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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.
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” [...]
blech. more like one & a half stars, maybe? this was the last book i read before i gave birth to ramona. kind of a weird book to go out onis book was incredibly self-indulgent. basically, naomi wolf got pregnant & made the same mistake that every pregnant-for-the-first-time woman makes in thinking that no one has ever been pregnant before in the history of humanity. it would also appear that she knew next to nothing about pregnancy or birth or the medical model of maternity care or anyth [...]
I read this soon after I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. It was a completely chance finding as I browsed in a bookshop in Clapham. At the time I just wanted something that was a little more personal than all the slightly scary pregnancy manuals that everyone seemed to think I should be reading. Serendipity or not, this is a very good book and I would heartily reccomend it. As a social critique of the whole pregnancy business and all it's attendant obsessions and fads it is immensely u [...]
For the first 264 pages I was ready to give this book 5 enthusiastic stars. Wolf intertwines her personal experiences with careful research into the state of the maternal health care in the U.S. I really related to the personal experiences she relates: a traumatic c-section, mild PPD, the strange mixture of confusion and bliss that accompany the arrival of a new baby. I especially "enjoyed" her analysis of our hospital system that offers very few choices to laboring women, and that commonly igno [...]
Feminist author Naomi Wolf's mix of personal story and in-depth research made for a super-easy read that was fillied with information about what people don't expect (in Wolf's opinion, what mothers are kept from being able to expect) about pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenthood. Most interesting (and frightening) for me was learning about the way the hospitals and doctors handle birth - keeping themselves safe from malpractice is above the woman's (and at times, the baby's) experience, and [...]
Great book for mom's or women who would like to be moms someday. Don't be put off by the feminist writer. She takes a very balanced view of the whole birthing process and how over "medicalized" it has become. Not to say that I am not grateful for modern medicine. There is just a lot of hooey that you get from hospitals and insurance companies trying to placate you with birthing rooms and hot water whirpools, when in the end they care more about the bottom line and not being sued. I also like how [...]
This was the book that changed everything for me.It was my first pregnancy and I had no idea, so I did what a person like me does I headed to the local library!! I stumbled across this book and it changed the way I thought about pregnancy and birth. I had a couple of experiences around other births, I had seen two family members give birth. I remember being at the hospital waiting for my sister-in-law to give birth and ushering in the room when she did. I knew nothing and all I cared about was g [...]
Basically the antithesis to What to Expect. She even talks about WTEWYE early on, and how it's meant to soothe. This book is anything but soothing, but I appreciated very much the stormy emotionality of it. Given that I mostly hated pregnancy for a good two months, it was nice to read something that waded around moodily about it, that offered no rainbows, etc. A little too dark? Probably. The chapter on pregnancy-as-facing-impending death is troublesome. But, I also, so far, prefer ignorance abo [...]
Dripping with entitlement on every page. Newsflash: upper middle class women used to getting everything on a silver platter discover as they approach now-or-never childbearing years that -quelle horreur!- there is no one to hold their hands through pregnancy & childbirth. Beware of the high-pitched whining throughout. It makes for a difficult read.
I couldn't finish it. I rarely do that.I found the ethnocentricity exceedingly overpowering, and the privilege of moneyed whiteness to be a big yawn. If you want a good feminist read on the role of birthing, breastfeeding and mothering then read Gabrielle Palmer's "The Politics of Breastfeeding" - that will really take you into socio-economic dynamics, commercial protectionism and the patriarchy with MUCH more vigour, zero self-consciousness, and a real discussion on sexual politics.And, then, f [...]
I found this to be an eye-opening critique of maternity practices in the U.S. This book is not without its flaws (not the least of them the ethnocentric viewpoint), but it weaves the personal, political, and cultural together into a compelling read. Not just for pregnant women, Wolf has written a well-researched book about topics that makes the usual "What to Expect" language about pregnancy and birthing look all-too-tame. Really, though, who doesn't get squeamish thinking about things like epis [...]
This book is busted. It's about all the terrible injustices a rich white highly educated straight married woman experiences when she is pregnant. For example, she's not thin anymore and people seem to treat her differently. Can you believe it??
When I picked up this book, I admit that I wasn't quite expecting what I got. I figured it would read kind of like Pushed - what I got was something else entirely. What I got was Naomi Wolf's personal experiences beautifully framing an anthropological look at birth in America through interviews with friends and other acquaintances. Naomi is a bit of a poet, I think. She is a strong woman, a feminist, an artist. It was very easy to identify with her as a human being, to see in her a reflection of [...]
Misconceptions is all about the "ugly" side of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood. While it's nice that something like this exists that's not sugar-coated, I had a really hard time reading it. Everything was so negative and it made me feel guilty for having a good pregnancy, childbirth, and feeling happy about being a mother. Why does every sentence in this book have to be a complaint, rant, or pity party? Parts of it felt judgmental or made me feel shame - for instance, when she discusses mo [...]
I am almost eight months pregnant and as my husband and I begin to develop our birth plan, I feel like I read this book in just the nick of time. I finished it in two days and not a moment too soon.I have read a pile of books about pregnancy and motherhood and this is definitely one of the most important and useful ones. I found it an incredible relief soon as I started reading the 'truths' about pregnancy and found myself all over her pages, the ugly realities that other books don't want to wri [...]
