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Author De Marneffe, Daphne, 1959-

Title Maternal desire : on children, love, and the inner life / Daphne de Marneffe.

Published Boston : Little, Brown, 2004.


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  306.8743 DEMA    AVAILABLE
Edition 1st ed.
Physical description xiii, 401 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents 1. "Problem" of Maternal Desire 3 -- 2. Feminism 23 -- 3. Psychoanalysis 57 -- 4. Pleasure 90 -- 5. Ambivalence 118 -- 6. Child Care 147 -- 7. Adolescence 182 -- 8. Fertility 211 -- 9. Abortion 237 -- 10. Midlife 255 -- 11. Fathers 280 -- 12. Time with Children 312.
Summary What is the desire to mother? How do we understand it, talk about it, and think about it? These questions are at the heart of Maternal Desire, a groundbreaking book that gives a voice and a vocabulary to one of the most transforming and powerful experiences in women's lives. If a century ago it was women's sexual desires that were unspeakable, today it is women's desire to mother that has become taboo. One hundred years of Freud and feminism have liberated women to acknowledge and explore their sexual selves, as well as their public and personal ambitions. What has remained inhibited is women's thinking about motherhood. Simplistic images of stay-at-home moms or career supermoms, along with endless debates about what is better for children, continue to obscure the profound meaning of mothering for many women, in all its chaos, complexity, and joy.
Maternal Desire is the first book to treat women's desire to mother as a legitimate focus of intellectual inquiry and personal exploration. Shedding new light on old debates, Daphne de Marneffe provides an emotional road map for mothers who work and mothers who are at home. The book both explores the enjoyment and anxieties of motherhood and offers mothers in all situations valuable ways to think through their self-doubts and connect to their capacity for pleasure. Drawing on a rich tradition of writers such as Simone de Beauvoir, Adrienne Rich, Carol Gilligan, and Susan Faludi, as well as her experience as a psychologist and mother of three, de Marneffe illuminates how we, as individuals and as a society, express our desire to care for children. By treating maternal desire as a central feature of women's identity rather than as an inconvenient or slightly embarrassing detail, we can look with fresh insight at controversial issues such as child care, fertility, abortion, and the role of fathers. De Marneffe unearths ideas that have unwittingly shaped our inner lives, and offers women a more complete vision of liberation. Revolutionary and transforming, Maternal Desire is a book about ideas, a book about culture, and an invitation to self-reflection.
Subject Motherhood.
Mothers -- Social conditions.
Mothers -- Psychology.
ISBN 0316059951