by Naomi Wolf - £10.99 Vintage (2002)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780099274162 | ISBN 10: 0099274167
Every year, millions of women have their lives turned inside out by the experience of pregnancy. A contemporary woman finds herself caught in an absurd paradox: while in the grip of one of the most primal, lonely, sensual and, in some ways, psychologically debilitating and physically dangerous experience, she is overwhelmed by invasive, trivialising and infantilising cultural messages about what is happening to her - and who really owns the experience. Wolf takes a critical look at the powerful vested interests in the pregnancy business and at the social message coming at women: an amalgam of sentimentality, psychologically dangerous half-truths and conflicting ideologies. She discusses with devastating honesty her own two pregnancies and those of other women, from the physical and emotional effects of having your body taken over, through the elation and the fear, to the choice of delivery method (where mother-friendly childbirth is often in conflict with hospital-friendly practice) and the effects of post-partum depression. "Despite thirty years of fierce feminist writing about the myths of motherhood, "Misconceptions" reminds us that pregnancy and birth are still swaddled in layers of illusion, that our society remains criminally hypocritical toward mothers and babies and that the transformation from woman to mother remains one of the most complex odysseys we ever take. Naomi Wolf goes much deeper here than she ever has before. She strips bare the mind of the pregnant woman and new mother with dazzling courage. She dares to explore the paradox of being a good mother while remaining an independent human being." - Erica Jong.
(Price & availability last checked: July 2018)