What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us: Why Happiness Eludes the Modern Women

Danielle Crittenden, Author
Danielle Crittenden, Author Simon & Schuster $23 (202p) ISBN 978-0-684-83219-7
Paperback - 202 pages - 978-0-684-85959-0
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-4391-2774-2
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The founding editor of the conservative Women's Quarterly takes a long hard look at the feminist glass and decides that it is definitely half empty. With approving nods to William Kristol and other conservatives, Crittenden's political stance is clear. All readers, however, will find that she's a good writer and a persuasive advocate. It's very hard not to agree with her that working women are often overstressed and overcommitted. Crittenden argues that the newfound independence of women, for all its advantages, has caused a parallel lessening of commitment by men, who, she contends, feel a much weaker obligation than they felt in the past to support their wives and children. Women, she claims, are waiting too long to have children and regard them more as ""an add-on option to a marriage, like a leather interior and digital compass in a new car."" This is similar to the argument made by Naomi Wolf, that too many people view children as a mere lifestyle choice. Crittenden, however, undermines her sharp observations by heaping some awfully harsh scorn on feminists for some awfully silly reasons (e.g., taking Gloria Steinem, Susan Faludi and others to task for being childless). Her views on the perceived evils of postponing childbearing of professional mothers keeping infants in daycare will not make her popular with mothers (or their husbands) who, for economic reasons, have no choice but to work. Nevertheless, Crittenden should make readers think long and hard about how real the mantra of ""choice"" really is. (Jan.)
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