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Opting in: Having a Child Without Losing Yourself [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Amy Richards

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29. April 2008
For contemporary women, motherhood has become as polarizing a proposition as it is a powerful calling. For some women this tension is manifest in a debate over whether or not to have children. For others it concerns whether to stay at home with their children or stay in the workforce. Still others feel abandoned altogether by the supposedly pro-family and pro-mother social justice movement that is feminism and are at a loss when it comes to reconciling their maternal instincts with their political beliefs.

With Opting In, Amy Richards addresses the anxiety over parenting that women face today in a book that mixes memoir, interviews, historical analysis, and feminist insight. In her refreshingly direct and thoughtful approach, Richards covers everything from the truth about our biological clocks and the trends toward extending fertility, to parenting with nature and nurturing in mind, to our relationship with our own mothers, to what feminism’s relationship to motherhood is and always has been. Speaking from the vantage point of someone who is both a parent and one of our leading feminist activists, Richards cuts through the cacophony of voices intent on telling women the “appropriate” way to be a mother and reveals instead how to confidently forge your own path while staying true to yourself and your ideals.

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"With Opting In, Amy Richards does an impressive job of showing just how many ways there are for modern women to make motherhood work for them. Richards powerfully reminds us that although these are seemingly isolated "domestic" negotiations, women open up the work-life balance not only for other women, but for men and for generations of young people to come."—Veronica Chambers, author of Having It All? Black Women and Success

"Opting In is a brave, rational, thoughtful book chock full of important information and ideas that every woman—married or not, mother or not—should make it her business to know and think about."—Cathi Hanauer, editor of The Bitch in the House

 “To a world that either obsesses over children or excludes them, Amy Richards brings the revolutionary possibilities of shared intergenerational lives—not easy, mind you, but possible. If her example and writing had been around earlier, even I might have had children." —Gloria Steinem

“Amy Richards is always showing a new way forward for her generation of feminists and has done so once again with Opting In—a smart, savvy exploration of  real-life, real-time motherhood that is sure to resonate.”—Naomi Wolf

“Amy Richards is one of the few women in the country who can talk about the politics of mothering in a way that doesn't make me bored or irate. Opting In is intellectually rigorous, personally authentic, insightful, and brave—and frankly, how often can you say that about books on this subject? Richards is remarkably honest and thought-provoking, and her ideas stay with you long after you’ve put the book down. Read Opting In and challenge yourself about what you think and the decisions you're making, then talk about it not only with other women but with the men in your life as well.”  —Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees & Wannabees

“A movingly written book, Opting in: Having a Child without Losing Yourself beautifully dissects the feminist relationship to motherhood, creating a framework for modern career women to embrace motherhood while maintaining their aspirations and ambitions.”  —Sylvia Ann Hewlett
“In Amy Richards's insightful OPTING IN, knotty twentieth-century feminist debates about family, sex, and motherhood are reexamined through sharp twenty-first century eyes. This informative book is always reasonable, readable, and refreshingly open-minded.”—Alix Kates Shulman
"Richards ... makes a convincing case for the necessity of living our politics if we want to see change... welcome advice." —Rachel Fudge, Mother Jones

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Amy Richards is the co-author of Manifesta (FSG, 2000) and Grassroots (FSG, 2005) and the co-founder of the feminist speaker's bureau, Soapbox. 


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Amazon.com: 4.1 von 5 Sternen  7 Rezensionen
14 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Compendium Read 14. Juli 2008
Von J. Aragon - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
The perfect reader or audience for this book is going to be a new mother in her 20s or 30s and preferably someone who hasn't heard of the Association for Research on Mothering, Adrienne Rich or the plethora of published lay and academic books on mothering and parenting. This is a great book and the new reader to said topics will enjoy the breadth of what it covers and the style. Richards (and her co-author of two other books Manifest and Grassroots) both write in an easy to read style.

