By Julie Stephens
Public discourse keeps a deep cultural anxiousness round expressions of maternalism and the appliance of maternal values to the society as a complete. In a coverage context, postmaternalism is the concern given to women’s claims as staff over their political claims as moms. Julie Stephens strikes past those coverage definitions and advances a suggestion of postmaternal considering to sign this becoming unease with maternal types of subjectivity and maternalist views. In defining the contours of postmaternal concept, she details
the intricate procedures of cultural forgetting that pass hand in hand with the ascendancy of postmaternalism.
Postmaternal considering is determined by a questionable memory—that feminism failed motherhood—and casts second-wave feminists as being antagonistic to maternal expressions and beliefs. Reclaiming another feminist place via oral historical past, lifestyles narratives, web-blogs, and different wealthy resources, Stephens repudiates the center claims of postmaternal inspiration and confronts the misrepresentation of feminism as having forgotten motherhood. Deploying the interpretive framework of reminiscence reviews, she examines the political constructions of forgetting that encompass the maternal and the weakening of nurture and care within the public area. She perspectives the promoting of an illusory, self-sufficient individualism as profoundly hooked up to the ethos, politics, and monetary practices of neoliberalism and lays the principles for a much broader social critique of such corrosive advancements. In rejecting either conventional maternalism and the hot postmaternalism, Stephens demanding situations dominant paradigms via new perspectives of attachment and care and appeals for another feminist maternalism centering on a politics of care.
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Additional info for Confronting Postmaternal Thinking : Feminism, Memory, and Care
9 At the level of specific states, different combinations of incentives and coercions apply. indd 21 11/30/11 10:16 AM contexts and different labor movement histories are beyond the scope of this book. However, as the studies discussed make abundantly clear, there is a shared logic at work here that crosses national boundaries. Admirably, Orloff manages to delineate features of the postmaternalist state and its new policy agenda without herself engaging in what I am calling postmaternal thinking.
It is possible then that her approach in “Feminism, Capitalism, and the Cunning of History” strategically ignores some feminist challenges. However, her concluding remarks raise a different set of questions. Fraser portrays two feminisms engaged in a “disconcerting dance” with each other. ”33 This second version has one way or another come to be separated from its movement origins. Fraser calls on us to become more vigilant and aware of this “uncanny double” which can be mobilized for purposes contrary to feminist ideas of justice.
Yet, even two decades on, Ruddick’s idea of holding as “protecting with humility” retains a contemporary relevance and offers a powerful antidote to neoliberal cultural logic. From a critical feminist standpoint, maternal thinking is intentional, thoughtful, and moral action that will “reveal the greater safety, pleasure, and justice of a world where the values of care are dominant” (135). Is it the case then, that some notion of holding is a key premise for any form of feminist maternalism? indd 39 11/30/11 10:16 AM maternalism.
Confronting Postmaternal Thinking : Feminism, Memory, and Care by Julie Stephens