Kate's Reviews > Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety

Perfect Madness by Judith Warner
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's review
Jan 20, 2009

really liked it

overall, i would say this book was very insightful. one of the most important chapters of the book is its last, which illustrates just how feasible it would be to solve the child-care problem in this country (in that there is none to speak of) if we as a nation were willing to allocate funds to the future of our children rather the bank accounts of the uber-wealthy and the wall street tycoons. she presents it mathematically, with a comparison to how the childcare system works in france (i know, how terrible in this country, to compare anything here to anything french!) and makes the salient point that childcare is already provided for some, for military families and for some governmental works, esp. in d.c., and rightful so but that this could be expanded, again if we were willing to spend money on kids rather than just talk a good game. i also appreciated warner's critique of the "intensive" or "total reality" mothering that is going on in my communities today, esp. white educated liberal ones that posture as very hippie. she does well in illustrating how all that belies feminist ideology and in some ways is quite reactionary. the major flaw of the book, in my estimate, is that it doesn't take in a major sectar of mothers--working class or poor mothers. warner acknowledges that she doesn't include them in her intro, saying she couldn't talk with everyone and didn't want to generalize but work on real interviews, real experiences of real mothers which is to be respected but i think as the author of another text called how to take back democracy, written with howard dean, it is sort of her job to speak to the middle class women she's critiquing, obsessing over playdates and food allergies and having just the right hello kitty party favors and make them aware of all the "have-nots," of all the suffering their some affluent worries obscure.

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