Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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441 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
May 2004
Print ISBN: 9780889614468


Feminist scholars of motherhood distinguish between mothering and motherhood, and argue that the latter is a patriarchal institution that is oppressive to women. Few scholars, however, have considered how mothering, as a female defined and centred experience, may be a site of empowerment for women. This collection is the first to do so.

Mother Outlaws examines how mothers imagine and implement theories and practices of mothering that are empowering to women. Central to this inquiry is the recognition that mothers and children benefit when the mother lives her life, and practices mothering, from a position of agency, authority, authenticity and autonomy.

Table of Contents

Introduction – Andrea O'Reilly

Section One: Feminist Mothering
Chapter One: Feminist mothers: Successfully negotiating the tensions between motherhood as "institution" and "experience" – Fiona Green
Chapter Two: Resistance as a site of empowerment: The journey away from maternal sacrifice – Erika Horwitz
Chapter Three: "We were conspirators, outlaws from the institution of motherhood": Mothering against motherhood and the possibility of empowered maternity for mothers and their children – Andrea O'Reilly
Chapter Four: The (male) advantage of a feminist mother – Juanita Ross Epp and Sharon Cook
Chapter Five: Telling our stories: Feminist mothers and daughters – Christina Baker
Chapter Six: From perfect housewife to fishnet stockings and not quite back again: One mother's story of leaving home – Petra Buskens

Section Two: Lesbian Mothering
Chapter Seven: Imag(in)ing the queer lesbian family – Jacqui Gabb
Chapter Eight: Our kids in the hall: Lesbian families negotiate the public school system – Rachel Epstein
Chapter Nine: Lesbian mothers and the law of custody, access, and child support – Joanna Radbord
Chapter Ten: Lesbian nonbiological mothering: Negotiating an (un)familiar existence – Dawn Comeau

Section Three: African-American Mothering
Chapter Eleven: A politics of the heart: African-American womanist thought on mothering – Andrea O'Reilly
Chapter Twelve: Black women's mothering in a historical and contemporary perspective: Understanding the past, forging the future – Erica Lawson
Chapter Thirteen: Community mothering: The relationship between mothering and the community work of black women – Arlene E. Edwards
Chapter Fourteen: "You'll become a lioness": African-American women talk about mothering – Trudelle Thomas
Chapter Fifteen: Reflections on the mutuality of mothering: Women, children, and othermothering – Njoki Nathani Wane

Section Four: Mothers and Daughters
Chapter Sixteen: Across the divide: Contemporary Anglo-American feminist theory on the mother-daughter relationship – Andrea O'Reilly
Chapter Seventeen: The global self-esteem of an African-American adolescent female and her relationship with her mother – Barbara Turnage
Chapter Eighteen: Don't blame mother: Then and now – Paula Caplan
Chapter Nineteen: Mother of mothers, daughter of daughters: Reflections on the motherline – Naomi Lowinsky
Chapter Twenty: A daughter's praise poem for her mother: Historicizing community activism and racial uplist among South African women – Dolana Mogadime

Section Five: Mothers and Sons
Chapter Twenty-One: In black and white: African-American and Anglo-American feminist perspectives on mothers and sons – Andrea O'Reilly
Chapter Twenty-Two: Bringing our boyz to men: Black men's reflections on their mothers' childrearing influences – Wanda Thomas Bernard
Chapter Twenty-Three: Swimming against the tide: Feminists' accounts of mothering sons – Alison M. Thomas
Chapter Twenty-Four: Raising relational boys – Cate Dooley and Nikki Fedele
Chapter Twenty-Five: A mom and her son: Thoughts on feminist mothering – Andrea O'Reilly


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