cover image The Motherhood Manifesto: What America's Moms Want and What to Do About It

The Motherhood Manifesto: What America's Moms Want and What to Do About It

Joan Blades, Author, Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Author . Nation $14.95 (248p) ISBN 978-1-56025-884-1

A straightforward agenda by political activists Blades and Rowe-Finkbeiner advocates a seriously thought-out, workable scheme for empowering mothers at home and in the workplace. The book is snappily structured in chapters that correspond to the letters making up the word mother: M is for "Maternity/Paternity Leave"; O for "Open Flexible Work"; T for "TV You Choose and Other After-School Programs"; H for "Healthcare for All Kids"; E for "Excellent Child Care"; and R for "Realistic and Fair Wages." In order to drive home these demands, the authors sound some alarming facts and statistics: although nearly three-quarters of American mother have jobs outside of the home, they tend to earn 27% less than men, while single moms earn 34%–44% less. The national scandal of skyrocketing health care costs bankrupts families and pushes moms into marginalized jobs, while working mothers leave children home to unsupervised TV watching and substandard child care. The authors propose family-friendly flexible work schedules and offer compelling employer success stories. The U.S. military presents a model child care program, while a boost in the minimum wage would allow mothers a "living wage." "As mothers go, so goes the country," the authors warn, and they hammer home real ways of taking action. (May)