1st Edition

The Impossibility of Motherhood
Feminism, Individualism and the Problem of Mothering

ISBN 9780415910231
Published September 13, 1999 by Routledge
224 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

An adequate analysis of experiences and situations specific to women, especially mothering, requires consideration of women's difference. A focus on women's difference, however, jeopardizes feminism's claims of women's equal individualist subjectivity, and risks recuperating the inequality and oppression of women, especially the view that all women should be mothers, want to be mothers, and are most happy being mothers. This book considers how thinkers including Simone de Beauvoir, Julia Kristeva, Nancy Choderow and Adrienne Rich struggle to negotiate this dilemma of difference in analyzing mothering, encompassing the paradoxes concerning embodiment, gender and representation they encounter. Patrice Di Quinzio shows that mothering has been and will continue to be an intractable problem for feminist theory itself, and suggests the political usefulness of an explicitly paradoxical politics of mothering.



Patrice DiQuinzio is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of Women's Studies at Muhlenberg College. Her work on mothering and feminist theory has appeared n Hypatia and Women and Politics.


"DiQuinzio presents a compelling case for a difference-based feminist approach to mothering capable of decentering unified and totalizing truth claims." -- Susan Driver, RFR/DRF, Winter-Spring 2001