Mothering and Motherhood

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Mothering and Motherhood

Women have persistently been challenged with issues regarding what it means to be a ‘good mother’. Although times continue to change, issues confronting 21st century mothers, remain similar to the ones addressed in past generations. An abundance of mothers in the 21st century are still faced with the complex issue regarding the ‘stay-at-home mom’ stereotype, in spite of the fact that the feminist movement has provided women with more rights in the present-day, then ever before. However, while strides have been made, these changes have had an affect on society’s notion of motherhood. The portrayal of motherhood is determined by countless expectations in which society has established. Such expectancies have expanded, which now effect how motherhood is depicted in different cultures. As a whole the feminist movement has strongly influenced Western Society, which has resulted in women’s suffrage, the right to make individual decisions, and has also led to wide-ranging employment for women at more equivalent wages. However, the emergence of female employment has created a war between ‘stay-at-home’ and ‘working’ mothers, which is often referred to as ‘Mommy Wars’. In addition, female employment provides men with the opportunity to stay at home and become the primary caregiver, which has ultimately had a large impact on societies notion of motherhood, treating them differently than primary caregivers of the opposite gender. This paper will examine how the feminist movement has altered societies notion of motherhood in the 21st century in comparison to past generations as a result of working mothers and stay at home fathers.

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