Popular Misconceptions: Truth, Lies, and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood By Naomi Wolf is Book Naomi Wolf is the author of seven books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Beauty Myth, The End of America and Give Me Liberty She has toured the world speaking to audiences of all walks of life about gender equality, social justice, and, most recently, the defense of liberty in America and internationally She is the cofounder of the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, which teaches ethics and empowerment to young women leaders, and is also a cofounder of the American Freedom Campaign, a grass roots democracy movement in the United States whose mission is the defense of the Constitution and the rule of lawom naomiwolf. In The Beauty Myth the fearless Naomi Wolf revolutionized the way we think about beauty In Misconceptions, she demythologizes motherhood and reveals the dangers of common assumptions about childbirth With uncompromising honesty she describes how hormones eroded her sense of independence, ultrasounds tested her commitment to abortion rights, and the keepers of the OB GYNIn The Beauty Myth the fearless Naomi Wolf revolutionized the way we think about beauty In Misconceptions, she demythologizes motherhood and reveals the dangers of common assumptions about childbirth With uncompromising honesty she describes how hormones eroded her sense of independence, ultrasounds tested her commitment to abortion rights, and the keepers of the OB GYN establishment lacked compassion The weeks after her first daughter s birth taught her how society, employers, and even husbands can manipulate new mothers She had bewildering post partum depression, but learned that a surprisingly high percentage of women experience it Wolf s courageous willingness to talk about the unexpected difficulties of childbirth will help every woman become a knowledgeable planner of her pregnancy and better prepare her for the challenges of balancing a career, freedom, and a growing family Invaluable in its advice to parents, Misconceptions speaks to anyone connected personally, medically, or professionally to a new mother.. A viral Books Misconceptions: Truth, Lies, and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood The heteronormativity of this book made me want to scream. This book doesn’t seem to consider the perspectives of mommies who aren’t white, upper-middle class, and married to loving feminist husbands who are also white and upper-middle class. One woman I spoke with while reading this book stated “I felt like it was an argument for ‘class trumps everything’.” Faced with motherhood, Naomi Wolf decides to become everything her class and race position encourages her to be as “mother”, and then complains about the feminist mystique affect she faces. At times the book embraces feminine essentialism (being pregnant is like being disabled, you are helpless and vulnerable, and need your husband to protect you especially when walking through ‘bad’ parts of town, this allows you to understand what it is like to be disabled or old or young which is also about being helpless and vulnerable, and thus causes women to support social programs --- I think you can begin to see how deeply offensive this is for multiple reasons). In the first part of the book Wolf realizes that the medical profession didn’t have her best interests at heart and is truly about turning a profit – a critique I agree with. She also recognizes that romanticizing natural child birth methods also fails to deal with the fact that for much of human history it was “natural” for women to die in child birth and that adequate facilities for women’s reproductive health are in demand around the world. While I wouldn’t go to this book for the most recent science, I agreed with this general critique of the profit motive of the medical establishment. I also thought her emphasis on pointing out what is physically unpleasant about pregnancy in a society that likes to cover it in rosie images of nurturing contentment was valuable. I certainly found myself shuddering in the various descriptions of child birth. I think its actually worth thinking about how much having a baby is going to hurt – not just in the abstract but in the very specific ways she describes. What the second part of the book does well is point out how the gendered assumptions about equal share in child rearing in upper middle class white heteronormative progressive families doesn’t always work out so well. Having a baby shifts the balance of power in a relationship. Certainly it made me realize that if I ever have a baby with someone, I want to spell out a contract before hand being very explicit about how responsibilities over childcare are split.Oh and the book ends with a "Mommy Manifesto". Here Wolf deals with the nanny-care crisis (her childcare which allows her career to thrive comes by underpaying and exploiting the labor of women of color, who watch white babies instead of their own, and who receive no pensions, and no health insurance). Her suggestion is government subsidized unionized child care centers that would ensure workers get treated more as professionals, are better paid, and have true benefits. She doesn’t really deal with have a more equitable distribution of child labor between men and women. Certainly parts of her manifesto were compelling – it does leave me wanting to no more about the politics of child care and to think about how would I like to see child care dealt with in the society in which I live. It is really central to the contemporary politics of mothering and childbirth – and frankly I think its too easy in our society to not care about the politics of mothering until one decides to become a mother. And certainly there is not enough pressure for men to be reading books about the feminist politics of reproductive labor. Please give me your suggestions on books to read on this subject. From the academic realm I think of Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo’s Domestica and the writings of Rhacel Salazar Parrenas attack this dynamic well.