As 2012 comes to an end, I thought to have my last post for the year be about… you guessed it: new beginnings. With every New Year comes a list of resolutions, and for most of us, shortly after the fireworks, disappointment.
There are the rebels who decide to go against the grain and not make any resolutions. Then there are the over achievers who make list upon list of day-to-day changes they are going to make and then expect everyone around them to follow along. While I wouldn’t classify myself as either of the two, I do find the idea of New Years to be liberating. Although I do not always follow through with most of my resolutions, it is still liberating to make personal goals and dream about a different tomorrow.
As I read through the final pages of Naomi Wolf’s (2001) Misconception I couldn’t help but think that when it comes to kids, women give up more than men, and lose more of themselves than men.
Before calling me a cynic, hear what I have to say…
For one thing, in North America, we seem to be obsessed with the seclusion of new mothers. Fathers are often back to work within a week or two, leaving a woman (who is still healing from giving birth) isolated in her home, to not only take care of a new child, but also the home. With the exception of a weekly visit from a midwife, we most often look down on a mother who needs extra help, seeing her as unfit.
A few weekends ago I had the wonderful opportunity to finally finish my reading of Naomi Wolf’s (2001) Misconceptions: Truth, lies and the unexpected on the journey to motherhood. Part III of the book was filled with too much to talk about in just one post, which is why I am going to finish my review in two parts.
While the final section of the book is consistent with the honest, well-researched and insightful chapters that precede it, I was a bit disappointed in the feelings that settled on me after turning to the final page. And I must clarify, my disappointment had everything to do with me and not the book. It literally was a “it’s not you, it’s me” sort of situation!
I’ve been learning a hard lesson lately, and while it is fascinating, it is also frustrating.
Any topic about women – whether it be menstruation, pregnancy, or really anything to do with the female gender, usually finds itself in two different scenarios. In the first, we find a group of (mostly women) gathered together swapping real life stories, narratives of truth and experience. In the other we find experts, outsiders and those (men and women) who want to be in the discussion, but have yet to enter its domain.
Of the two, whose insight bears more weight?
I am halfway through Naomi Wolf’s (2001) Misconceptions and I am incredibly fascinated by all that I am learning. I especially enjoy how on every page there are references that I can’t help but look up, contributing to my slow, but detailed, read of the book. Well researched, and honestly written, Misconceptions is on my top ten list of books women should read.
In my effort to share my reading pursuits with you, I have chosen to start with Naomi Wolf’s (2001) book Misconceptions: Truth, Lies, and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood.
Within the first few pages of Misconceptions you will find what most books about women’s health lack – honesty.
As a female author (and one who has been pregnant herself), Wolf validates pregnancy as an experience that is more than just a reproductive process. She validates pregnancy by citing it as a transformative event for women that strengthens them, shapes their personality and evidently the path they will walk on for the rest of their lives.