PRONATALISM: The Myth of Mom and Apple Pie by Ellen & Judith Senderowitz -- Eds. Peck

PRONATALISM: The Myth of Mom and Apple Pie

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KIRKUS REVIEW

You might have thought that Mom would never recover from the blows dealt her by Wylie, Roth and Friedan, but, according to Ellen Peck (The Baby Trap, 1971), if she's discredited in literature she's thriving in the attitudes of society at large -- this from a collection of articles designed to explain the hidden and overt influences of ""pronatalism."" The editors define ""pronatalism"" as ""any attitude or policy that is pro-birth, that encourages reproduction or exalts the idea of parenthood."" Pronatalism they contend is dangerous, not only to population growth but also because it limits free choice and ""poses a threat to true self-determination for women."" Some of these pieces are specialized studies -- one from the American Journal of Sociology (1916) is by the early feminist Leta S. Hollingsworth; others are drawn from popular sources -- The New York Times Magazine, Redbook, etc. ""Why We Don't Want Children"" by Lynnell Michels is rather tentative by comparison with Gael Greene's snappy though shallow (no plastic slipcovers for her, thank you)""A Vote Against Motherhood."" There is a witty piece by Betty Rollin, ""Motherhood: Who Needs It?"" which stands out above all the rest. ""Be fruitful,"" she says, ""don't multiply."" A collection that takes parenthood seriously; any attempt to de-mythify and de-romanticize a very tough job is a signal service for all -- especially children.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1974
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell