Liberating Motherhood

Liberating Motherhood by Vanessa Olorenshaw, Womancraft Publishing

Liberating Motherhood:
birthing the purplestocking movement

Vanessa Olorenshaw

Womancraft Publishing

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Release: September 23, 2016
Paperback: ISBN 978-1-910559-192 | $19.99 | £14.99 | 9.21″x 6.14″ | 234x156mm | 355pp
eBook: ISBN: 978-1-910559-208
Categories: Feminism & feminist theory / Politics & Government / Family & Health

Highly acclaimed by leading parenting authors, academics and activists, with a foreword from Naomi Stadlen, founder of Mothers Talking and author of What Mothers Do, and How Mothers Love.

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.

For all the talk of women’s liberation, when it is predicated on liberation from motherhood, it is no liberation at all. 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.

Vanessa Olorenshaw is clear: When mothering is on our terms, it can be liberating. The time has come for a radical, bold and creative approach to the question of mothers, children and care.

Liberating Motherhood discusses our bodies, our minds, our labour and our hearts, exploring issues from birth and breastfeeding to mental health, economics, politics, basic incomes and love and in doing so, broaches a conversation we’ve been avoiding for years: how do we value motherhood?


Lucid and riveting, this book sweeps you along to a realization that we are at a turning point in history. That even feminism hasn’t asked big enough questions. Our humanity depends on re-elevating the nurture of young lives to our most primary purpose. Olorenshaw speaks for a generation of young women who are refusing to have their hearts numbed and their yearnings suffocated for corporate greed and a feedlot existence. This is The Female Eunuch of the 21st century. 
Steve Biddulph, bestselling author of Raising Boys, Raising Girls, and The Secret of Happy Children

Liberating Motherhood is an important contribution to a vital debate of our times. Vanessa Olorenshaw speaks with warmth, wit and clarity, representing lives and voices unheard for too long.
Shami Chakrabarti, author of On Liberty, former director of Liberty and formerly ‘the most dangerous woman in Britain’

A fierce and funny new voice – exploding with revolutionary verve. Olorenshaw puts motherhood firmly on the map. Bravo!
Dr Oliver James, Sunday Times bestselling author of Affluenza, They F**k you Up and Not in Your Genes

Vanessa Olorenshaw’s stimulating book gives centre stage to both motherhood itself, and our confusion over it. And not before time. This book’s arguments deserve serious attention from women and men, left and right: mothers truly are our future.
Professor Alison Wolf, Author of The XX Factor

Through her eloquent way of phrasing modernist questions, Vanessa is propelling herself forward as the symbol of the ultimate phase of the women’s liberation movements … Read Liberating Motherhood from the beginning to the end and you’ll appreciate the talent Vanessa has developed in phrasing inevitable new questions.
Michel Odent, obstetrician and author of Birth and Breastfeeding

Sharp, uncompromising and witty, Liberating Motherhood relocates maternal experience at the centre of feminist praxis, offering a rallying cry for mothers — and daughters.
Glosswitch, New Statesman

Olorenshaw is immersed in her subject, impassioned but without anger, and oozing compassion and respect for mothers and children alike. Her exploration of maternal feminism is inclusive and compelling. She reveals the vulnerability of tenderly holding family life within an unforgiving economic climate and bothers not to dress up the betrayal of maternal freedoms as anything other. If you want to be reminded of why your mothering is beautifully but strangely revolutionary, read this book.

Michelle Mattesini, Attachment Parenting UK

A witty and forensic discussion of the politics and economics of motherhood. Olorenshaw goes beyond both the religious fetishisation of mothering and the ‘feminist’ fetishisation of jobs to build a solid case for an economy built around care — for ourselves, each other and the world we live in.

Barb Jacobson, Basic Income UK

This ground-breaking book is essential reading for anyone who cares about women and children. With passion, wit, intelligence, righteous anger and scrupulous research, Vanessa Olorenshaw lays bare not only the truth about how our society is deliberately shaped to require the exploitation of female unpaid caring and domestic labour, but the truth about the power, strength, skill, dedication and joy of mothering too.
Esther Parry, founder of All Mothers Work

Liberating Motherhood is an important and heartfelt analysis of the misogyny underpinning Western culture and our disastrous devaluation of the maternal: read it.
Antonella Gambotto-Burke, author of Mama: Love, Motherhood and Revolution

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