Why The Whole "Bad Wife/Bad Mother" Thing Is Bad For Feminism

Two articles out this week are creating quite a storm of comments among lady bloggers. The first is an article by Sandra Tsing Loh in The Atlantic Monthly talking about why – in addition to being a bad wife – she’s now also a bad mother. The second is an article by Elizabeth Weil in The New York Times about her year-long experiment in trying to see if she could improve her not-so-bad marriage and the painful lessons learned along the way.

Yesterday, a bunch of us over on the Woman Up page of PoliticsDaily.com weighed in on these two treatises about contemporary parenthood/marriage. Here’s how mine begins:


Well, ladies, I must say I’ve been having a jolly old time here in London reading your takes on the Loh and Weil articles. On a day when my combined maternal/spousal duties left me thoroughly winded and already jonesing for that third espresso before 9 a.m., I take comfort in the fact that:

a. Unlike Weil, I actually like French kissing and
b. Unlike Loh, I’m not trying to raise my children in a car.
But before I tell you what I found worrisome in both of these articles, let me tell you what I liked.
Read the rest at PoliticsDaily.com
Image: Wife and Mother by Michael Batfish via Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

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  • Reply Kristen

    December 4, 2009, 7:29 pm

    Hi Delia – Thanks for bringing my attention to this post. It is a topic I think about all the time. What’s interesting to me about the current wave of feminism (at least as it applies to mothering) is the way in which women have ceased seeing each other as sisters and started looking at each as adversaries – stay-at-home mom vs. working mom; sacrificial mothers vs. balanced-life mothers; etc. Judith Warner writes about the ways in which the women’s movement could continue to move forward if we started paying more attention to our similarities than to our differences. I’m inclined to agree. Thanks for the food for thought today.

  • Reply delialloyd

    December 5, 2009, 11:03 pm

    Totally agree. It’s rough out there and we need all the solidarity we can get!

  • Reply daryl boylan

    December 7, 2009, 5:25 pm

    Give it up for Ms. Ehrenreich & you for repeating her excellent piece for all of us! Have to say, tho’, I am less than fascinated by Ms. Loh’s & Ms. Whozis’ articles. Tho’I support anyone’s therapeutic efforts, I also respect the privacy principle. Do I really want to know the more intimate details about people I never met?

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