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The Conflict

by Elisabeth Badinter

The conflict between a woman’s identity and her identity as a mother is not unique to our time. In the 18th century, wealthy women overcame the problem by shipping their newborns off to wet nurses. Not so anymore. Modern mothers are bombarded by advice from ecologists, breastfeeding advocates, behavioural specialists, even politicians. The pressure to be a perfect mother is overwhelming. In The Conflict, Elisabeth Badinter, France’s foremost feminist thinker, questions why our ideas of motherhood have been skewed by unachievable expectations that compromise notions of self and womanhood. No matter which side of the debate you’re on, this bold book is essential reading.


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