Hundreds of women around the UK, US and Ireland are marking the beginning of an irreverent, uncompromising and vocal movement of women.
The hashtag #PurpleStockings is trending on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as mothers make themselves seen. And heard. Doing what they love – but what no one wants to see in public: mothering their children and demanding that it be valued.
“Mothers are in bondage — and not in a 50 Shades way,” says Purplestockings founder, Vanessa Olorenshaw, as her highly acclaimed book, Liberating Motherhood: Birthing the Purplestockings Movement launches in a purple haze.
“If it is true that there have been waves within the women’s liberation movement, then mothers’ rights are the flotsam left behind on the ocean surface of patriarchy. We are currently experiencing a tsunami of ‘fourth wave’ feminism yet, for mothers who want to care for their young children, little seems to have improved. Many mothers remain alienated from feminism, feeling that it still doesn’t speak for us or recognise our lived reality. We see, too, that politics and economics seem to have no place for maternal care.”
So what’s with the Purplestockings? Says Olorenshaw, “You may have heard of the terms ‘Bluestockings’ to signify key, educated, intellectual women in the eighteenth century; or ‘Redstockings’ to describe women’s liberationists. In the tradition of those sisters, I decided on ‘Purplestockings’ to signify a maternal feminism, to nod to the Suffragette colours, to invoke the nobility in mothering, and because it aptly combines the hue of its two predecessors.”
Mothers, and the work that they do, are hidden in plain sight. “The reality is stark: mothers — as a class — are, in gradual steps, losing the rights, freedom and economic ability to raise their own children, within the patriarchal and capitalist project. Many of us are forced away from our babies and young children against our wishes — financial pressures leave us little choice but to find paid work to put food on the table and a roof over our heads. Our bonds of motherhood are being replaced with binds to the market and wage slavery.”
It’s time to speak for motherhood. It’s time to demand that it be celebrated and valued. As Naomi Stadlen, bestselling author of What Mothers Do says in the Foreword: “This book is a call for justice — justice for mothers. It is a call long overdue.”
Liberating Motherhood has been acclaimed by international bestselling parenting author, Steve Biddulph as “The Female Eunuch of the 21st Century”. Endorsed by activists, academics and authors including: Attachment Parenting UK, Shami Chakrabarti, Basic Income, Dr Michel Odent, Dr Oliver James, Baroness Alison Woolf.
Information for Editors
Liberating Motherhood: Birthing the Purplestockings Movement – Vanessa Olorenshaw
Publication Date: 23rd September 2016
Categories: Feminism & feminist theory / Politics & Government
Author’s website: Politics of Mothering
About the Book
If it is true that there have been waves of feminism, then mothers’ rights are the flotsam left behind on the ocean surface of patriarchy. Under twenty-first century capitalism, the bonds of motherhood are being replaced with binds to the market within wage slavery and ruthless individualism. Mothers are in bondage – and not in a 50 Shades way.
Described by best-selling parenting author, Steve Biddulph as “The Female Eunuch of the 21st Century” with glowing endorsements from Shami Chakrabarti (former chair of Liberty), Oliver James (Sunday Times bestselling author of They F**k You Up) and with a foreword by Naomi Stadlen (author of What Mothers Do).
About the Author
Vanessa Olorenshaw is a mother of two, former barrister, law reporter and trade union rep from the South East of England. She was a founding member of the Women’s Equality Party UK and contributed to policy development on parenting.
Vanessa is speaking at the 2016 UK Labour Party Fringe festival, The World Transformed in Liverpool. On Saturday 24 September she will be hosting a workshop with Basic Income UK about the Right to Care and on Monday 26 September, she will be speaking at the festival on a panel chaired by journalist and broadcaster Paul Mason about The Future of Work.
Saturday 1st October she will be signing copies at the Women’s Voices Conference in London.
Thursday 17 November, Vanessa will be speaking at the Mothers at Home Matter conference in London.
Publisher: Womancraft Publishing, Cork, Ireland
Publisher Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org