men or women until they decide to have children. While there is definitely a mommy tax for women (with children) which is not present for men (with children) making 40,000 or more a year, with a stay-at-home wife, I would have liked more time devoted to the fact that there is also a parent penalty (just a mommy tax) for those people who can't or won't put in the hours that single, non-married, childless individuals do. Men are also penalized for taking time out for their families, for going home at the scheduled end of the day and for not having as great a scheduling flexibility as their single co-workers. Crittenden focuses almost solely on women/mothers...but I feel that there is a penalty for both men and women with children in the workplace today. Reading The Price of Motherhood is a good starting place for those people considering undertaking the daunting task of becoming parents. Most of us go into it thinking about the benefits and not so much about the cost or penalties that are also a part of that decision...or we falsely underestimate what being a parent can truly mean long term.

While I feel that Crittenden elucidates the problem quite well, her solutions are bound to stir up controversy, like The Motherhood Manifesto, I found myself cheering on one had and booing on the other. I'd like to see many of the benefits that she lists, but single, childless people already have a big enough problem with paying taxes to support public schools, I just don't see a majority of people (even mothers, working or not) embracing these types of policies/changes and frankly, some are just unrealistic in my opinion. I agree that change is needed and we need women who are willing to work to make these issues more visible and people in office that will be able to take that visibility a reality, I just don't know how quickly that is likely to happen.

I'd recommend this book without reservation, though as I said above, I don't think all of her solutions are viable this IS information that women considering having children should have before they make that decision...which means Crittenden's message needs to be delivered early to young women. I give it an A-, it's well written, easy to understand and highly informative, but falls short on the solution side. A great start, but don't stop here. ( )
  the_hag | Jan 19, 2008 |
Lots to think about with this book. I don't agree with all her solutions to the problems discussed in this book, but it did make me look at the value of the work I do as a homemaker and a mother. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Oct 30, 2007 |
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In this book, Ann Crittenden argues that although women have been liberated, mothers have not. Drawing on hundreds of interviews from around the country, as well as the most current research in economics, sociology, history, child development and law, she shows how mothers are systematically disadvantaged and made dependent by a society that celebrates the labor of child-rearing but undervalues and even exploits those who perform it. The price of motherhood is everywhere apparent. College-educated women pay a "mommy tax" of more than a million dollars in lost income when they have a child. Family law deprives mothers of financial equality in marriage. Most child care is excluded from the gross domestic product, at-home mothers are not counted in the labor force, and the social safety net leaves them out. With passion and clarity, Crittenden dismantles the principal argument for the status quo: that it's a woman's "choice." She demonstrates, on the contrary, that if mothers had more resources and respect, everyone--including children--would be better off. The price of motherhood reveals the glaring disparity between the value created by mothers' work and the reward women receive for carrying out society's most important job.

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