Page Count: 220
Publication Date: May 2006
"Andrea O'Reilly provides a much-needed antidote to the popularized misconception that feminists are “against” mothers. A careful and comprehensive engagement with theoretical issues, significant texts and personal experience, Rocking the Cradle is certain to become essential reading for anyone wishing to think through the maze of motherhood as social institution and mothering as lived experience.
--Meredith W. Michaels, Professor of Philosophy, Smith College and co-author with Susan J. Douglas of The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women (Free Press 2004)
"True to its name, O’Reilly’s collection "rocks"—and not just the cradle, but also the foundation of patriarchy’s rigid rules for mothering. This highly readable, sweeping, and provocative volume offers a broadly appealing model of the road to empowerment through the practices of feminist mothering."
—Sharon Hays, Streisand Chair of Gender Studies, University of Southern California
"This is an important book. Andrea O’Reilly makes a powerful case for the necessity of empowered mothering, and anyone who has experienced motherhood as a radicalizing event in her own life will recognize herself in this nuanced, thoughtful discussion of what it means to be a feminist and a mother in the twenty-first century."
—Andrea Buchanan, author of Mother Shock and editor of Literary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined
"By tracking the parallels between the author’s evolution as a feminist scholar and her changing experience of motherhood, Rocking the Cradle offers a unique and important contribution to the field of maternal studies. The range of works included in this collection is particularly noteworthy for revealing the challenges and complexities of theorizing a working model of empowered mothering in Western society."
—Judith Stadtman Tucker, Editor, The Mothers Movement Online
Preface: Good Question … I’ll Be Writing on This by Sara Ruddick
Foreword: Rocking the Cradle to Change the World
Introduction: From Patriarchal Motherhood to Feminist Mothering
Section I: Motherhood
Chapter One: Labour Signs: The Semiotics of Birthing
Chapter Two: Talking Back in Mother Tongue: A Feminist Course on Mothering-Motherhood
Chapter Three: What’s A Girl Like You Doing in a Nice Place Like This? Mothering in the Academe
Chapter Four: "Ain’t That Love?"Antiracism and Racial Constructions of Motherhood
Chapter Five: Across the Divide: Contemporary Anglo-American Feminist Theory on the Mother-Daughter Relationship
Section II: Mothering
Chapter Six: "Home Is Where the Revolution Is": Womanist Thought on African American Mothering
Chapter Seven: "A Politics of the Heart": Toni Morrison’s Theory of Motherwork
Chapter Eight: In Black and White: African-American and Anglo-American Feminist Perspectives on Mothers and Sons
Chapter Nine: A Mom and Her Son: Thoughts on Feminist Mothering
Chapter Ten: "This Is What Feminism Is: The Acting and Living … Not Just the Told" Mentoring and Modeling Feminism