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Full Time Mothers

campaigning for real choice for families

Book Reviews

Family Policy, Family Changes; If You've Raised Kids You Can Manage Anything; What Mothers Do; Endangered; Why Love Matters; A Mothers' Rule of Life; Seven Myths of Working Mothers; Choosing to be different; Baby Hunger; The Miseducation of Women; Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families; Broken Hearts; Mother Love; The Smart Woman's Guide to Staying at Home; Ghosts from the Nursery - Tracing the Roots of Violence; Work-Lifestyle Choices in the 21st Century - Preference Theory; The Social Baby; Expecting Adam; Good Food for Kids; Access to Maternity Information and Support; Single Parents in Focus; The London Baby Directory; Marriage-Lite: The Rise of Cohabitation and its Consequences; Anything School Can Do You Can Do Better

The Miseducation of Women

by James Tooley; Continuum, £12.99

On reading The Miseducation of Women recently, I was surprised to discover that I am a feminist, and have been for years! This book has made me more aware of the various voices in society that are undermining the value of motherhood/homemaking/parenting.

The book includes thoughts and quotations from various strands of feminism. From these, the author identifies two main types of feminism, "umbrella" categories, which encompass a variety of approaches. Put very simply, he says that:


1) "equality" feminists say that women are equal to men and should live very similar lives to them, while
2) "liberation" feminists say that there are important differences between men and women, which should be recognised and celebrated.

The voices of the equality feminists have been the loudest, but some are modifying their views, and Germaine Greer(!!) is quoted as writing: "In The Female Eunuch I argued that motherhood should not be treated as a substitute career; now I would argue that motherhood should be regarded as a genuine career option..."
And, to cap it all, she argues that the immense rewardingness of children is the best kept secret in the western world [from The Whole Woman, London: Transworld].

But, says James Tooley, such views are not being recognised by the policy makers of our education system, which is one of the reasons why he has written his book. Education is obviously an important matter for FTM and individuals to consider, because it affects all the children/young people who pass through our education system, who are all potential mothers and fathers. What shape is their future? Will they be allowed to decide for themselves?

You may not agree with everything in this book, but it raises important questions for members of FTM. Buy or borrow a copy, and see what you think.