This book pretty much rehashes countles other books and studies and includes personal points and nonscientific examples (her friends/colleagues, and strangers). It was a really easy read, but at times, I was again rolling my eyes at the self-congatulatory statements that she made. I don't have my copy here at work, but for instance making the comparison that kids from a single parent household share attributes with people of color was a bit of a stretch. She meant to say that she shared a sense of not belonging to mainstream society as a white woman who was raised by a single parent and that she had an affinity for folks of color or something like that. Nonetheless, this particular section of the book reminded me of limosine liberals trying hard to prove through street cred.

There was nothing new here; however, I will suggest this book to women who are unfamiliar with the more academic area of study or other women who haven't read Breeder, Mothers Who Think, Perfect Madness, The Mommy Myth, Ariel Gore, Ayun Halliday, and too many others to list.

Richards book does give an overview of the literature and I'm sure that a reader will be encouraged to look through the list of sources and bibliography in the back. But, for me, someone who has been officially parenting for 11 years and other parenting prior to this, the book did not present any new material.
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Eh 21. Juli 2008
Von Emily Baker - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Richards is a good writer and I enjoyed reading her story and thoughts. But this to me was a good afternoon read from the library, nothing more. The book is a bit rambling and unstructured, and I got really impatient with it at times. She goes on for a long time about why women chose to stay at home or work, and while I agree with many of her thoughts (for example: that staying home can have at least as much to do with dissatisfaction with their own careers or lives as it is for the sake of the kids), I think it's amazing that she never brings the cost of daycare into the discussion.

I preferred "The Mommy Myth" as a history of views on motherhood and the tough choices that women have to make once they have their first child.
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Feminist Mothers-To-Be, Rejoice! 2. Juni 2008
Von Annie Ryan - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Richards' book shines as a beacon of hope to frazzled, overstressed mothers: having a life outside of motherhood is entirely possible! It's about priorities, balance, and knowing your limits.

Richards balances personal anecdotes with well-known feminist commentary. She cites the changes society has undergone to allow mothers and their parenting partners more flexibility in the workplace and beyond.

A must-read for mothers, mothers-to-be, fathers, partners, EVERYONE!
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Personal Indeed Political 1. Juni 2008
Von E. Lee Taylor - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Richards book is carefully researched with a plethora of women's voices on motherhood. Richards is the Third Wave feminist version of Doctor Spock. Her writing is a vital contribution to the feminist movement as it underscores the importance of choice in motherhood. Richards draws on personal experiences, and interviews with other mothers, to demonstrate that whom we co-parent with is just as important as how we parent. Richards acknowledges the difficulties of balancing personal and professional, and hi-lites research that demonstrates how our personal decisions impact the political movement of feminism.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Mixed impressions 13. April 2013
Von Katrina - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Verifizierter Kauf
I finally finished reading this book, after starting it months ago. I was very motivated to read it at the beginning, but found the book to be too wordy and rambling. Though it was about 250 pages of written text, the author could have said the same things and gotten the same points across in about half the number of pages. Furthermore, the first three chapters of the book did not really relate to the title or theme of the book, in my opinion. It wasn't until Chapter 4 (page 122) before I felt that the author really got to the point of her subtitle, "Having Children Without Losing Yourself".

I, personally, also had trouble relating to the last chapter titled, "Our Mothers, Ourselves". The entire chapter was about the mother-daughter relationship, but focussed on the terrible conflict that adult women have with their mothers (especially after becoming mothers themselves). I, on the other hand, chose a very different life than my mother (I am a career woman, with two children, and lots of husband support in raising them, while my mother was a stay-at-home mom with four children, who had a husband who meant well, but didn't help much with child rearing), yet my mother is one of my best friends and we both understand each other's choices and respect each other and the decisions we made. The chapter simply took the perspective that all adult daughters experience conflict with their mothers, mostly due to their choices about careers and family. Maybe I should just be thankful that my mother and I don't fall into that (apparently typical) category.
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