The Mommy MythThe Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined Women
Susan J. Douglas and Meredith W. MichaelsQUESTIONS AND TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION
1. How would you describe the state of motherhood in America today? Do you agree with the authors’ premise of the “new momism”—that women are being conditioned to believe they can find true fulfillment only through the perfection of motherhood? How well do they support the arguments and ideas they present in The Mommy Myth
2. What are the tenets of feminism, and how have they been distorted through the years? Do you agree with the authors that “the new momism is the result of the combustible intermixing of right-wing attacks on feminism and women” (24)?
3. The authors cite numerous instances where newscasters reported a story as fact but did not offer evidence or statistics to back it up. Why do you think the American public is so willing to believe what is reported in the media, particularly when no supporting data is offered? Does it surprise you that government officials are the major source of news for the networks?
4. What role has politics played in the rise of the new momism over the last several decades? How have conservative mores in particular shaped the American culture’s representation of motherhood?
5. What ignited the enormous popularity of the celebrity mom profile, “probably the mos