Essential Breakthroughs: Conversations About Men, Mothers & Mothering

essential breakthroughs FINAL COVER

Price: $34.95

Page Count: 249

Publication Date: November 2015

ISBN: 978-1-926452-16-6

Essential Breakthroughs: Conversations About Men, Mothers, and Mothering thinks from the nexus of gender, essentialism, and care. The authors creatively blend the philosophical and the personal to collectively argue that while gender is essential to our social and theoretical definitions of care, it is dangerously co-opted into naturalized discourses, which limit particular identities and negate certain forms of care. The perspectives curated in Essential Breakthroughs illuminate how care, as a respected and productive cultural ethic, is neither inherent nor instinctual for any human, but is learned and fostered. The chapters are informed by feminist, queer, and trans politics, wielding post-structuralist methodologies of unlearning and deconstruction, while maintaining the maternal lens as a credible feminist analytical tool and not as a gender-essentialist practice.

“Essential Breakthroughs contributes to the queering of motherhood studies through examining a diverse set of phenomenological perspectives and epistemological standpoints on caregiving. Including compelling narratives and analyses from expectant fathers and male nannies to lesbian mothers and transmen making different reproductive decisions, Green and Pelletier’s collection provides a rich starting place from which to think about the limitations of normative discourses around mothering. This is a vital collection for those wishing to engage a conversation about men and mothering that is simultaneously queer and feminist, that abandons gender essentialism while retaining a maternal lens as an essential tool of critical analysis.”
—Shelley Park, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Central Florida; author of Mothering Queerly, Queering Motherhood

“Formal equality reigns in an increasing number of countries, and yet sexist and heterosexist parenting norms still define our families. Essential Breakthroughs presents a path-breaking and engaging collection of essays, theoretical and personal, that invite us to think about our families beyond the binary.”
—Darren Rosenblum, Professor of Law, Pace Law School


Andrea Doucet

Gary Lee Pelletier and Fiona Joy Green

Chapter 1
Parental Thinking:
What Does Gender Have to Do With It?
Joanne S. Frye

Chapter 2
Does the Manny Mother?
Gary Lee Pelletier

Chapter 3
“Is He the Son of No One?”:
A Son’s Relational Narrative on his Mother
Nick J. Mul.

Chapter 4
Why Isn’t Everyone Celebrating Me?
My Mom, Bankruptcy, and My Ego
Justin Butler

Chapter 5
Lesbian Families, Sons, and Mothering:
Parenting Outside the Boundaries
Alys Einion

Chapter 6
Changing the Gender Script:
Ecuadorian Sons’ Increased Domesticity and
Emotive Response to Transnational Mothering
Ruth Trinidad Galv.n

Chapter 7
TV’s New Dads:
Sensitive Fatherhood and the Return of
Hegemonic Masculinity
Dwayne Avery

Chapter 8
What’s So Funny about Childbirth?
The Projection of Patriarchal Masculinity in
Popular Comedic Childbirth Guides
Jeffrey Nall

Chapter 9
Just Along for the Ride?
A Father-to-Be Searching for His Role
C. Wesley Buerkle

Chapter 10
Mommie Dearest:
Undoing a Gay Identity through Pregnancy
Jack Hixson-Vulpe

Chapter 11
The Ties that Bind Are Broken:
Trans* Breastfeeding Practices, Ungendering Body Parts,
and Unsexing Parenting Roles
A.J. Lowik

Chapter 12
Becoming Mother’s Nature:
A Queer Son’s Perspective on Mothering
in an Era of Ecological Decline
Michael Young

Contributor Biographies

Fiona Joy Green, PhD, is a feminist mother who believes in the power of feminism in contributing to the agency of children and parents, and to revolutionizing mothering. She holds the positions of Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Associate Dean of Arts at the University of Winnipeg, is the author of Practicing Feminist Mothering, and co-editor of Maternal Pedagogies: In and Outside the Classroom, and Chasing Rainbows: Exploring Gender-Fluid Parenting Practices. Fiona’s currently exploring the issues of privacy related to Mommy Blogging.

Gary Lee Pelletier is a Ph.D. candidate in the Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies Graduate Program at York University. His current research focuses on the intersection of queer negative affects, feminisms, and the burgeoning North American Men’s Rights Movement. He lives in Toronto with his partner, many cats, many plants, a dog, and his hip 92 year old grandmother.