YES this book reeks of self-indulgence, entitlement and ethnocentricity. It's essentially a book about the shock of being white middle/upper class and being the only woman ever to fall pregnant. That said, Wolf clearly writes from a highly personalized perspective, and as such this was always going to be a subjective experience rather than a broad overview of pregnancy. Personally, I had a love/hate relationship with this book. There were so many occasions in which I felt Wolf giving a voice to [...]
Possibly the most insightful book on pregnancy, childbirth, and becoming a mother that I have read yet. Wolf just gets it. She writes a scathing critique of the birth industry in the United States, while still providing hope for better birth experiences for women. Her own willingness to share her dark anxieties and fears about birthing and motherhood was reassuring and revealing. She finds the darkest corners of the journey and shines light into them and she celebrates all that is mysterious and [...]
I liked this book alot. I read it while I was pregnant and it was refreshing to have an "academic" perspective on motherhood. Of all the material I read during my pregnancy, this is the only book that even approached the subject of "loss of self" upon becoming a mother. Motherhood is very difficult and made harder in the U.S. by the attitudes that prevail. The government pays alot of lip service to family values, yet maternity leave is uncertain for most and paternity leave is almost unheard of. [...]
It wasn't that this book was bad, it was just a bit extreme to me in some areas. Specifically, while Wolf's opinions on the "medicalization" of pregnancy and birth are shared by many women, I continue to count my lucky stars that such medical interventions exist. I did love how the author continually discounts the "wisdom" of What To Expect When You Are Expecting (see my review if you have any doubt of my feelings). Also, I could strongly relate to the chapter on the unfairness in the division o [...]
I wish some wise woman in my life would have handed this book to me as soon as I found out I was pregnant. It really would have saved me a lot of pain and isolation and fear. Naomi Wolf is as candid and lovingly honest and sardonic as she can be about the journey to contemporary Motherhood and I identified with almost everything she described. This was up to and including the momentary death of all previous notions of feminism and self which lead to a rebirth of a more fleshed out and stronger ( [...]
Interesting book - it lends new insight into our current medical profession through the lens of laboring practices. The last few chapters discuss new American family dynamics from a feminist perspective. The author uses a combination of statistics, quotes from the medical community, interviews with new mothers, and her own personal journey as evidence in this manifesto. I found her rhetoric both informative and endearing. Her honesty in describing her own post-partum depression and birth trauma [...]
Read this book before you get pregnant or before your partner gets pregnant. It is essential if you are thinking of having a babyeds light on the medicalization of childbirth while giving readers a personal perspective.
I would have given it four stars but there was just too much biological essentialist, women are hormones, stuff going on for my taste
Naomi Wolf prattles on and all I end up reading is blah blah blah
This my my second time reading this book. The first time I had just given birth to my first child. Although the book is a little dated and some of the childbirth practices are a little different than they were, I still think it is a very valuable read for anyone expecting a baby whether you are a mom or a dad. It really helped validate a lot of my feelings that I had after childbirth – all the things that people don’t tell you to expect. In the end, it gives a vision of what a society that t [...]
The compulsive heteronormativity of this book was off-putting to me. I also found Wolf's whole approach towards pregnancy, birth and mothering to be surprisingly disempowering towards actual women. She should have just written a memoir, instead of claiming to be writing a reflection on a culture she then reinforces in the same book. Disappointing.
Misconceptions is one woman's memoir about her first pregnancy and a collection of pregnancy issues that are often not discussed in polite company. It is not a comprehensive pregnancy guide. Instead, it strives to fill the holes of pregnancy guides by highlighting the unsavory aspects of pregnancy. It is based upon the author's experience giving birth to her first child in 1995.The book is divided into three parts. The first is the author's memoir about the nine months of her first pregnancy. Wh [...]
Because I’m a natural birth and women’s rights advocate, and a birth junkie, I thought for sure I would enjoy this analysis of how our society’s view of birth negatively affects women, especially psychologically. In part I, Wolf’s overly dramatic writing style is annoying and makes it difficult to take her seriously. While her assertions are backed up by research, it doesn’t seem like she fully researched the issue before making that assertion. For example, she accurately states that m [...]
Naomi Wolf's book about her own journey to motherhood was really wrenching. It was a book that I started reading while first trimester pregnant and nauseous, unable to sleep at night because of the discomfort -- but yet still exhausted. Two hours later, I scribbled the first of many lists and drafts of questions for my future midwife, trying to decide if the Alternative Birthing Center that I was about to tour was truly alternative, or simply a draw to lure me in for a c-section. I had my husban [...]
This is the first Naomi Wolf book I have read. I enjoyed reading about her personal thoughts and feelings about her own pregnancy. With regard to her views on the hospital system, whilst her anecdotes were compelling- I think she was almost bordering on propaganda on how pro- mid-wife she was. To some extent I agree with her assertion that there is not enough support for mid-wife driven pregnancies. But she does not delve into the fundamental reasons why this may have occurred other than 'ominou [...]